POPPIES were sown during a ceremony in Rayleigh as part of events to mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First WorldWar.

Rochford Council chairman Barbara Wilkins led the ceremony outside Rayleigh’s landmark windmill in Bellingham Lane on Wednesday morning.

Poppies have long symbolised the suffering and sacrifice of those killed in the war and other wars since then, so it was decided to plant poppy seeds at the windmill.

Mrs Wilkins was joined by Fitzwimarc School pupil Luke Polley, who was recently named Rochford’s Young Citizen of the Year after he raised more than £1,300 for the Royal British Legion’s poppy appeal last year.

The 13-year-old raised the money by selling poppies to his friends and schoolmates, which he personalised by decorating them with glitter.