South Scotland

Eyemouth churchyard ceramic poppies honour war dead

Poppy display Image copyright Church of Scotland
Image caption Rev Andy Haddow said he hoped the community would find the poppies "thought-provoking"

A sea of red ceramic poppies has been "planted" in the grounds of a Borders church to mark Armistice Day and Remembrance Day.

The 93 flowers at Eyemouth Parish Church represent the servicemen and women from the area who have died in armed combat since 1916.

The artwork was created by 21 pupils at Eyemouth High School, with the assistance of the Royal British Legion.

It was inspired by the Poppies: Weeping Window art installation.

That work was on display at St Magnus Cathedral in Orkney between April and June.

Image caption The Orkney display inspired the school pupils in the Borders

Kirkwall was the first place in Scotland to host the exhibit, which grew out of the 2014 Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation at the Tower of London, commemorating the loss of life during the First World War.

Rev Andy Haddow, who serves the linked parishes of Eyemouth, Coldingham and St Abbs, said: "As a church we are called to serve our communities and so it's always a privilege to be able to help out and doubly so when we can facilitate great projects that really strike a chord with folks.

"The display of poppies, inspired by the displays at the Tower of London and St Magnus Cathedral, is a beautiful tribute to local servicemen and women who have given fully of themselves to their country.

"Huge congratulations should go to Eyemouth High School, together with the Royal British Legion, who have made this wonderful installation happen."

He said he hoped the community would find it "thought-provoking and helpful".

Image caption The Tower of London hosted the original Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation

The poppies are made from glazed earthenware clay and mounted on steel rods.

Royal British Legion volunteers visited the school to speak to pupils about the significance of poppies and show them how to assemble the artwork.

Victoria Lowe, chartered teacher of art at Eyemouth High School, said: "This project is the culmination of a great deal of work between the school and our local community.

"The plan is for these poppies to be taken and placed on the graves of those who are buried in the area.

"This is the latest of a number of community-based projects which are cementing important links between young people at the high school and their own history in the area."

Ms Lowe said she would be keen to trace school-age descendants of the servicemen and women being commemorated.

They can contact the school via its website.

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