AN ICONIC Dorset museum has hosted the launch of this year’s Poppy Appeal.

The Tank Museum hosted the Royal British Legion’s Dorset Poppy Appeal launch on Thursday.

This year is the centenary year for the Poppy Appeal, which started after the end of the First World War.

The British Army brought several vehicles, including a Challenger 2 tank, which was on display alongside the museum’s First World War Mark IV replica tank.

Lord Lieutenant Angus Campbell - the Queen’s representative for Dorset - was in attendance, with the Bovington Camp Garrison Commander Colonel Johnny Brooking.

Museum director Richard Smith said: “We feel very proud to host Dorset’s Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal launch.

“The work of the RBL provides lifelong support to serving and ex-serving personnel and their families.

“It is fantastic to be a part of this cause and to see current members and veterans of the British armed forces and Commonwealth at the museum to support the event”.

The RBL uses money raised through the poppy appeal to offer support to the armed forces community.

This October half-term, museum visitors can see a towering remembrance poppy sculpture, constructed by the Dorset Royal British Legion.

Every weekday at 1pm over the school holidays, they can also see a rally car display by veterans’ charity Future Terrain.

The arena display will include a question and answer session with the former soldiers, and visitors can meet the crews. Future Terrain helps veterans get back into work with motorsports and engineering training.

Last year Bournemouth town centre hosted the Poppy Appeal launch. Of major significance, the event marked one hundred years since the end of the First World War.

The medals of military personnel from the Bovington Camp gleamed in the autumnal sunshine as proceedings got underway, with the sound of bagpipes ringing through the Square to mark the occasion. County standard-bearers were present with flags and a variety of military vehicles were on display.

The county’s first poppy was presented to then Bournemouth mayor Cllr Derek Borthwick by local schoolchildren, and crowds gathered to watch other entertainment to mark the launch.