More than 30,000 handcrafted red poppies made to mark the centenary of the First World War at the Devon County Show will go on display at Exeter Cathedral.
The exhibition opens on Monday (October 30) and runs until Tuesday, November 14.
Thousands of local people supported the ‘people’s tribute’ to the 11,500 Devon men and women who died in the Great War by creating 34,000 poppies.
The commemoration was the idea of Deborah Custance Baker, Chief Steward of the Crafts and Gardens Show feature.
“I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone, young and old, who contributed to the display from all corners of the county. One woman even sent me a photograph from Gran Canaria where she was knitting!
“I hope that people realise that their small, individual contributions have, when gathered together, created an impressive display. The poppies have been taken to Devon County Show, Mid Devon Show, Totnes Show and will be going to Dame Hannah, Seale Hayne, in 2018.”
The display, poignantly titled ‘Devon Remembers’, will contain the same number of poppies as the lives lost from not just Devon, but also all of the South West.
Deborah Custance Baker added: “Each poppy displayed represents a person lost, each poppy is individual, as were the people lost. The numbers mean little until you see the scale of the display.
“I am immensely grateful to everyone who helped with the project – some people thought that getting 11,500 poppies to represent the Devon men and women lost in the First World War was a ridiculous idea. But thanks to David Fitzgerald and BBC Devon’s support, we ended up with 34,000 poppies representing those lost from Devon, Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset.
“The stories that were sent in with some of the poppies were the most moving tribute to people’s parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and the enormity of the War was really brought home. Some families had entire generations taken from them – and so many of those people lost were so young.”
The poppies will be sold in aid of the Royal British Legion for a suggested minimum donation of £1 per poppy.
Photo caption: Deborah Custance Baker, Chief Steward of the Crafts and Gardens Show feature, setting up 'Devon Remembers' at the Devon County Show.
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