As many as 30,000 poppies are set to cascade down the walls of All Saints’ Church in Pavement next month to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice which ended the First World War.
They have been made by people all over the country, many of whom are relatives of those who died in the war and other conflicts, and a display inside the church features cards written by relatives explaining who they have lost.
Among them is a card by Linda Lacy of Badgerhill, recounting how her poppy was in memory of her uncle, Ronald Shepherdson, a York man who died of beriberi in 1943, aged 32, after being taken as a prisoner-of-war in Malaya.
Her card stated: “Thank you for our freedom…for your tomorrow, we got our today.”
Linda said she became involved in the poppy project after reading about it in The Press last year, and she made it a community project for York Inner Wheel – ‘the ladies’ section of Rotary’ -of which she is president this year.
She said York Ainsty and York Vikings Inner Wheel had also became involved. “The whole thing just snowballed.”
The poppies have been attached to lightweight but strong garden netting which will be installed on the walls of the church early next month.
Priest-in-charge Jane Nattrass, who set up the scheme, said that at 6.30pm on Sunday, November 4, Evensong would mark the start of the Poppy Project, with people who have made the poppies invited to attend.
The poppies would stay up until November 19, with a Remembrance Sunday service being held at the church at 10.30am on Sunday, November 11.
After coming down from the church, the poppies will be draped over a steam loco at the National Railway Museum later in November.
*The poppy installation is being funded by remaining money in The Press’ City of York Afghanistan Commemorative Appeal, which created a stained glass window at the church to commemorate those who served in Afghanistan, including three servicemen who were killed.