Bushfield Court marks centenary of end of WWI
Artwork to commemorate the 100-year anniversary since the First World War conflict ended is unveiled today at Bushfield Court, Bilston.
Residents and members of the day centre at the Oxford Street housing scheme knitted over 450 poppies for the display and for sale, with proceeds going to the armed forces charity The Royal British Legion.
Creating a piece of artwork to mark the historic event was the idea of new resident Bill Simpkiss and it quickly grew into an ambitious project involving scores of tenants, staff, day centre attendees, relatives and friends.
Jenny Daisley, manager of Bushfield Court, said: “An appeal went out for red wool and knitters, with many people enthusiastically taking up knitting again after many years and Bill made many trips to the art suppliers for card and paint on his new mobility scooter.
“Then as the project developed we decided to record everyone’s wartime memories, whether personal recollections or stories handed down of their family’s involvement, to make a permanent record of experiences.
“Three months of hard work went into the project and everyone was so generous with their time, knitting skills and donations of wool. Over 450 poppies were made, 100 of which were incorporated into the artwork which has gone on display today in the residents’ lounge.”
She added that the vicar from a local church would be conducting a service at Bushfield Court on November 9 with proceeds from the sale of the remaining poppies being handed over to a representative from the Royal British Legion.
A group of residents and day centre attendees are also visiting the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas in Staffordshire today in respect of those who lost their lives in World War I.
Some six million men were mobilised in Britain during the 1914-18 war, of which 700,000 never returned home. However, the total number of military and civilian casualties is around 40 million, including between 15-19 million deaths.
This Sunday, November 11, marks the centenary of Armistice Day, the date the war was declared over.