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Published: October 31st 2018
Since 2014 there have been plans to commemorate the start and end of the First World War. Early in 2014 the ceramic poppies were displayed at the Tower of London , Since then they have been moved around the country from venue to venue . From Hereford to Kirkwall, from Stoke on Trent to Derby and beyond. Now they have been dismantled and have ended at their final resting place.
They produced a germ of an idea for other people who wanted to emulate the idea in their own towns and cities . Those towns and cities who were not able to host the ceramic poppies found their own way of commemorating the end of hostilities.
The germ of the idea was born and grew and was taken on board fully by an appreciative public.
Townswomens guilds knitted, local knit and natter sessions were set up and thousands of poppies were produced. The Womens Institute turned to crochet and craftwork to produce beautiful blood red poppies. Thousands were donated to help produce displays in barracks and jobcentres.
The British Legion produced badges each year with important dates marked on
them 1914 on the top of the first , 2014 on the bottom. The following year the top was changed to 1915 and the bottom to 2015. In 2016 the Battle of the Somme was commemorated with special badges. In 2017 the number was printed on the top and 2107 around the bottom edge, This year the last one shows 1918 on the top and 2018 around the lower rim.
And then in earnest the commemorations started to gain momentum in early 2018 . 100 years since the end of hostilities. It was a poignant point in history and one not to be forgotten. It feels as if everyone has taken the centenary on board in some way or other .
Towns around the country planned to put up displays. Knitters, crafters and crocheters were encouraged to produce poppies for displays. Red wool went out of stock as knitters bought up the balls. Black wool was purchased for the middles and button boxes raided for black buttons. Wreaths were designed using polystyrene. No idea was dismissed and the homemade displays were reminiscent of the soldiers who fought in the war.
different shapes and sizes, all different shades of red from pillar box red to crimson, from poppy red to poppies with black edges. The different poppies made each display a unique work of art.
Town halls wanted to place poppies weeping from their balconies, churches displayed the red knitted poppies inside the churches and falling dramatically from their windows. Councils purchased the black models of a tommy to place at various points around their villages. Flags flew commemorated the struggle. A local school placed poppies on a wooden board and added a metal work sculpture of a first world war soldier. Everywhere you look , in shop windows, outside shops are displays of the blood red poppies.
The words 100 are printed everywhere . Plastic red poppies have appeared on lampposts. Some towns such as Ashbourne have attached the name of a dead soldier beneath the poppies. Cromford has displayed a cascade in its main square.
Chesterfield is no exception.
Shops displays are all surrounded by knitted poppies. By Armistice Day the whole of our country will be a sea of red . I feel proud that I
have knitted many of them and they join others making up cascades and garlands. A thankyou to those who gave their lives for us.
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