Poppy tribute


undefinedA parishioner from Sandiway, Tony Hawes, has bought one of the famous ceramic poppies which stood outside the Tower of London last year to commemorate the start of the First World War Tony has arranged with the Dean of Chester for his poppy to go on display in Chester Cathedral.

The poppy – one of 888,246 created as part of the much-admired ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ installation at the Tower – was bought by Tony with the intention of putting it on display as a lasting reminder and tribute to the sacrifices made by service personnel down through the years and still being made today. The London installation – featuring poppies made by artist Paul Cummins – ran from 5 August to 11 November (Armistace Day) last year (2014).

The poppies were sold to raise money for a group of charitable organisations which help ex-service personnel in a variety of ways – including the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes.

Tony’s poppy will first featured in Chester Cathedral from the end of April this year as part of a display of letters and memorabilia about the First Word War. Later in the year, it will feature in the Cathedral’s Regimental Chapel. The poppy, numbered 663,320, will be encased in an especially clear glass tube some two feet high, and capped at the top and bottom with light oak that will be textured to represent earth, and by extended symbolism, the fallen.

Tony, aged 71 and a company secretary, said he was grateful for the support of various people in the Chester poppy project, including: the Dean of Chester, the Very Revd Professor Gordon McPhate; Suzanne Hodgson (maker of the display cabinet); 24-7 Electrical Ltd; and MJL (a lighting company).

Tony added: “I felt it was important that we have in our diocese a lasting memorial to the fallen. The impact that the installation of the poppies at the Tower of London made was immense. I hope this single poppy will encourage people to remember and think seriously about the issues raised by armed conflict.”