20th Nov, 2018

Poppy project brings people together from across the globe

A GIANT display of handmade poppies in Warwick is spreading the message of remembrance far and wide.

St Mary’s Church launched the Warwick Poppies 2018 project over a year ago to mark the centenary and to pay tribute to those who fell in the First World War.

The project originally aimed to gather 11,610 poppies – the number of men in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment who lost their lives.

But to date, almost 62,500 poppies have been crafted, crocheted and felted by volunteers from across the globe.

Giant poppy walls have been erected, with others covering pillars, spilling onto the floor and strung across alters.

And a life-size bell has been created from the poppies including the names of the Warwickshire Guild of Church Bell Ringers who gave their lives.

Some of the poppies are purple to represent animals caught up in human conflict.

Organiser Helen Fitzpatrick said the poppies were still pouring in from those touched by the project’s message. Some of the donations were accompanied by ‘very poignant stories’.

She added: “They are still arriving most days and everything that is donated is displayed. As far as we are aware, we have the biggest display of handmade poppies in the country.

“Visitors are arriving in their thousands and are making hugely positive comments. Quite a few have been moved to tears.

“Our message has travelled far and wide, resulting in visitors traveling into Warwick from all over the country. On Saturday we had over 2,000 visitors.

“The famous Beauchamp Chapel currently holds hundreds of poppies made by children and young people. It is really great to have this focal point for children and somewhere that is very special.”

The organisers also arranged ‘poppy swaps’ with Warwick namesakes in New York and Queensland, Australia which included an exchange of messages.

A commemorative booklet has been created filled with images of the vibrant displays and the project organisers were honoured to receive a personal message from the Queen.

Visitors can see the display until December 9, between 10am and 4pm. Times may vary during church events.

Donations will be shared between the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and St Mary’s Church.

Visit www.warwickpoppies.org.uk for more details.

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