Pam and Clare help plant poppies

Clare Poyser, left, and Pam Evans, right, among the poppies SUS-141028-092815001
Clare Poyser, left, and Pam Evans, right, among the poppies SUS-141028-092815001

TWO friends from the Bognor Regis area have taken part in an international remembrance of the first world war.

Pam Evans and Clare Poyser each ‘planted’ 70 ceramic poppies as part of a famous project at the Tower of London.

A total of 888,246 of the ceramic poppies are being installed in the moat around the famous building.

Pam and Clare, who work at Byway House in Middleton, volunteered to install the symbols of remembrance.

They spent five-and-a-half hours on a Sunday afternoon earlier this month helping to create the red sea,

Pam, 72, of Mornington Crescent, Felpham, said they volunteered through the project’s website to take part.

“I thought it would be a nice thing to talk to the residents with dementia at the home about.

“It was a very good and very rewarding thing to do,” she said. The volunteers are handed 70 steel rods - measuring 2ft, 3ft and 4ft - and assemble the poppies using five washers and a mallet to hammer them into the ground.

The effort involved made the session tiring for Pam. She also suffered a series of bites from insects in the grass.

But she said she had no regrets about joining in a project which has attracted tens of thousands of sight-seers to the landmark building since it began last August.

“It did say on the website that volunteering was not for the faint-hearted. I’m not but it was a lot of effort.

“It was satisfying when I had finished and you see the poppies on TV and thought you had helped to make the display,” she said.

The poppies’ installation is called Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. Each poppy, created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, represents a British military death in the war.

Every day since they began to be installed has seen a roll of honour of 140 fatalities from the Commonwealth forces in the war read out at sunset from the among the poppies followed by the Last Post in a moving act of remembrance.

The installation will last until Armistice Day on November 11. All the poppies have been sold. Some of the proceeds will be given to military charities.