THIS year's Poppy Appeal collection started with a proper knee's-up in Bournemouth Square on Saturday.

Vera Lynn's 'We'll Meet Again' rang out, as part of the event marking day one of the Royal British Legion's (RBL) annual fundraising drive.

Civic dignitaries, veterans and members of the RBL attended - there was even a Zumba class set to classic World War Two tunes.

Cllr Anne Rey, who works as poppy appeal organiser for Bournemouth, hopes town residents and visitors will dig deep in 2016. Last year an impressive £26,500 was raised locally.

Town centre collections are only allowed for a week from November 5.

Poole resident Richard Peterson, who purchased a poppy in Bournemouth Square on Saturday, said: "I think it is important to never forget the sacrifices men and women in the armed forces, and people connected to the armed forces, have made, and continue to make for our country and democracy in general.

"There's a lot of conflict going on in the world right now, it is good to be able to take time to reflect.

"The Royal British Legion does a great job for a lot of veterans and their families."

The Poppy Appeal was officially launched, last week, on the steps of Bournemouth Town Hall.

Dorset Police recently unveiled a patrol car adorned in poppies in a bid to raise awareness of the poppy appeal.

It will be used in Poole in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday on November 13 and was first seen in public at the launch of Ferndown’s poppy appeal last Saturday.

This year the RBL is urging people to “rethink remembrance” and consider all generations who have been involved in armed combat.

Money raised is used in a variety of ways to support those serving in the armed forces, veterans and their families. The RBL provides crisis grants, advice on benefits and money problems and research into dealing with injuries, both physical and psychological.