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Gravesend Poppy Day champion Andy (Andrea) Armitage mourned

PUBLISHED: 16:19 12 January 2012

Andy (Andrea) Armitage

Andy (Andrea) Armitage

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»Tributes have flooded in after an unsung community hero died just weeks after helping to co-ordinate the borough's record-breaking Poppy Appeal which raised more than £42,000.

Andy (Andrea) Armitage, 60, of Hardy Avenue, Northfleet, died peacefully and suddenly in her sleep on December 29 and now a funeral supported by Royal British Legion standard bearers is planned.

Members of the Royal British Legion Riders Branch are expected to escort the hearse to Medway Crematorium.

The mother-of-two was a staunch supporter of the legion, a member of the riders branch and a founder member of the recently formed Gravesham and Ebbsfleet RBL branch, where she was treasurer.

Her husband Ian “Yorky” Armitage, who served in the Royal Tank Regiment from 1960 to 1966, organised this year’s Poppy Appeal for the first time with his wife. He said: “She was one of those few people in life who in the scheme of things always put herself last. Family, friends, neighbours, even total strangers came first.

“She was the driving force behind the Poppy Appeal and instrumental in launching a new legion branch.

“She gave 100 per cent, fed and watered me, clothed me and was there every minute of the way with the appeal. She was such a genuine person.”

During Christmas she prepared a massive festive meal for 60 members of the riders branch and had hoped to visit Headley Court later this year to meet wounded ex-servicemen.

She also recently visited Wootton Bassett, where up until this year the repatriation of servicemen took place.

Dave Muckle, who wrote on the legion website forum, said: “Totally shocked at the news on Andy – she was a lovely lady, a dam fine cook and along with Yorky the epitomy of service not self.”

Donations

Before becoming involved in the Legion she worked as a florist and taxi driver, also working the desks for several taxi firms in Gravesend.

Doctors say Andy suffered a heart attack. She leaves behind two children, eight grandchildren and a great-grandchild due to be born in the summer.

The funeral is to leave 32 Hardy Avenue, Northfleet, at 12.50pm on Tuesday, January 24, for a 1.20pm service at Medway Crematorium. Flowers are welcome or a donation made payable to the Royal British Legion Greenhithe.

The family will be returning to the Battle of Britain pub, Coldharbour Road, Northfleet, after the service.

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