Poignant Remembrance project using poppies to tell Wigan veterans' stories

Wiganers are being asked to share memories of relatives who made the ultimate sacrifice for a poignant Remembrance tribute.

Friday, 25th October 2019, 3:12 pm
Veterans' stories will be written on poppies as a Remembrance tribute

Wigan Rotary and Wigan Armed Forces HQ have come up with We Will Remember Them, in which the town centre will once again be decorated with large poppies in the run-up to the commemorations for those killed in war on November 11.

Other news: 'Downing tools' to create fun times at Wigan care homeHowever, this time the A4-sized flowers will be covered in writing telling residents what it is really like to serve on the front line.

Veterans attending the one-stop shop for all ex-military personnel at Molyneux House will be sharing some of their stories of fighting for their country for the flowers.

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But the scheme organisers also want Wiganers to come forward and write anecdotes on the poppies about friends, relatives, work colleagues and neighbours who have been lost in conflict.

Mervyn Reeves, Wigan Rotary president, said: “We hope members of the public will be interested and humbled by the stories we read.

“At this time of year our thoughts are drawn to those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty and this year Wigan Rotary Club has decided to try to remember them in a more public way.

“We would like anyone who has lost someone to write that person’s story on a poppy. These will then be displayed in Wigan town centre for the week leading up to Remembrance Sunday.”

Residents can write stories for those they have lost on the poppies over a weekend at the Grand Arcade Shopping Centre on November 2 and 3.

The initiative also has the full backing of John Harker, the strategic manager for armed forces at Wigan Council, and Coun Clive Morgan who is the lead elected member for military matters at the town hall.

Coun Morgan said: “The idea is to put veterans’ stories on the poppies to give people a bit more of an idea what they have done.

“As more veterans are coming into the hub we are finding out more stories from around the borough.

“Some of them are quite happy to say where they’ve been and what they’ve done.

“It can be from any conflict. From 1945 to 2016 there was only one year, 1968, when no-one from the British military was killed in action.

“We’ve had Northern Ireland, the Falklands, Afghanistan, Iraq; the list is endless.

“It’s also about the families, because it is difficult for them.

“We want to highlight the sacrifices made, because they should never be forgotten.”

Poppies will also be available from November 2 at the armed forces hub.