Remembrance Day: Knitted poppies come from all over world

CREATING 64,000 knitted and crocheted poppies for Remembrance Day has brought together women from nations where Australians have died in wars.

“We had 995 sent from a woman in Vietnam and when I was in London at Covent Garden I talked to a woman making them and she was from Turkey, so it was a connection with Gallipoli in 1915,” RSL WA Poppy Ladies’ Group member Lorraine Meeks said.

Group member Pam Black was contacted by a Bridgetown cousin who sent 3000 poppies from the South-West town, and contributions have come from RSLs including Bassendean, Bunbury, Dawesville, Kelmscott and Armadale.

For 18 months, the group met twice a week to knit the flowers that will fill lawns close to the State War Memorial and at the Flame of Remembrance in Kings Park this Sunday.

Each one remembers an Australian who died in World War I before the guns fell silent under the Armistice at 11am on November 11, 1918.

Afterwards, the red flowers bloomed in northern France’s battlefields that had been churned by shells, sprayed by bullets and covered in poisonous gas, before their significance was acknowledged in John McCrae’s poem In Flanders Fields. Families’ stories from all conflicts occupied the women as they knitted, including decorating some of the poppies with the buttons of former military personnel.

“A lot of women sent in just a few flowers, saying they just wanted their relative remembered or asked we sew on a stalk, so now there was a sense of completion,” Nedlands group member Katie Dunkley said.

Serving armed forces members knitted when the group visited bases in WA.

“For us, the significance was they are our current serving soldiers, sailors and airmen and we need to continue to support them,” Ms Dunkley said. Call 9287 3799 to help plant the poppies.

Volunteers Judy Welch, Ann Black, Rita Sillitoe and Lorraine Meeks have knitted poppies to create a red lawn before the Centenary of Armistice Day. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d487855