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Haverhill and Thurlow Royal British Legion unveil a giant poppy in honour of all the 144 men from the town who died during the First World War




A giant poppy display that commemorates the ultimate sacrifice made in the First World War by 144 men from Haverhill was unveiled on Saturday.

The poppy sits at the front of St Mary's Church, facing the High Street, as a poignant reminder of all those who lost their lives in the Great War, not just the men from Haverhill who are named on it.

The giant poppy represents all the lives lost in WWI and contains within it 144 smaller poppies, each bearing the name of an individual who is commemorated on the town's war memorial.

The 144 poppies were distributed between seven schools in Haverhill, plus the 1st Kedington Ranger Guides, 4th Haverhill Brownies and the Haverhill Library Sunday Craft Club for children to write the names on.

The whole project was overseen and run by the Haverhill branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL.)

The Haverhill RBL and Local History Groups have worked with local schools to make 144 poppies, one for each of the town's WWI soldiers that died. Each poppy gives the man's name and age when they died and they are put together to form the shape of a giant poppy. ....PICTURE: Mecha Morton... .. (5056924)
The Haverhill RBL and Local History Groups have worked with local schools to make 144 poppies, one for each of the town's WWI soldiers that died. Each poppy gives the man's name and age when they died and they are put together to form the shape of a giant poppy. ....PICTURE: Mecha Morton... .. (5056924)

It was officially unveiled during a ceremony that saw speeches given by the Haverhill Royal British Legion (RBL) chairman, Bryan Mills and Haverhill's mayor, Cllr Tony Brown and a blessing conducted by the Rev Cannon Ian Finn.

During his speech, Cllr Brown said: "Many many servicemen and civilians died in WWI and in Haverhill alone, 144 of a young generation of the town's men, from a population then of only some 4,700 people, gave their lives.

"It is a fitting and moving tribute to them that today's young generation of school children have written, in their memory, one of their names on each of the 144 poppies which form the giant poppy."

The schools involved were Burton End Primary Academy, Castle Manor Academy, New Cangle Primary, Samuel Ward Academy, St Felix Primary, Westfield Primary Academy and Wickhambrook Primary Academy.

Thanks were also given to local firms Alan Burnett Roofing, J Bradnam & Sons, Specialized Print, We Do Signs, Buildbase, TVL Allstar Video and The Craft Basket for donating materials or equipment to enable the giant poppy to be built. Haverhill Town Council also provided support for the project.

During the unveiling ceremony, a presentation of a special gold leaf poppy was made by Mr Mills to a representative of each of the schools and children's groups that helped create the poppies.

The poppy will stay in place for four weeks.



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