Here at Cornwall’s Regimental Museum, we have been attempting an ambitious project to collect a handmade poppy in commemoration of each soldier of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry (DCLI) killed during the First World War – a total of 4,282 poppies. However, the museum has now announced that the target has been reached, an entire year ahead of time!
Verity Anthony, Visitor Experience and Collections Manager at the museum said, “The outpourings of support from as far afield as Spain have been overwhelming. So many people, whether they have family connections or not, have made poppies for us to commemorate the fallen, and we want to give our heartfelt thanks to all those involved, and all those still creating.”
The museum has surpassed its target and has collected over 4,470 poppies, so a new target has been set. The new figure – 9,687 poppies – represents the fallen DCLI servicemen who made up the original target, plus all other Cornishmen killed during active service during WW1.
Sophie Hodge, Marketing Manager at the Museum said, “within this new figure we’re attempting to commemorate every Cornishman who lost his life in active service during the 14-18 War, across each of the Armed Forces. It is a large target, but with the huge amount of enthusiasm and support we’ve received so far, we believe it’s certainly achievable. It’s extremely touching that so many members of the community have put so much into this project, it’s a real labour of love.”
For clarification, the new figure includes every serviceman killed during the First World War, who was registered as living in Cornwall at the time of his enlistment to the joint forces: Army (all regiments), Navy, Merchant Navy, and Air Forces. While these figures are understandably estimates, they are as close as they can possibly be to being accurate. The museum wishes to thank the Cornwall Family History Society, who carried out this incredible research, for providing these figures to the museum.
The poppies will be used to create a handmade exhibition at Bodmin Keep, marking the centenary of the end of the First World War in November 2018. This new target comes at a poignant time, as the museum embarks on a large research project into the lives of Cornishmen during WW1 for another ambitious commemorative project taking place at both the Regimental Museum and the Bodmin and Wenford Railway in June and July 2018: ‘The Trench Bodmin’, which will place Bodmin at the heart of Cornwall’s WW1 commemorations. Find out more at www.thetrenchbodmin.co.uk
For those wishing to get involved with the poppy project, the deadline is September 2018.
CLICK HERE FOR GUIDELINES AND POPPY MAKING PATTERNS (Opens in new page)
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You can also sign up to our email newsletter below to receive updates on the project, and don’t miss our poppy making event coming up in Spring 2018.