Stagecoach Merseyside, Cheshire and South Lancashire has commemorated the brave men and women who contributed to the war effort with its redesigned poppy bus for Remembrance Sunday.
The striking commemorative vehicle features two photographs of real war heroes who contributed to Britain’s victory in World War II, and highlights the male and female efforts at home and on the front throughout the World Wars.
The images were both chosen from the Imperial War Museum’s archive photo collection. Created by graphic designer, Chris Sankey, the bus design and photographs used are intended to celebrate and honour the sacrifices and bravery shown by ordinary people during war time.
The first image depicts soldiers in the trenches at The Battle of Crete, 1941 – the scene of the largest German airborne operation of World War II. The battle was the first time the Allies had advance notice of a major German offensive due to intercepted Enigma transmissions. The Battle of Crete is also famous due to the remarkable bravery shown by the Cretan civilian resistance.
The second photograph being showcased on the Remembrance Bus features Mrs Irene Stacey from Bristol at her workbench in a UK factory. The image signifies the vital home effort led by British women who supported the front line by taking jobs in transport, engineering, mills and factories to keep the country moving throughout the war.
Stagecoach’s striking remembrance bus has been an annual feature since 2017, when the company announced its partnership with The Royal British Legion.
Rob Jones, managing director at Stagecoach MCSL said: “We are incredibly proud to be marking Remembrance Sunday and honouring the brave men and women who served at home and abroad to defend the freedoms of Britain and our allies.
“Our new bus design is a tribute of recognition and appreciation for the unparalleled sacrifices made by the men fighting on the front line and the women leading the support effort back in the UK.
“Many of our team across the region have joined us from careers in the forces and our partnership with The Royal British Legion is incredibly important to us. Their work in supporting and caring for our veterans and Serving personnel is unparalleled, and it is only right that we support them in this important endeavour.”
Bus designer, Chris Sankey, said: ““The poppy is such an iconic and beautiful symbol of remembrance, but this year we wanted to add a more human element to the bus design. This year, we decided to display some historic images of real people from WW2 alongside the poppy, to highlight the reality of life for both men and the women during the war.
“When you look at the faces on the bus, you see somebody’s daughter, somebody’s son. They were ordinary people, but the sacrifice they gave was extraordinary and has allowed us to live in the world we call home today. We’re really pleased with the final result and we hope it will give people cause to pause and consider the incredible impact that these men and women have had on our lives and those of the generations to come.”
In 2015, Stagecoach Group signed the Ministry of Defence’s Armed Forces Corporate Covenant in support of the Armed Forces Community. As a signatory of the Covenant, the company recognises the value serving personnel; regular and reservists, veterans and military families contribute to both the country and businesses across the country.
In the same year, the company was awarded the silver award through the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS). The scheme encourages employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same.
The scheme encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.