Poppy Appeal launch misses Wattisham Airfield target and waiting school children and drops 60,000 of the badges in a wood

Expectant children wait for the poppy drop at Wattisham Airfield

Expectant children wait for the poppy drop at Wattisham Airfield - Credit: Su Anderson

The launch of Suffolk’s Poppy Appeal hit a major hiccup today – when the plane carrying 60,000 of them missed the dozens of children waiting below.

Pupils from Ringshall Primary throws their poppies at the Wattisham Airfield

Pupils from Ringshall Primary throws their poppies at the Wattisham Airfield - Credit: Su Anderson

Every year the county’s appeal starts up when tens of thousands of poppies are dropped on Wattisham Airfield.

But this year the plane’s communications system failed meaning the poppies fell on a woodland, which is on the edge of the military base, near Stowmarket.

Margaret Buttle, secretary of Haughley’s Royal British Legion branch, is one of the main organisers of the event. She said: “The aircraft came right over and everyone went ‘yeah’ and then it was ‘oh’”.

“Unfortunately there was a communication problem in the aircraft and by the time the young lady was hearing go, go, go, it was too late and the aircraft was across the airfield so they went into the wood.


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“It’s never happened before and the pilot did apologise, they just could not do anything about it.”

Service children from the base as well as youngsters from Ringshall and Haughley primary schools had all come along for the poppy drop.

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Mrs Buttle added: “It was disappointing for the children, they saw them drop but it was in the distance which was a bit of a shame

“It’s a case of you cannot pick up 60,000 poppies and do a re-run.”

Some of the children managed to sweep up some of the poppies to pose for photographs on their walk back to their cars with their parents.

No-one from Wattisham Airfield wished to comment.

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