“Lest we Forget” was one of the most moving and interesting events that I have ever been to. Jonathan Jones read poetry from the Great War, first from the perspective of the soldiers, and after the interval from the perspective of the women – wives, mothers and lovers left at home.
In between the poems Jonathan explained the context and I learned so much about such things as the origins of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the tradition of wearing poppies and the tomb of The Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey.
We really must never forget the horror of the Great War and I am so grateful to Jonathan for introducing me to poems and history that I was completely unaware of. My favourite poem was “The Road to La Bassée” – so very human and down to earth. I was also struck by the poem “Christ in Flanders” by Lucy Whitmell.
Kathy Robertson did us proud with her team providing authentic WWI refreshments and then Margaret Emberson lead us in singing some WWI songs. Oh and £200 was raised for the “Emily the Organ” appeal.
Children in year one at Folly Hill Infant School planted hundreds of poppy seeds under the guidance of the Revd Lesley Crawley at St Mark’s in the hope that they will bloom in time for the centenary on August 4.
The Revd Lesley Crawley said: “We have a good relationship with the schools in the area. I am regularly invited to take assemblies and the children also come to us for a tour of the church, including the chance to ring the bell!
“I thought that dedicating an area of the church grounds for poppy planting would be a simple way for the children to remember the First World War.
“Many of the children are from the village and by having the seeds planted at the church they can easily come along and see how their poppies are growing throughout the school holidays.”
You can see the photos taken here.
The poppy planting helps to support the Royal British Legion (RBL) appeal to see the country awash with poppies.
Purchasing fundraising poppy seed packs and planting them in your churchyard or local school garden during the spring should mean they flower in time for the national commemoration day on Monday August 4.
Lesley added: “The inspiration for the poppy planting came from an exciting meeting at the Education Centre in which I felt encouraged to show that the church remains at the centre of our community.”
Whilst the children enjoyed the chance to be out in the sunshine during school hours, they also knew why they were there. One said: “We are planting the poppies to remember the people who died and their families” and another added: “there were lots of poppies in the battlefields after the war.”