Retail sales of seed of Mr Fothergill’s Poppy Victoria Cross this spring (January to June 2014) have netted more than ?24,000 for the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the home of the Chelsea Pensioners, in the centenary year of the outbreak of the First World War.? The Suffolk seedsman has also announced it will continue to support the organisation for at least another four years – until the centenary of the end of hostilities in 2018.? Mr Fothergill’s pledges 25p to the Royal Hospital’s charity from every packet of 250 seeds priced at ?1.85 it sells via its retail stockists during 2014.

Presenting a cheque for ?24,462.50 in the Hospital’s allotments to Chelsea Pensioner William ‘Paddy’ Fox,?Mr Fothergill’s Seeds joint-managing director David Carey,?said “Sales of Poppy Victoria Cross have been phenomenal this spring, making it our biggest selling variety.? It just shows the huge support there is for our former armed service personnel among Britain’s millions of gardeners”.

He was accompanied by national field sales manager?Richard Keegan and leading territory managers Larry White, Stuart Clements and Sylvia Thomas, who received a personal tour of the Royal Hospital as thanks for the special efforts they have made in promoting the joint venture.

Royal?Hospital Chelsea fundraising manager Kate Marsh said: ?On behalf of the Chelsea Pensioners, I would like to say how delighted we are to receive this incredibly generous donation from the sales of Mr Fothergill?s Poppy Victoria Cross seed.?? The funds raised will help us to provide the very best care and service to the Chelsea Pensioners, many of whom are taking part in First World War remembrance services across the country this year.

?Our sincere thanks to Mr Fothergill?s for their support and we hope more people are inspired to grow their beautiful Victoria Cross poppies.?

The Royal Hospital Chelsea was established in 1682 by Charles II to provide a safe home for military veterans ‘broken by age or war’, the Christopher Wren-designed Royal Hospital admitted its first pensioners in 1692.? The scarlet tunics and black tricornes of its residents and the Royal Horticultural Society’s Flower Show held in the Royal Hospital grounds every May are equally well known and respected around the world.

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