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Poppies Commemorate First World War Fallen

Ribble Valley Mayor and Mayoress Michael Ranson with pupils from Grindleton CE Primary School, who are sowing a poppy garden at their school.
Ribble Valley Mayor and Mayoress Michael Ranson with pupils from Grindleton CE Primary School, who are sowing a poppy garden at their school.
Published Monday, 02 June 2014

Thousands of poppies are to be sown in Ribble Valley as part of a scheme to commemorate the fallen of the First World War.

Ribble Valley Mayor Michael Ranson is presenting schools and parishes in the borough with poppy seeds for commemorative gardens marking the 100th anniversary of the war.

The poppy seeds are part of an ambitious scheme to plant trees and sow commemorative gardens in Ribble Valley's 35 parishes in memory of around 1,000 young men from the borough who fought and died during the conflict.

The 100th anniversary of Britain’s involvement in the First World War takes place on Monday 4 August, and will herald commemorative events throughout the country.

From 2014 until the 100th anniversary of the official ceasefire, or Armistice Day, on 11 November  2018, communities across the world will come together to remember those who lived, fought and died in the war.

As Ribble Valley did not exist until 1974, precise records of the number of fallen in the borough do not exist, but it is believed to be around 1,000.

Poppies have been an international symbol of remembrance since Canadian military doctor Major John McCrea penned the famous poem, In Flanders Fields, which referred to the thousands of poppies that bloomed amid the war graves and churned up earth of the Western Front.

Councillor Ranson, who lost a great-uncle in the war, said: "We are all connected to the First World War, through our family histories, the fallen in our communities and its long-term impact on society.

“Poppies are a poignant reminder of the fallen and I am touched and moved that schools are embracing this commemorative scheme so enthusiastically.”

The First World War was a turning point in world history, claiming the lives of 16million people across the world and having a huge impact on those who experienced it.

Millions of men fought on land, at sea and in the air, with modern weapons causing mass casualties.

Ribble Valley will host numerous First World War commemorative events over the coming year, including a civic service at St Mary’s Parish Church, Clitheroe, on Sunday 3 August. Further details of this and all events will be available at www.ribblevalley.gov.uk/events  in due course.

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