Victoria Cross Delivers £25,000 For Royal British Legion

Victoria Cross Delivers £25,000 For Royal British Legion

A Southeastern train dubbed ‘The Victoria Cross’ has made a special stop at London St Pancras International to deliver over £25,000 for the Royal British Legion.

The money was raised when the high speed ‘Javelin’ ran as a commemorative service in November last year. Unit 395014 was named to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War and given a unique design featuring The Victoria Cross and the Royal British Legion’s Poppy. More than 280 passengers boarded the sell-out charter which took in London, East Kent and parts of the network it would normally bypass.

This week the train arrived back on Platform 13 at London St Pancras International, selected in reflection of 13 years of UK military operations in Afghanistan. Onboard were members of the Legion who were handed a cheque by Southeastern staff for £25,385. The final sum includes all proceeds from ticket sales, donations and funds raised through onboard raffles. The money will go to the Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

Andy Harding, fleet engineering manager for the high speed service at Southeastern, said: “This was a real team effort with many Southeastern staff getting involved in the project on a voluntary basis and our suppliers providing their time and expertise for free. Together we wanted to raise as much money as possible for the Legion to help support the British Armed Forces past and present, and their families.”
The Royal British Legion was founded in 1921 by veterans of the First World War who adopted the Poppy as their symbol. Many of the challenges facing those returning from that war affect serving personnel, veterans and their families today. Whether it is finding employment or housing, coping with financial stress, or living with physical and psychological challenges, they can still call on the Legion for help.

Julie Roper, Community Fundraiser for the Royal British Legion in East Kent, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to Southeastern for raising such a significant sum of money. The Poppy is about remembrance but it also symbolises hope for the future of the living. Donations like this enable us to continue to provide the care so many of our Armed Forces community need.”
Southeastern worked with UK Railtours and Hitachi to run the commemorative charter service on 15 November 2014. Other partners supplied everything needed to enable it to run cost-free; they include Network Rail, High Speed 1, Globalforce, Stewart Signs and Eversholt.

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