Unique war memorial to head to Thornaby town centre09/07/2019
An eight-foot tall glass and steel, poppy-shaped memorial containing more than one million paper poppies is to be displayed at The Pavilion Shopping Centre in Thornaby-on-Tees, North Yorkshire, later this month.
More than 250,000 volunteers were involved in the creation of the Poppy of Honour, which is dedicated to the 1,117,635 British and Commonwealth servicemen/women killed or missing in action in the First World War.
Each volunteer wrote every name recorded by the War Graves Commission on a paper poppy and all 1.1m poppies – 25,000 of which were written by people in the Thornaby area – are contained within the sealed glass sculpture, along with artefacts and vials of soil from the battlefields of every continent involved in the war. The glass Poppy is flanked on four sides by the Tommy Guards of Honour.
The sculpture, the first memorial of its kind, will be on display on July 22 and 23, having already visited 28 locations since its unveiling on October 2018. It is due to visit other towns later this year.
Organiser Terry Williams said: “This is the first national memorial holding the collective names of every person killed or missing in action in the First World War.
“The response from the public, business and groups has surpassed our hopes and ensured that every single husband, wife, brother, sister, son and daughter who gave their lives will be remembered in this centenary year and for years to come. Although they are gone, they will never be forgotten.”
Julian Diamond, retail director of LCP, the national commercial property and investment company that manages The Pavilion Centre, said: “It’s a privilege to host this fabulous piece of art in Thornaby and it will be given pride of place at the centre, so as many people as possible can admire it.”
The poppy sculpture is not associated with any charity, but the Poppy of Honour Group is registering as an ICO Incorporated Community Organisation and plans to fundraise to build a memorial garden and visitor/education centre, where the Poppy of Honour will be permanently installed as a memorial not just those lost in WW1 but to all who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of the country.