A FURTHER spectacular commemoration of the centenary of the end of the Great War is being held at Haslemere’s St Christopher’s Church this weekend.
Following the creation of a poignant cascade from the church tower, featuring thousands of poppies handmade by schoolchildren in memory of Surrey servicemen who lost their lives, St Christopher’s is staging a flower festival.
Entitled ‘Haslemere Remembers’, the display includes more than 20 floral arrangements, tributes and installations created by groups in and around the town.
The floral displays are inspired by World War I poems and songs, and include a memorial tomb naming the soldiers from the town who lost their lives between 1914-18.
A giant poppy wreath, 8ft in diameter, will hang over the memorial, adorned with more handmade poppies and form the centrepiece of the festival, which also includes a recreation of Flanders Field.
Community and church groups from Grayswood, Shottermill, Hindhead, Hammer, Camelsdale , Lynchmere, as well as Haslemere, have contributed to the exhibition.
‘Haslemere Remembers – A Festival of Flowers’ is a free event and any donations will be given to the Royal British Legion.
Also on show as part of the town’s commemorations, is a touring exhibition of the graphic art of official WWI artist Sir Frank Brangwyn, which continues until Sunday, September 29.
On display is his first recruitment poster ‘Britain’s Call to Arms’, a harrowing image of the horrors of war produced to help the war effort.
The poster provoked many to enlist, but the War Office, concerned by the graphic nature of the image, asked London Underground to remove it from stations. The War Office relented and the poster continued to be used for recruitment in the early stages of WWI.
The exhibition also displays the different stages of conflict including the calm before battle, the preparation, images of soldiers in battle, the impact on communities, and the landscape scarred by conflict. During the war Brangwyn went on to produce 80 lithographs and posters.
The festival runs from 10am-5pm on September 15 and 16. A choral evensong will be held at the church, on Sunday, from 6pm.