Massive community poppy tribute unveiled in Warwick

Members of the Warwick Poppies 2018 project at the launch event last week. Photo by Gill Fletcher.
Members of the Warwick Poppies 2018 project at the launch event last week. Photo by Gill Fletcher.

A community tribute made up of more than 60,000 handmade poppies from all over the world has now been officially unveiled in Warwick.

The Warwick Poppies 2018 project officially unveiled their collection of handmade poppies inside St Mary’s Church at the weekend, which is a community tribute to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.

Some of the handmade poppies inside St Mary's Church. Photo by Gill Fletcher.

Some of the handmade poppies inside St Mary's Church. Photo by Gill Fletcher.

A special gala dinner was held last Friday for the launch and the project was officially open to the public last Saturday.

Over the last year the project committee have been collecting the poppy contributions sent from across the world.

The committee initially hoped to collect a minimum of 11,610 poppies, which is one for every soldier in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment who died in the First World War. The finished tribute has a total of 62,438 handmade poppies.

Helen Fitzpatrick from the Warwick Poppies 2018 project, said: “We are all totally blown away by this massive number of poppies. We are humbled by the fantastic community support and proud that something so special is now a visible tribute to coincide with the centenary of the end of the First World War.

The Warwick Poppies 2018 project taking shape inside St Mary's Church. Photo by Gill Fletcher.

The Warwick Poppies 2018 project taking shape inside St Mary's Church. Photo by Gill Fletcher.

“Tickets to the launch event sold out in a matter of days and we could have sold them twice over. At the launch we received help from the cadets of 1368 Squadron Air Cadets and their Commanding Officer Ruth Hornsby and guests included the Lord Lieutenant Timothy Cox, High Sheriff Clare Sawdon, the Bishop of Warwick, the Rt Rev John Stroyan, and MP Matt Western.

“At the opening weekend the church had double the number of normal visitors. We have had so many lovely comments from people about the tribute.

“We have had people in tears as it brings back memories and also because of the sheer enormity of the project. Especially when you think that every single poppy took about 45 minutes to make. We are enormously grateful to everyone who made poppies. Without their support we could have never made this display.

“I think as we approach Armistice Day, more stories will emerge and for those of us who never lived through a world war and the unimaginable horrors we are now getting a glimpse of what people had to live through. For a lot of us it is almost beyond belief.”

A sheep made from poppies. Photo by Gill Fletcher.

A sheep made from poppies. Photo by Gill Fletcher.

At the launch the project committee also revealed they had been sent a special message from the Queen about their efforts, which is included in a commemorative booklet available at St Mary’s shop and the tourist information office for £2.

Some of the poppies inside St Mary's Church. Photo by Gill Fletcher.

Some of the poppies inside St Mary's Church. Photo by Gill Fletcher.

One of the handmade poppies inside St Mary's Church. Photo by Gill Fletcher.

One of the handmade poppies inside St Mary's Church. Photo by Gill Fletcher.

The launch of the Warwick Poppies 2018 project inside St Mary's Church. Photo by Gill Fletcher.

The launch of the Warwick Poppies 2018 project inside St Mary's Church. Photo by Gill Fletcher.