Bristol

Bristol poppy seller Olive Cooke to get Lord Mayor's Medal

Olive Cooke selling poppies in 2014
Image caption Olive Cooke joined the Royal British Legion aged 16 and has sold poppies every year since

A woman who has sold poppies every November for 76 years is to be presented with the Bristol Lord Mayor's Medal to thank her for her service.

Olive Cooke, 92, joined the Royal British Legion when she was 16 and still sells poppies from the cathedral ahead of every remembrance week.

Mrs Cooke, of Fishponds, will receive the honour from Bristol's Lord Mayor, Councillor Alistair Watson.

She is thought to be one of the UK's longest-serving poppy sellers.

The Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayoress, Sarah Watson, have invited Mrs Cooke for afternoon tea at the Mansion House where she will be presented with her medal.

Image copyright Olive Cooke
Image caption Olive Cooke married Leslie Hussey-Yeo when she was 18

The honour recognises people in Bristol whose voluntary and community work or charitable acts serve the city.

Mrs Cooke has already received a Points of Light award from the prime minister and a Gold Star award from the Bristol Post in recognition of her tireless efforts.

She was originally inspired by her father who helped to set up the Bedminster branch of the Royal British Legion.

Her first husband Leslie Hussey-Yeo was a sailor in the Royal Navy who had just returned from two-and-a-half years in Hong Kong when they met.

He was planning to leave the service and settle down but the outbreak of World War Two meant he had to continue serving on the submarines.

Mrs Cooke became a war widow at the age of 21 when he was killed during the Sicily invasion in March 1943.

His death led Mrs Cooke to fully commit herself to the Royal British Legion.

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