Diocese of Portsmouth

    Poppy cascade dedicated at Hayling Island church

    7 Oct. 2018

    IT was a poignant moment for Alyson Griffin as she affixed the final two poppies to the cascade outside church.

    Those poppies were in memory of the grandfather she never knew, Sidney Charles Lloyd, and her great-uncle, Albert Seymour Lloyd, who were both killed in the First World War.

    And they were part of the enormous cascade of hand-crafted poppies that was dedicated outside St Peter's Church in Hayling Island. Churchgoers, residents, friends and relatives had knitted, crocheted, carved and created 18,000 poppies that were shaped into a spectacular tribute to those who died in the conflict.

    It was Alyson who had the original idea to create the poppy cascade after seeing something similar in a church in Scotland. She mobilised the Northey Textile Crafts Group and before long residents from across the island were creating thousands of poppies to add to the cascade. Poppies even came in from France, Australia and New Zealand.

    On October 7, the symbol of Remembrance was dedicated and blessed by the Archdeacon of Portsdown, the Ven Joanne Grenfell. The service at St Peter's also included music from Hayling College and St Peter's Singers, a gospel reading from Lt Col Ian Coulson from Thorney Island barracks, and prayers led by Rear Admiral Colin Cooke Priest.

    The 'For The Fallen' project includes both the poppy cascade and an exhibition that tells the story of the First World War and servicemen who fought in the war - both the cascade and exhibition are on display until Remembrance Sunday, the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

    Alyson said: "I did this for my grandfather and great-uncle, but also for all of those who died in the First World War who are represented by these poppies."

    Alyson Griffin, Sue Palmer and Carol Carter from Northney Textile Crafts Group with the two final poppies added to the display
    The dedication to Capt Sidney Charles Lloyd MC, Alyson Griffin's grandfather

    The centrepiece of the poppy cascade is a banner made up of 350 poppies saying 'For the Fallen', and panels dedicated to individual servicemen who died in the conflict. Alyson Griffin also embroidered the entire Laurence Binyon poem entitled 'For the Fallen', which is part of the central panel. The whole structure is held up with scaffolding provided by local firm PR Scaffolding.

    The exhibition inside the church was put together by Hayling's University of the 3rd Age. A timeline sets out the various events from 1914 to 1919, and there is a list of all 105 casualties from Hayling Island and more than 300 who served and returned.

    Both the poppy cascade and the exhibition will be in place until November 12, and are available to view between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Saturday. School groups can visit on request.

    Click here to see more photos from the dedication service.

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