5,000 poppies knitted in villages ahead of War Memorial centenaries
- Credit: Angela Brown
Two communities have come together to make 5,000 Remembrance poppies for their war memorial centenaries ahead of Remembrance Day on November 11.
During lockdown, crafters from Waterbeach and Landbeach quietly knitted and crocheted the poppies for the centenary commemorations which are being linked to this year’s Royal British Legion’s 2021 centenary.
The parish church, site of the Waterbeach memorial, will be host to the poppy-festooned camoflaugue-netting panels that were made by older members of the two communities.
The poppies were donated by Waterbeach WI, Waterbeach Wives, and Landbeach Knit and Natter circle.
Many were knitting in their own memories and reflections; WI member Sue knitted one poppy for each name on the Waterbeach memorial, and added a note about an uncle.
Two modern-day, triangular panels will also feature, with substantial contributions from Waterbeach Primary School who made 80 poppies out of red rip-stop fabric.
A spokesperson said: “Lockdown's proved that knitting and crochet is for everyone.
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“A Cambridge vet made purple poppies to commemorate animals lost.
“Lawyer Jane Oakes rested while crocheting: it was downtime from resourcing food-banks, some based at churches hugely supportive of this cross-community history project.”
The spokesperson added: “Ann Job, sister of a Waterbeach Royal British Legion member, sent over 500 poppies from Doncaster.
“RBL supporters from near Ullapool, in Scotland, sent an anonymous batch. Margaretha, near Lands End, Cornwall, crocheted poppies with leaves.”
Back in Cambridgeshire, local church members began to attach tokens to desert camouflage-netting, anonymously donated by a Midlands business initially challenged by Covid-19.
Their generosity has made interior installations possible.
Behind the positivity of the poppies, minds reflected on how the Spanish Flu pandemic wrecked heartbreak and losses, as the First World War did.
“We would have known them: the village was so small,” said one Waterbeach parish councillor.
A spokesperson added: “The Remembrance Service on November 14 at each church is for now, as well as history.”
Next year, the panels travel to its sister church of All Saints’, Landbeach.