As the world struggled to come to grips with the devastation of World War 1, the poppy flowers that grew amongst the graves of fallen soldiers became a symbol of the sacrifices that were made and a reminder that new life goes on.
Those poppy flowers were immortalised in a poem called ‘In Flanders Fields’ and sparked the idea of selling handmade poppy flowers as a way to raise funds for wounded ex-soldiers.
Over 100 years later, the selling of poppies is still honoured tradition in the lead up to Remembrance Day, and an 85-year-old man from England has employed an eye-catching strategy to raise funds.
Eddie Wadsworth used discarded cardboard boxes and a hand-painted wooden frame to transform his mobility scooter into a replica army tank that comes equipped with a pretend gun turret and cardboard rockets.
The grandfather of two drives the military-themed motorised scooter around his hometown of Swadlincote collecting funds for the Royal British Legion.
Eddie’s father, John, was killed in Italy during the Battle Of Anzio during World War 2 when Eddie was a child, and the Royal British Legion was helped to look after children like Eddie and many others who lost parents in the war.
In an interview with the BBC, Eddie expressed that he felt as though volunteering for the charity was a way of giving back.
“The British Legion really looked after children who lost their parents, so, you know, in a way, I’m repaying them for what they did for us.”
Eddie’s tank can be broken down into small pieces and reassembled quickly, which is why Eddie has dubbed it ‘The Ikea Tank,’ the cardboard pieces elements of the tank have also been coated with clear plastic contact paper to protect from the rain.
The public reaction to Eddie’s tank has been nothing short of incredible and Eddie has been pleasantly surprised by the number of young people who have purchased poppies and gotten involved.
“I’m really thrilled to bits that it’s gone down so well, especially with the young ones.”
“I thought that the young ones would not be interested, but they are.”
Eddie built the tank portion of his scooter in his flat and is now on the lookout for a new idea that will inspire him to create something else because he likes to stay busy.
The selfless nature of Eddie’s action are the perfect tribute to those who have fought all over the globe for freedoms that many of us take for granted, so please take a moment today to pay your respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Photo credit -iStock – Digcanon – Photo does not depict persons/themes from within the body of the story.