I WOULD like to send a heartfelt thanks to the St Neots and District branches of the Royal Naval Association and Royal British Legion for launching the 2012 Poppy Appeal in St Neots on Saturday October 20.

I was honoured to represent the Mayor of St Neots at the launch of the appeal on the evening, when the RNA bought the Royal Marine Band of HMS Collingwood to the Priory Centre for an excellent concert. It was a real feather in the town's cap.

The band was excellent and did the town proud, as did the 350 people who attended the concert, which ended with everyone waving Union Jacks and singing Rule Britannia.

It is the first time we have been honoured by hosting the band of the Royal Marines as a town, and hopefully it won't be the last.

All proceeds from the evening went towards the British Legion Poppy Appeal, and the concert was an excellent start to the campaign.

As a veteran myself, it was great to see this event so well supported and I thank everyone who helped organise and support this very worthy cause.

The work of the British Legion has never been as important as today with so many of our servicemen and women and their families needing their support. This was bought home to us all in St Neots this year with the loss of one of the town's own, Corporal Alex Guy of the Royal Anglian Regiment who sadly lost his life on active service in Afghanistan, and whose family very bravely attended the concert to support the launch of the appeal.

I ask the people of St Neots to dig deep into their pockets this year and help support our troops and families and wear your poppy with pride.

ROGER HARRISON

Ex-Army warrant officer and councillor for Eaton Socon and St Neots

Eaton Socon