BICESTER’S newest Poppy Appeal coordinator David Crabbe wants to make the 95th year since the end of the First World War the most profitable yet when it comes to fundraising for the Royal British Legion (RBL).

But he urgently needs new ‘conscripts’ to help him.

One of the county’s most generous areas in terms of donations, the garrison town of Bicester routinely contributes £30,000 to Oxfordshire’s half a million pound Poppy Appeal total. But the RBL says it urgently needs more appeal collectors and distributors for the town if it is to reach that target in 2013.

Last year, former Royal Ordnance Corps Corporal, Brian Leach, 45, stepped into the breach to fill the role of Bicester Poppy Coordinator, but Mr Leach says he does not feel he can take on the role again through health reasons.

Mr Crabbe, 66, who has been branch secretary for Bicester RBL for the past year, will now have responsibility for the town’s 60 volunteer collectors. He said: “We desperately need more people to help us distribute the poppies and sell them, and without more bodies, it could all fall down.”

Last year’s Bicester collection has raised nearly £28,000.

Anyone who wants to help should contact Laura Laffan, Community Fundraiser for Bucks/Oxon on 07917267737 or email