The commemoration will be made of hand-crafted poppies and put together to create a carpet of red. Deborah Custance-Baker, who is a Devon County Agricultural Association Board of Management Director and a chief steward at the County Show, is asking the public to get involved. She said they want people to make 11,000 poppies, one for each of the men and women who lost their lives. “The poppies can be knitted, crocheted, made from lace, felt, leather or metal in fact anything but paper,” she said. Deborah was inspired by a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show where hundreds of thousands of handmade poppies turned the grounds red in a tribute to those who had served in the war.“It was a breath-taking and an emotional display,” she said. “And I returned to Devon planning how we could remember the men and women who lost their lives in the First World War. “Handcrafted poppies will be a poignant memorial and, highly appropriately for handmade flowers, will be staged in the magnificent craft and garden pavilion.” The poppy project takes its inspiration from the installation at the Tower of London two years ago, and this summer’s 19,240 Shrouds of the Somme artwork at Exeter’s Northernhay Gardens. Deborah added: “No doubt 2018 will bring many celebrations of the end of the Great War. We wanted to have a tribute to Devon’s fallen which stood out on its own, bringing people’s thoughts back to those that so gallantly gave their lives for us.” Knitting and crochet poppy patterns are available on the Show’s website and should be the size of the Royal British Legion’s poppies. If the poppy is made in memory of a relation who died in the War, the crafter can add a tag with the name of the person. Poppies should be delivered fao: Ollie Allen, County Show Secretary, Westpoint, Clyst St Mary, Exeter EX5 1DJ or to BBC Radio Devon at Broadcasting House, Seymour Road, Plymouth PL3 5BD.
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