SCHOOLCHILDREN in Middleton St George have been learning about the meaning of Poppy Day.

On Tuesday, Major Bob Jones accompanied the Mayor of Darlington, Coun Doris Jones, to a special assembly at the village primary school.

Maj Jones, 73, who served in the Army for 42 years, told the children how the poppy became the symbol of Remembrance Day and spoke of the importance of helping ex-servicemen and their families by giving to the Poppy Appeal.

After assembly, the mayor handed a poppy to every pupils.

Originally from Wales, Maj Jones has lived in his late wife's hometown of Darlington for 26 years. He served in Borneo, Cyprus, Egypt, Germany and Suez.

His proudest moment was attending the Investiture of Prince Charles at Caernarvon Castle on July 1, 1969, when he was Regimental Sergeant Major and took part in the procession through the castle.

Now, as an active member of the Royal British Legion, he is proud to keep alive the memory of fallen comrades.

"We have to remember that people gave their lives for our freedom. We must keep on supporting the widows and orphans and the ex-servicemen who are so badly hurt and injured as a result of war."