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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland



20 November 2020

The idea of the Poppy Installation came about due to the circumstances we find ourselves in this year.  2020 is the first year in living memory that our Cadets, along with many others will not be able attend Remembrance Services at our local War Memorials due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

We wanted to mark the Remembrance period in a fitting way, something that despite not being able to be physically present, let us still be there in spirit and most importantly remember all those lost in conflicts past and present.

The Cascade of Poppies seemed like a very appropriate and poignant way to mark this year’s remembrance.  It is inspired from the Tower of London Poppies of 2018 and was a group project that we could have our Cadets take part in at home as we are still parading Virtually until we resume face-to-face training in the New Year

Despite much credit being given to us, we cannot claim to be the masterminds behind the “Bottle Poppy” as we ourselves came across the idea doing a bit of research on how we could make poppies and loved it.  It has been amazing however to see after we launched our project just how far the idea has been shared across not just Northern Ireland but all across the UK and beyond with other Cadet groups, youth groups, schools and families embracing it and making their own Poppies.

Over the month of October our Cadets were busy behind the scenes collecting plastic bottles and then turning them into Poppies.  Those Cadets not able to make the poppies themselves still took part and collected lots of bottles to be turned into poppies and a special mention must go to Cadets Sgt Gemma Conn, LSgt Cameron Coogan, LCpl Zach Milligan, Cdt Victor Ferris, Cdt Katie Parker and Cdt Harry Anderson for their hard work.

As well as our own Poppies we reached out to the local primary schools at Alexander Dickson and Carrickmannon with a Poppy template.  Both schools were very happy to take part with all the children producing their own amazing coloured in Poppies which we have placed at the War Memorial alongside our own.

Joining the Poppies is our Tommy Silhouette which takes pride of place in the centre of the roundabout and is surrounded by his own field of large Poppies each representing one of the 20 men who were lost during the First World War from the Village and surrounding area.  Tommy was purchased by us through fund raising to mark the WW1 Centenary in 2018 and was so popular on display that he has become an annual fixture in the village.