Karen Pauley, the ideas person behind the Godmanchester Remembers project was speaking to Paul Chapman on “Over to You” on Armistice Day about how the whole of Godmanchester has taken this Poppy Project to their hearts.
Karen was talking to a friend whose own town had honoured their fallen heroes last year and she felt that this co uld be something which Godmanchester could do too. She put a notice on local social media in July and the idea began to take shape. The local war memorial at the end of the town contains the names of all those who died in the World Wars and it was found that 14 local men died at the Battle of the Somme, a hundred years ago. So the idea of commemorating these heroes began to gell.
Each man’s local history was researched carefully and it was found that there were still some who had relatives living in the town today. Through the research it was discovered that there was a connection with each other. 3 of the men had emigrated but felt so strongly that they should be part of the fight that they returned to England and joined up. Each researcher was given a name and they produced the soldier’s history which is displayed outside houses in the town, each one also has a cut out silhouette of soldier in appropriate uniform on which their names are printed, standing to attention outside the houses which are often festooned with poppies.
The Community School and St Anne’s School railings are covered in poppies made by the children, as are many hedges, bushes and trees around the town, even lamp posts have large poppies on them. The shops and pubs along the Causeway, the London Rd and Cambridge St also have displays. Some of the commercial outlets have leaflets showing the location of the displays.
Check out this phenomenon yourself and take a look around Godmanchester. An interactive map of the location of each display is available on line at the facebook page “Godmanchester Remembers”.