Replacing the St Christopher’s Church Flagpole – A cascade of poppies – Planting of real poppies – Recording the fallen

Latest news on the St Christopher’s Flagpole!

Thanks to fundraising efforts so far, the new flagpole has been purchased and is due for delivery in October 2017.  It will be laid in the St Christopher’s churchyard to season, before being erected in March 2018.

Earlier in 2017 the parish began a joint venture with local organisations to plan a fitting community tribute to mark the forthcoming Centenary (November 2018) of the end of the First World War .

Working with the British Legion and local schools, and with generous support from The Community Foundation for Surrey, Haslemere Town Council, Shottermill Great War Memorial Trust, the Surrey Churches Preservation Trust and individual members of the congregation, we plan to create a lasting monument for generations to come.

  1. The replacement of the flagpole on top of St Christopher’s Church Tower and the reinstatement of the original arts and crafts cross on the top of it.

Over the years the existing flagpole has become decayed and dangerous which has resulted in the top several feet including the arts and crafts cross having to be removed. The rest of the flagpole is now in such a bad state of repair that it has to be taken down in its entirety. A new bespoke 35 foot tall flagpole which will be an exact copy of the original (as shown in the architects drawing) is being made from a Douglas Fir Tree by a local company J. E. Homewood and Sons.

The original arts and crafts cross will then be reinstated on the top of the flagpole and once again be plated in gold to act as a beacon of hope over Haslemere

  1. 2. The cascade of poppies from the top of St Christopher’s Church Tower.

Over 12,000 poppies will cascade over the parapet of the church tower (as shown in the artists impression) providing both a focus to the flagpole and act as a reminder during the centenary year, that The Great War affected people of all nations and faiths who gave their lives in defence of freedom and democracy.

We have eight local schools and colleges who have signed up to make the poppies which will then be wired to netting from the top of the church tower to the ground.

Schools and Colleges taking part include: Camelsdale First School, Grayswood Infant School, Shottermill Infant School, Shottermill Junior School, St Bart’s School, St Edmonds School, The Royal School and Woolmer Hill School.

The timescales for this part of the project is that the poppies will be made from September 2017 and will then be hung from the church tower from Easter 2018 until Armistice Day 2018.

Note. It is this part of the project that we are asking local companies and individuals to fund on the basis of £200 for 500 poppies, or multiples thereof.  Any donation however small will be greatly received.

  1. The planting of real poppies on St Christopher’s Green.

To complement the artificial poppies cascading down from the church tower, real red poppies will be planted on St Christopher’s Green in Spring 2018 to represent a Flanders field.

In Flanders Fields by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below…….

http://www.greatwar.co.uk/poems/john-mccrae-in-flanders-fields.htm

 

  1. Recording the details of those men and women who appear on the local War Memorials.

In order to provide a lasting record on the lives of those local men and women who fell in the Great War, the eight local schools have agreed to research the details on the people whose names appear on the following local war memorials:

Haslemere, Grayswood, Hindhead, Shottermill, Hammer, Camelsdale and Lynchmere and the results of this research will be electronically stored on the forthcoming Haslemere & District Memorial website and displayed for all to view. See http://www.haslemere.com/warmemorial/ for work already done on the Haslemere War Memorial.

In addition their names will be added to the Royal British Legion’s website http://www.everymanremembered.org/

The aim is to have everything in place for Armistice Day 2018.

 

Footnote

We would like to thank the Royal British Legion who have joined us as a partner with this project and for the generous support from the following list of organisations who have provided financial support to enable the project to begin: The Community Foundation for Surrey, Haslemere Town Council, Shottermill Great War Memorial Trust, the Surrey Churches Preservation Trust and individual members of the the Haslemere Parish congregation.

Image result for royal british legion

Community Foundation for Surrey

Haslemere Town Council

 

To complete this thought provoking memorial for 2018 and to buy all the materials needed for the artificial poppies and the planting of the real poppies on St Christopher’s Green, we now need your support and would ask you donate whatever money you can afford.

To make a donation online towards this project please click on the link below:

https://mydonate.bt.com/events/greatwarcentenary/447006