SIR - I am the Chairman of Skipton Royal British Legion and was the Skipton parade marshal on Remembrance Day however my following comments are strictly my own:

I refer to the several letters written regarding the theft of Ms Olivia Agate’s white poppy wreath from the town Cenotaph on the night on 10th/11th November.

Although I do not wear a white poppy as I believe that the red poppy encompasses all that the white poppy stands for in addition to remembering the fallen, I fully respect the right of anyone to wear the white poppy and to lay a white poppy wreath.

I do however believe that the correct protocols should be observed regarding the laying of wreaths at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day whether they be red, white or purple poppies.

There can be no justification for laying any wreath “the night before” Remembrance Day at he Cenotaph whatever its colour.

I think it is most inappropriate, possibly insulting to lay one’s wreath at the Cenotaph and expect it to be standing in isolation and “glaring” at the assembled armed forces, dignitaries and public audience prior to the Act of Remembrance and the correct procedural laying of wreaths that follow.

I do not know whether Ms Agate laid her wreath the night before Remembrance Day to make a point or that she was afraid to do so on the day but she would have had ample opportunity to do so at the formal wreath laying after the Act of Remembrance. Indeed, she could have proudly done so in front of the very large audience. I would therefore suggest that if Ms Agate wishes to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph next year, she does it in line with protocol.

This in no way condones the act of the wreath’s theft, that was wrong:

The perpetrator should have left it for the authorities to arrange for its laying at the appropriate time prior to the Act of Remembrance, or if they felt that strongly about the issue possibly removed it to the town hall but that’s not for me to say.

As an aside I would like to thank all those who helped make the 100th Anniversary Remembrance Day and Poppy Appeal such a great success.

Keith Wright

Chairman, Skipton Branch RBL