The Royal British Legion (RBL) joined with members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community to launch East Surrey's Poppy Appeal on Friday (October 25).

Representatives from the UK's Armed Forces charity joined with Chelsea Pensioners and community leaders at the Baitul Futuh Mosque AKA the Morden Mosque in Morden for the event, which launched 2019's Poppy Appeal in East Surrey.

The RBL said that they believed it was the first time ever that a county Poppy Appeal had been launched from a mosque.

Surrey Comet: Image: Naseem HayatImage: Naseem Hayat

The Poppy Appeal is an annual fundraiser for the RBL that commemorates military personnel who died in war by selling poppies for supporters to wear.

On Friday evening, speeches were given by President of RBL, East Surrey, Deputy Lord Lieutenant Brigadier Paul Evans OBE, and Rafi Ahmad Bhatti, the vice chairman of Charity Walk for Peace.

"We at the Royal British Legion do not underestimate the significance of this evening.

"We understand that we are making history as this, we believe, is the first time that a County Poppy Appeal has been launched in a Mosque complex and the first time that the Last Post has been played here. That said, I know that you have been a huge supporter of Surrey RBL over many years," Deputy Lord Evans said during his address.

Surrey Comet: Image: Naseem HayatImage: Naseem Hayat

The Easy Surrey president also referenced the fundraising efforts for RBL undertaken by the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, who say they have raised over £850,000 for RBL in total, including a massive £500,000 in 2018 alone.

"It is a truly impressive achievement and we in the Royal British Legion are very proud of our association with you and the contribution you have made.

"I know that I can speak for the Royal British Legion in saying, thank you to all those who collected and donated to what is a critically important military charity," Deputy Lord Evans said.

Surrey Comet: Image: Image: Naseem HayatImage: Image: Naseem Hayat

Mr Bhatti meanwhile described the occasion as "wonderful" and "poignant" in his remarks to the packed conference room.

"The Poppy Appeal is a poignant way for us to remember the courage and sacrifice of our Armed Forces and support those still serving today.

"It's wonderful to join thousands of people across the country to help our brave servicemen and women, veterans and their loved ones.

"I hope this year's appeal will continue the proud tradition of our whole nation coming together to support our troops," he said.