Skip to main content
13th November 2023

Pubs and brewers across the UK step up to support the British Legion’s 102nd Poppy Appeal

Every year in public houses across the country, in towns, cities and villages Brits gather together to commemorate the ultimate sacrifice of brave men and women who have throughout history given their lives for the endurance of our local and national communities. Pubs like the Blue Ball Inn in Worrall which is selling poppies on behalf of the Royal British Legion and has its own memorial outside made by a local resident, or the Old Shades, Westminster, which is run by a veteran and supports the Royal Yachtsman and Tactical Supply Wing of the Royal Air Force all year round.

Tens of thousands of pounds are raised for the British Legion’s Poppy Appeal in pubs across the country every single year. For former servicemen and women, the camaraderie, community and familiarity feel of the local pub can help transition to civilian life and rebuild social connections while combatting loneliness.

According to the Royal British Legion, 1 in 4 in the Armed Forces community feel lonely ‘always’ or ‘often’. Pubs up and down the country actively engage the residents of their area, whether through informal conversation or organised activities, we know that pubs help combat loneliness.

This further highlights the importance of the findings of the think tank Localis in their recent report, Inn-Valuable: Unlocking the socio-economic potential of our nation’s pubs1, that

  • 81% of people say pubs are important in bringing people together
  • 3 in 4 people feel the pub has a positive effect on their community
  • 68% of British adults say the pub helps combat loneliness

Martin Huntley, General Manager of The Old Shades, Westminster, said:

“As we observe Remembrance Day, the significance of this historic occasion is magnified for us, given our unwavering support for two esteemed regiments throughout the year—the Royal Yachtsman and Tactical Supply Wing of the Royal Air Force. Having served nearly five years in the Royal Navy, including a deployment to the Gulf War at the tender age of 17, I carry the title of a war veteran, making this day deeply personal and resonant with the echoes of my own experiences and the camaraderie forged in service to our nation.”

Emma Shepherd, who runs the Blue Ball Inn, Worrall, said:

We sell poppies in our pub every year, and on Sunday we’ll be going to the Village Remembrance service alongside the rest of the community. Our pub is in a rural area, so for many people this is the only place nearby they can buy a poppy.

 “It’s great to be able to provide this support for our community and help raise money for the Royal British Legion, as well as more broadly support Remembrance services in our local area. I’m sure many pubs across the country will be doing similar this weekend.

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said:

“The Remembrance Day commemorations going on in hundreds of pubs across the country are a great example of the value pubs provide to communities far beyond the food and drink they serve.

“Pubs remain some of the final ubiquitous social spaces that truly unite people, in remembrance, celebration and friendship. This is a crucial role they have in our society that significantly increases the return in value seen on any support pubs receive from Government.”

Yorkshire brewer Timothy Taylor’s have this month reintroduced their Havercake ale. Originally brewed to honour the soldiers of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, affectionately nicknamed ‘Havercake Lads‘, the beer retains its martial tradition with 10p from every pint of cask Havercake sold now going to the Army Benevolent Fund – the Army’s national charity – who support soldiers, past and present, and their families for life.

Scott Cameron, Senior Brand Manager at Timothy Taylor’s, said:

“It’s fantastic to be able to welcome back Havercake for 2023 in both cask and 500ml bottles; a real crowd-pleaser. Timothy Taylor’s have always had very close ties with our Armed Forces, and to be able to support the Army Benevolent Fund again this year through sales of Havercake brings us a lot of pride.”

Colonel James Sunderland MP, who served in the British Army for over 25 years, told the BBPA:

“Pubs are the real heart of any community and a great meeting place for all kinds of activities. They are also a perfect place for veterans to get together, enjoy a beer and swing the lantern!”


For more information or to arrange an interview contact Laurence Gill at / 020 7627 9199

Notes to Editors:

  • The report ‘Inn-Valuable’ by Localis is available here
  • The attached photo is the Remembrance mural located at the Blue Ball Inn, Worrall. Available to use with photo credit given to the Blue Ball Inn.

About the British Beer & Pub Association
The BBPA represents UK companies which between them brew over 90% of the beer sold in the UK and own 20,000 pubs.

Our members include international companies, national and local brewers and pub businesses operating managed and tenanted pubs in cities, towns and villages across the country.

These businesses are at the heart of communities and local economies and include family businesses who have been brewing beer and running pubs for hundreds of years alongside emerging brewers and pub operators.

  • The UK’s beer and pub industry supports close to 940,000 jobs
  • The industry adds £26.2billion to the UK’s economy each year


For more information or to arrange an interview contact Laurence Gill at / 020 7627 9199

Third-party news items that are posted on the Guild website’s news section come from press releases received by the Guild. These press releases are posted as they have been received and their publication on the Guild website is intended as an informational service provided to our members and website visitors. As such, the publication of a story from a third-party source is neither an endorsement of the content, nor its sender, by the Guild. For enquiries on any news item, please use the contact details that can be found at the bottom of each post.