Thousands of handmade poppies laid at WA state war memorial pay tribute to fallen WWI soldiers


Posted

November 10, 2018 10:00:14

A field of 62,000 handcrafted red poppies has been planted on the lawns of Western Australia’s war memorial to commemorate each Australian soldier who died during World War I.

It has taken dozens of volunteers from the WA Returned & Services League (RSL) more than 18 months to knit and crochet the poppies which have been installed in Kings Park

Judy Welch, coordinator of the RSL’s Poppy Project, said it had been a mammoth task.

“We’ve been having meetings two, three, four times a week just to reach our target,” she said.

“We’ve got our 62,000 and we’ve even got a few extras that we’re calling fallen poppies that commemorate those who have been lost in wars since then.

“It’s just a token gesture but it’s saying everyone is remembered.”

‘They were all individuals’

Ms Welch said each poppy was unique and it could take two hours to complete just one.

“There are no two poppies that really are alike.

“I think that’s [fitting] for what they’re representing, which is the soldiers who perished in WWI.

“Not one of those soldiers had a duplicate — they were all individuals just as the poppies are.

“Some even have buttons that represent something for the family, or they’ll have little tags or names on them as well.”

Ms Welch said many of the women who gave their time to make the poppies had formed strong friendships.

“Some of the women who have joined our knitting group didn’t have anything to do with the RSL, in fact, some of them don’t have a returned service person in their family.

“But they’ve been absolutely fantastic; we’re just one big happy family.”

Sea of red to return every year

Sunday marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice between the Allies and Germany following four years of bloody warfare.

WA RSL chief executive John McGrath said he was expecting tens of thousands of people to visit the war memorial in Perth on Sunday.

“It is a moment of celebration as well as commemoration given that it was supposed to be the end of the war to end all wars, but of course it wasn’t,” he said.

The poppies on the lawns of Kings Park will remain until Tuesday, while 11,000 poppies will be displayed in the gardens surrounding the Flame of Remembrance monument until November 30.

The RSL said it planned to keep the poppies to display every Remembrance Day.

Topics:

world-war-1,

unrest-conflict-and-war,

veterans,

volunteers,

history,

human-interest,

kings-park-6005,

perth-6000



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