A VETERAN has been chosen as one of the faces of this year’s Poppy Appeal as the Royal British Legion battles to raise funds against the backdrop of coronavirus.

The charity has launched a series of portraits of people connected to the armed forces with details of how Covid-19 has impacted them.

Second World War veteran Seymour Taylor, better known as Bill, has been chosen to take part.

The 95-year-old from Colchester served as an Able Seaman in the Royal Navy and was on board the HMS Emerald during the D-Day landings, a light cruiser that shelled enemy positions threatening the invasion beaches.

This year, Bill has spent much of his time at home with his daughter Janet, who has been shielding during the pandemic.

“This year has been very tough having been unable to go out, meet with friends and mark significant anniversaries,” Mr Taylor said.

“However, I admire those who have been on the frontline dealing with this terrible virus day to day.

“They have shown the same sense of duty that my generation did during the Second World War.

“They are the ones now protecting our society.

“So although I won’t be able to march up to the local memorial this year to remember those we have lost, I will proudly observe the silence on my doorstep and wear my poppy, as I do every year, with pride.”

The public has been asked to find new ways to support the appeal this year with a number of regular collectors shielding and those on the ground having to adhere to social distancing rules.

The legion’s director of fundraising Claire Rowcliffe said: “Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic undoubtedly makes running the appeal more difficult, the additional hardships it has brought about means our work is now more vital than ever.

“The pandemic has had a devastating impact on people’s livelihoods and way of life, leaving some in the armed forces community in dire need of urgent help and support.”

She added: “Every poppy makes a difference to the lives of our armed forces community.”