Stunning Remembrance Garden features 4,000 poppies

Nearly 4,000 poppies have been planted in a special Garden of Remembrance to commemorate members of the Armed Forces who have died in war.

The stunning display at St Andrew’s High Church in Musselburgh, East Lothian was created by members of its craft group who spent nine months knitting and crocheting the wool flowers.

They have been planted in two long stretches of grass that line the path to the handsome building on the town’s High Street, creating carpets of red.

St Andrew's High Church
Nearly 4,000 knitted and crocheted poppies have been planted in the garden of St Andrew's High Church in Musselburgh.

Rev Yvonne Atkins, minister of St Andrew’s High Church, said the Garden of Remembrance was “absolutely stunning” and she could not be more proud of the women, around 12 in total, who created the poppies.

“We have this wonderful long garden, which is almost like a blank canvas in the winter months, so I wanted to use it more creatively to mark Remembrance Sunday,” she added.

“I thought it would be wonderful to make a bold statement that we, as a church, care deeply about the families of people in Musselburgh and further afield who have died in wars and conflicts.

“The Remembrance Garden also makes a strong statement about the importance of the pursuit of peace.

“It serves as a reminder of the great sacrifice that many people paid by giving their lives in order for us to live in peace in our day.”

Mrs Atkins said nearly 1,000 people from the Musselburgh area died in the two world wars and subsequent conflicts.

She revealed that church elder, Elizabeth Forgan, who knitted some of the poppies passed away recently, adding another layer of poignancy to the display.

Mrs Atkins said: “The gates to the garden are open for a couple of hours every day to enable the public to wander in, sit on the benches and take time to reflect on the cost of peace for so many.

“It is absolutely stunning display and we have been amazed by the number of people have stopped by the gate or come in.”

It took volunteers a month to put the poppies on sticks and two hours to plant them last Saturday.

Rev Yvonne Atkins
Rev Yvonne Atkins, minister of St Andrew’s High Church

The Garden of Remembrance is particularly poignant for Annette Telfer, a church elder who knitted several hundred poppies.

Her father, Sergeant Thomas Pearson, was an RAF wireless operator during World War II and was killed after his bomber was shot down over Denmark.

Mrs Telfer said “Dad was just 20 when he died and I was 16 months old.

“I thought of him as I knitted the poppies which was a very poignant and special time for me.

“I am very proud and honoured to have been part of this project and I hope the garden will enable people who have lost loved ones to come in, sit, remember and be at peace for a little while.

“The project is a very worthy cause and a reminder of the sacrifices that people made so we could live in a free country.”

The poppies will be on display until November 18.

Knitted poppies
The Craft Club spent nine months making the poppies.