Volunteers have made a successful start to their mission to raise thousands of pounds for the Poppy Appeal.

The Earls Colne and White Colne Poppy Appeal group arranged a trip to the battlefields of Passchendaele in order to begin fundraising for the annual appeal.

As many as 53 day-trippers took part in the tour which saw them travel through northern France and into Belgium, where they then stopped off at the official Passchendaele museum, the largest war graves cemetery in the world at Tyne Cot cemetery, the town of Ypres and finally the Menin Gate Memorial, which lists 54,395 Commonwealth soldiers that were never found.

It is understood nearly £700 was raised from the trip and will go towards this year’s appeal. Ian Allman, who helped arrange the trip, said: “It was a long but very enjoyable day.

“I would like to thank Andrew Crane who sorted out the coach, sold most of the tickets and organised pick up points.

“Also thanks to Andrew Gill who came up with the initial itinerary leaving me to just make the final contacts and prepare the programme for the day.

“All the profit from this trip will go towards the 2018 Earls Colne and White Colne Poppy Appeal.

“Last year we raised £6,685.72 and this being the centennial year of the end of the Great War we are hoping to raise a record sum in excess of £7,000.”

For more information about the 2018 Poppy Appeal, visit bit.ly/2L3V49C.