United tribute to fallen

Community gets tight-knit for war commemoration

Ann Boulter and Roger Hill, chairman of the Rochford Hundred Historical Society, with some of the knitted poppies

First published in Southend
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A COMMUNITY joined together to knit 100 poppies to mark 100 years since the start of the First World War.

Rochford Hundred Historical Society set itself the task of knitting a poppy for each year since Britain's entry into the war on August 4, 1914, with a card leaf to remember loved ones who fell in the conflict.

The poppies were then put on display in St Peterメs Church, Paglesham, during a memorial service.

Member Ann Boulter, 73, came up with the idea after reading about a similar project in the United States last year, but was soon inundated with far more poppies than she anticipated.

She said: "I made up little packs of wool and green card leaves, for people to put a dedication on, and asked for 100, but ended up with 167.

"It really grew bigger than I expected, so I decided I would stitch them into a tapestry. But then I got even more, so I made one with a cross for the pulpit and then even more came in, so I sewed some on to a cushion.

"The youngest person to knit one was Katie-Anne Ellison, 11.

"She said she wanted to knit a poppy but couldn't knit, so I showed her and that was her first bit of knitting.

"The oldest was Joan Hunter, 92, and we even got one from a woman who was on holiday from Leicester and sent a poppy in the post more than 100 people took part in the end."

But she added the most striking part of the project were the messages people wrote on their poppies' leaves.

She said: "They were dedicated to their ancestors who had fought in the war, with their regiments and whether they died or returned, and the sad thing was so many had died so young ヨ aged 19 or 20. It was really poignant.

"The poppies will be on display in the church, which is open during the day, until the end of the month.

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