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Calls for plaque at site of Remembrance 'poppy factory'

Southwark's deputy mayor and Labour prospective parliamentary candidate Neil Coyle is leading calls for a plaque to commemorate the site of the factory where paper poppies to raise funds for servicemen wounded in the First World War were first made.

In 1922 the Disabled Society established the first factory making paper poppies with funding from the British Legion.

The factory was on the corner of the Old Kent Road and St James's Road in Bermondsey and employed injured servicemen. Poppies were designed to be made with the use of just one arm.

After three years the factory moved to Richmond-upon-Thames where it remains to this day.

Cllr Neil Coyle said: "Bermondsey helped build the UK contribution to remembering our fallen heroes, injured veterans and our current forces.

"A plaque recognising this unique contribution on the site in this centenary year would only be fitting."

The campaign is being backed by local councillors, tenants and residents' groups, the Friends of Southwark Park and members of Southwark Civic Association.

Campaigners aim to have a plaque for the site before the anniversary of Armistice Day and will be approaching local people and businesses for support.

The site of the factory was the subject of controversial plans for a 'bail hostel' which were dropped by Southwark Council last year.

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