Town plants thousands of poppies to mark WW1 centenary
10:00 05 February 2014
Major plans under way in Barnstaple to commemorate 1914 outbreak of war.
TENS of thousands of poppies are being planted in Barnstaple to mark 100 years since the start of World War One.
It is hoped a carpet of the iconic red flowers will adorn the Square, Sticklepath roundabout, Mermaid Cross and at the war memorial in Rock Park.
The poppy plant forms part of a series of proposals given the go-ahead by Barnstaple Town Council to commemorate the historic centenary this August.
Mayor, Lesley Brown said: “I think it’s important to remember the sacrifices made by the soldiers in the First World War as they are the reason we live in a free society today.”
The council hopes to scatter some 50,000 poppy seeds and is also offering to provide seeds to any school, group or organisation for planting throughout the town.
The Gazette has joined forces with the council to ask readers to share family records and memories of the time ahead of a commemorative event being held at St Anne’s Art and Community Centre on Saturday, August 2.
Town clerk Anne Jenkins said: “Did someone from your family serve in World War One, or do you have any family stories about the time that you would be willing to share?”
Gazette editor Andy Keeble added: “We’d love to hear about them – your stories will help serve as an important historical record of Barnstaple’s involvement in the war.”
The event at St Anne’s will feature music, poems and prose from 1914. Local choirs and performers are invited to take part and should contact Dion Sears at the town council for more information.
On Sunday, August 3, the Royal British Legion will lead a parade from the war memorial in Rock Park to the Pannier Market where a drumhead service will be held.
“It is hoped that representatives from all the uniformed services will be present, and that the community will join them in marking this historic day,” said Mrs Jenkins.
Any organisation wishing to plant poppy seeds can contact Mrs Jenkins on 01272 373311. To share your stories of World War One, telephone the Gazette newsdesk on 01271 345056, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to us at Unit 3, Old Station Road, Barnstaple, EX32 8PB.