East Northants villagers get their needles out for centenary of the end of World War One

Part of the Poppy project
Part of the Poppy project

A team of volunteers have helped knit more than 1,720 poppies to mark the centenary of the end of World War One.

Last winter, Caroline Kisby of Pink House Arts began a community project to commemorate local men who fought in World War One.

Caroline wanted to create a lasting memorial for all the men named on the Warmington Benefice Rolls of Honour.

She enlisted the help of more than 30 volunteers to knit poppies and leaves and embroider name labels to decorate individual wreaths for each man who fought in the Great War.

These wreaths will be displayed in the five benefice churches of Cotterstock, Fotheringhay, Southwick, Tansor and Warmington on Remembrance Sunday.

There will be a special display at St Mary and All Saints Church, Fotheringhay, on November 3 and 4 between 10am and 5pm when 22 wreaths for this church plus additional poppy artwork can be viewed.

Warmington Church will have a display of 135 wreaths on the same dates, from midday to 5pm on Saturday and 10am to 3pm on Sunday.

A total of 172 names have been honoured across the benefice and more than 1,720 poppies and leaves have been knitted by local volunteers.

Caroline wanted to bring the community together for this large-scale craft project and was overwhelmed with the response for her request for knitters.

She said: “People have been really generous with their time and without their support this project would never have taken off.”

Tim Stimpson from Fotheringhay said: “My paternal grandfather was killed in August 1918 in action in France.

“My father never knew his father being only three at the time.

“He left a young wife and three children under nine.

“My mother Joyce (95 years) has knitted poppies for Fotheringhay to support this wonderful memorial initiative.

“Some of the knitted poppies have also been taken by my brother to my grandfather’s war grave in France on the anniversary of his death, 25th August 1918.”

Tim’s mother has single-handedly knitted 110 poppies for the 22 wreaths for the men mentioned on the Fotheringhay Roll of Honour.

Caroline’s project has truly spanned the generations with young and old coming together.

Alison Reid said: “I wanted to do some knitting with my 10-year-old son so that he made a connection between the poppies we made and its representation of far too many lives being lost.

“The results are awesome and it has been fantastic to be involved in this community project.”

Hanna Clayton helped to embroider some of the 172 name labels, and said: “I wanted to be involved with this project because being part of the community and helping others was what the war effort was about.”

Caroline is a freelance creative practitioner from East Northamptonshire who provides creative craft workshops for adults wishing to learn new skills or re-energise existing ones.

She provides therapeutic workshops for vulnerable adults helping them to find their own creative voices and confidence to live better lives.