Memorial and church wreathed in a blaze of red for Armistice centenary
- Credit: Archant
Thousands of handcrafted poppies have decorated the church and war memorial of a Norfolk town in a poignant tribute to the men and women who paid the ultimate price in the First World War.
Up to 6,000 poppies have been knitted, sewn and crocheted by people around Fakenham over the past months for the project in the lead up to Remembrance Sunday.
Linda Jennings, the town clerk, said the hard work put into the project by so many had paid off.
She said: “Some months ago I got together with Fakenham Parish Church and suggested the idea. People from all around the town have done them, some have brought in just the odd few, and others have brought in bag-loads. There were even some holidaymakers who donated some as well. Then [deputy town clerk Ann Kerrison] and I took them home and sewed them onto strings for the war memorial.”
Mrs Jennings said she was impressed with the result. She said: “It’s a vision I’ve had for months and I think it’s fabulous. The colour just hits you and I think the poppies that people have done are phenomenal.
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“Hopefully the younger as well as the older people appreciate it.”
The memorial has also been decorated with a Tommy silhouette from the There But Not There project and a has a field where people can put their own crosses with poppies.
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John Boisson, chairman of the Norfolk Royal British Legion (RBL), called it a “fantastic initiative”.
Mr Boisson said: “The poppy is a powerful symbol of remembrance, but also its a symbol of hope. Hope for the future that generations don’t have to suffer the consequences of war and mistakes aren’t made that lead to that.
“It’s immensely encouraging and thought-provoking that so many people have taken up the chalice this year.
On Sunday, November 11 there will be a service at the memorial including two minutes’ silence. It will be joined by the congregation from the church, which has also been decorated with the handcrafted poppies. There will be a parade through the town centre at 2.45pm, led by the RBL, and the beacon will be lit at Beacon Hill at 7pm.
The church will also ring its bells at 7.05pm.
Residents urged to donate to this year’s Poppy Appeal
People have been encouraged to give generously this year’s poppy appeal and help our servicemen and women get the support they need.
Diane Boisson, Fakenham’s Poppy Appeal organiser, said: “The people of Fakenham have always been so generous donating to the Poppy Appeal. “As a veteran of 22 years service in the Queens Alexandra’s Royal Nursing Corps myself I have witnessed first-hand how the money raised is converted into welfare support to our servicemen and women, and their families, who are in need.
“Your donations truly make an immense difference bettering the lives of those that have given so much.
“Please wear your poppy with pride knowing we will never forget those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
“Your donations will help today’s Armed Forces people who are in need to live on.”
There will be Royal British Legion volunteer collectors around town on Thursday, November 8 and Saturday, November 10.