Thousands of knitted poppies have been attached to three nets that now adorn the churches in the centre of Reepham to mark the centenary of the Armistice and the end of the First World War.
Each net begins with three white poppies representing peace and the three churches that once stood in the town’s churchyard (only two are now standing) – one net in St Mary’s, one in St Michael’s and one coming off the tower of St Michael’s (pictured above left).
As well as red poppies there are purple poppies representing all the animals that suffered during the conflict; cornflowers, the French flower of remembrance; and marigolds, the Indian flower of remembrance (the 2nd Norfolks were based in India at the start of the war).
There is also a forget-me-not, the German flower of remembrance, for Paul Rabe, a German prisoner-of-war who died of the Spanish flu on 17 November 1918 at Whitwell and was buried in Reepham cemetery. (His remains were moved to Crannock Chase German Military Cemetery in the 1960s.)
The idea for the poppies came from a conversation at a church events committee meeting, explained Ron Luton-Brown, who helped organise the project: “We felt we needed to do something and decided to knit poppies.”
The original plan was to have one poppy for each of the 200 soldiers from the Reepham district that died during the war.
“We put the word out to the knitters of Reepham and, boy, did they help! We have nearly 2,000 poppies, although no final count has yet been made,” said Mr Luton-Brown, who is also organising the Putting the Face to the Name: Reepham Remembering exhibition in St Michael’s this weekend.
The exhibition will be open from 10 am – 4 pm on Saturday 10 November and from 12 noon – 4 pm on Sunday 11 November. There will also be a sunset vigil at 3.30 pm on Sunday in St Mary’s.