- Only two in five will observe a two-minute silence in memory of the servicemen
Only half of British adults will wear a poppy to commemorate Remembrance Day, with Baby Boomers more than twice as likely to display one than Generation Z, an Ipsos poll has revealed.
And only two in five will observe a two-minute silence in memory of servicemen who lost their lives in the war.
It comes despite 80 per cent of the country agreeing that it is important to pay respect and mark the occasion – rising to 90 per cent among the older generation.
MPs today urged Britons – and police officers – to wear poppies ‘with pride’ and in ‘solidarity’ with Royal British Legion volunteers amid intimidation, threats of violence and verbal abuse.
The ongoing threat from pro-Palestine rallies across the UK has seen some Royal British Legion volunteers left too ‘scared’ to go out and raise money before November 11.
The poll revealed only a third of Generation Z and Millenials are very likely to wear a red poppy this year.
This rises to 54 per cent among Generation X and up to 72 per cent among Baby Boomers.
Four per cent of the country will wear a white poppy, the Ipsos poll says, while 10 per cent will attend a Remembrance service and 20 per cent will make a donation to a veterans’ organisation or charity.
And in shock figures less than half knew the historical significance of Remembrance Day being linked to the First World War – with two per cent thinking it commemorated the English Civil War in the 17th century.
Just one in 10 did not think it is important for schools to teach their students about the World Wars – with 88 per cent thinking it was cruicial for youngsters to know about the 1939-1945 conflict and 86 per cent saying they should learn about the Great War.
Tory MP Michael Fabricant told MailOnline that he had spoken to people who are now ‘nervous’ about wearing a poppy.
He said: ‘I have been wearing my poppy with pride. Police and the general public should all wear poppies as in previous years to show solidarity with the normal, decent people in the UK.
‘I noticed how relatively few people are wearing poppies this year. On asking, one told me he couldn’t find a poppy seller while another said he was nervous being seen in London with one due to the demonstrations’.
Conservative MP Bob Seely told MailOnline: ‘I think millions of people up and down the country will be frankly, dismayed and appalled that a hard left rent a-mob seem to be intimidating Poppy sellers, many of whom are veterans doing their bit and taking a really important and valuable role in reminding us of the importance of Remembrance Sunday and the Remembrance weekend’.
Poppy sellers have ‘disappeared’ from Britain’s busiest rail stations after a volunteer veteran was ‘punched and kicked’ at a pro-Palestine rally while he was trying to fundraise.
Volunteers will not be returning to Liverpool Street Station in London, staff confirmed, after 500 protesters staged a sit-in at the busy train hub.
Workers at Victoria and Euston stations said no sellers had turned up since Monday, while a giant poppy at the entrance to King’s Cross station is also said to have been taken down.
Just three volunteers remained at St Pancras station but one wore a bodycam, with the unnamed charity worker telling the Sun: ‘This is just part of our uniform now.’
It comes just days after Jim Henderson, a 78-year-old poppy seller who served in the Army in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, was alleged to have been kicked and punched while manning a stand at Edinburgh Waverly Station.
Footage showed the volunteer in a distinctive red beret trying to escape as 1,200 demonstrators descended on the station protesting against Israel’s attacks on Gaza.
Mr Henderson told the Mail: ‘I was getting shoved backwards, in danger of falling, and one of them stood on my foot and split my toe,’ adding ‘I got another punch in my side’.
In a separate incident over the weekend, three volunteers at a poppy stand at Charing Cross Station in London were surrounded by a gang of protesters. Photos show the brave volunteers continuing to sit at their stall with a look of dismay as the demonstrators chanted around them.
And a volunteer selling poppies in a Northern Ireland Tesco supermarket was filmed being verbally abused by a woman who asked repeatedly who gave her permission to sell ‘badges for murderers’. One veteran in Scotland claimed he was beaten up.
Despite the chaos seen on Saturday, sellers returned to Charing Cross and Waterloo Station, which has also been a spot for the pro-Palestine rallies.
The marches, on the whole, have been peaceful with only a small majority causing violence.
Commuters expressed their upset at the poppy sellers’ retreat from their regular spots in stations.
Adam Hill, 54, from Lincoln, who was travelling through King’s Cross, told the Sun yesterday: ‘I would have loved to buy a poppy here today. They used to be here for three weeks, but since Monday they have disappeared. It would be awful if they felt scared.’
Another commuter Laura Evans, 41, said: ‘It’s disgusting that it’s come to this. Unfortunately that’s the world we live in and there’s not enough police to protect everybody.’
A security worker added: ‘I’m not surprised. There’s been a tense atmosphere. They’ve decided to put safety first.’
The Prime Minister has said he is ‘appalled’ by the ‘intimidation and abuse’ some volunteers have experienced.
Rishi Sunak said police have his ‘full support to take action against this deplorable behaviour’ before thanking the ‘brave Armed Forces’ for their work.