Nine decades of Poppy Appeals

Longstanding Poppy Appeal collector Lady Milverton passes away

Lady Milverton
Lady Milverton

Eighty-nine unbroken years of voluntary fundraising came to an end last week with the death of Noelle Benda Whitehead, Lady Milverton, at 105.

She had collected for the Royal British Legion's annual Poppy Appeal every year since it first began in November 1921, when she was 16.

Much of her fundraising was done in far corners of the British Empire when her husband was, successively, governor of North Borneo, Gambia, Fiji, Jamaica and Nigeria. He was created Baron Milverton of Lagos and of Clifton in the City of Bristol, and died in 1978.

Peter Hearn, a Poppy Appeal organiser in Devon, said: "She collected for the appeal last year and, as usual, her effort yielded the biggest 'tin' returned."

A legion news release added: "One family friend recalls that, at the age of 94, she was still driving her own car and doing the rounds between three boyfriends, the youngest of them 65 years old - 29 years her junior."


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