A TRAIN passing through Carmarthenshire helped to carry more than 200 poppy wreaths to London ahead of the Armistice Day and Remembrance Day services.

Five Great Western Railway ‘poppy’ trains were filled with wreaths and travelled to the UK capital o Friday, November 10 ahead of the service at Paddington’s war memorial.

The trains started from Carmarthen, Taunton, Worcester Shrub Hill, Plymouth and Great Malvern.

Alongside the trains, there was a Merlin Mk2 helicopter deployed by the Royal Navy Air Station Culdrose on Monday to carry poppy wreaths from its base in Plymouth in partnership with The Veterans Charity and Go South West provided its poppy bus to collect wreaths from stations across the regions and take them to Plymouth. This was vital as engineering works meant that the line that would have run from Cornwall was closed, so the wreaths from the region were still able to be placed.

GWR is also remembering 70 years since the end of the Korean War with the Poppies to Paddington operation.

South Wales Guardian: The wreaths were laid at the memorial at London PaddingtonThe wreaths were laid at the memorial at London Paddington (Image: GWR)

The wreaths were laid at the war memorial in Paddington for the service which remembered the 81,000 members of the Armed Forces who took part in the Korean War, paying special note to those from the Gloucester Regiment and the Royal Fusiliers, who were involved in some of the heaviest battles.

Amanda Burns, GWR sales and marketing director, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to RNAS Culdrose and Go South West for supporting our fourth Poppies to Paddington operation and ensuring poppy wreaths from Cornwall could be placed by the war memorial at Paddington.

“Poppies to Paddington was conceived in 2020 to ensure communities within the GWR network could honour our fallen heroes despite the restrictions in place around covid-19, and this kind-hearted gesture by RNAS Culdrose and Go South West sums up the very spirit of the occasion.”

Danny Greeno, CEO of The Veterans Charity, said: “We are very proud to have wonderful support from GWR for its Remembrance initiative, which is now in its fourth year. Poppies to Paddington was once again hugely poignant, paying respects to the fallen. Thanks to great support from the military and railway communities, wreaths were able to complete their journey from across the south-west to Paddington to form the backdrop to the annual Remembrance service on platform 1.

“Bringing communities, service personnel and veterans together to remember in this special way is so important to ensure the sacrifices of the fallen are never forgotten. Our sincere thanks to everyone who is helping to make this happen, especially to GWR and RNAS Culdrose.”

Train companies are allowing free travel by train to events of remembrance for military personnel and veterans on Saturday, November 11 and Sunday, November 12. Rail Delivery Group – who represents train companies – said the offer is open to serving military personnel in uniform or who can show a current Ministry of Defence-issued identity card. Veterans can show a veterans railcard, veterans oyster card or other proof of service such as a Ministry of Defence-issued veterans ID card.