Gareth Johnson, MP for Dartford, will today host a debate in the Houses of Parliament to highlight a campaign by the Royal British Legion in Greenhithe. The debate entitled “World War 1 commemorations” will follow on from the Prime Ministers announcement that there will be commemorative events across the country to mark the outbreak of some of the battles that took place during World War 1. The Royal British Legion in Greenhithe were recently refused a Heritage Lottery Grant to allow their Real Poppy Campaign the funding it needed.
Gareth commented that;
“…On 4th August next year it will be exactly 100 years since the outbreak of hostilities in the First World War. As generations pass we must not allow the memory of the sacrifices made during the conflict to be forgotten. I was particularly keen to host the debate to champion the campaign led by the Royal British Legion in Greenhithe. I have been privileged to be able to involved in this campaign and support Greenhithe RBL in it. It was a moment of great pride for Greenhithe RBL when the Prime Minister referenced their campaign. Prince Charles called the campaign “poignant and evocative”, DEFRA and the Ministry of Defence fully support it. I was therefore shocked and disappointed that such a wonderful idea had not been approved for funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund. I wanted to host this debate to highlight the campaign in the hope that the Heritage Lottery Fund will see sense.”
Gareth continued “I know that Greenhithe RBL will be appealing the refusal and have been invited to appear on the BBC Breakfast Show. I hope that by my hosting this debate it will also assist. I will be handing out packets of the poppy seeds to those MPs who attend to further highlight the campaign.”
Regardless of the outcome of the Heritage Lottery Grant Dartford Residents will have the opportunity to pay their respects to previous generations next August through this campaign thanks to Dartford Borough Council. Dartford Borough Council have supported the project by a donation of £1000 and have pledged to allow the use of Central Park for the campaign. RBL Greenhithe presented the Council with 1million seeds last year.