Let’s get knitting
An ambitious plan to knit or crochet 1700 poppies ahead of the centenary commemorations of the Battle of the Somme is currently being planned by Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life in Carlisle Castle.
With the support of Cumbria’s WI’s the Museum are asking the Cumbrian community to knit or crochet a poppy in memory of the 1700 Border Regiment soldiers who died during this infamous 141 day battle.
Each poppy made will be displayed in an art installation at Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life from 1st July to 18th November. The poppies will be sewn on to rolls of jute kindly donated to the museum by Stead McAlpin, the Cummersdale based Mill, whom themselves lost many of their workforce during the campaign. Each day from 1st July to the 18th November the poppies will be unfurled by the museum to reflect the contribution these men made and provide a sobering reminder of the impact of the Somme campaign on the population of the UK.
Any additional poppies will be sold in aid of the British Legion.
The Women’s Institute have agreed to support this initiative by encouraging members to make poppies and assisting with the making of poppies at community events from April to October. Patterns can be downloaded from the museum website and we are encouraging individuals, and organisations to contribute. www.CumbriasMuseumofMilitaryLife.org
The poppies will contribute to a knitted art installation at the Museum, illustrating the support for soldiers 100 years ago from families and communities back home. ‘Comforts’, as they came to be known, provided men with much-needed socks, scarves and mittens to help against the cold. Appeals in the press encouraged people to take up their knitting needles and support the war effort. Patterns were published in magazines, organisations began knitting, collections of knitted garments were organised to send to the Front. The Museum is keen to highlight the importance of this knitted support through this commemorative memorial to those from the Border Regiment who lost their lives during the battle.
Jules Wooding, Learning and Access Officer at the Museum said:
“This is the first time the museum has embarked on such a creative piece of commemorative art. We hope that it will inspire people in our community to pass down the art of knitting and crocheting to their children and grandchildren as it was done 100 years ago – whilst also remembering the Battle of the Somme and the impact it had on our local communities. Thank you to the local branch of the Women’s Institute for supporting this knitted project.”
The poppy and crochet pattern can be downloaded from the museum website Here
For further information please contact the museum on (01228) 532774.