Gunnislake pays tribute to war dead
THE community of Gunnislake has come up trumps with its creative efforts to remember those from the village who died in the First World War.
As the country remembers the celebration of the end of the war one hundred years ago, young and old in the village have brought together present-day talents and effort to remember the boys and men from the village who did not return from the war.
The idea was a joint venture between the Gunnislake Community Matters creative café and St Anne’s Church.
Designer Katy Chorszewska took over a year to plan a commemorative banner which will commemorate the names on the village’s war memorial.
She said: ‘The banner will be displayed on the village hall railings during November and shows 72 large poppies, each with a label naming one of the dead listed on St Anne’s Church war memorial.
‘It’s 9.5 metres long and 62 cm tall. I’ve been weather-testing a sample out in my garden to make sure it stands up to our Cornish weather.’
Children from Gunnislake School worked on the banner artwork by stencilling 24 poppies.
‘It was lovely to work with them,’ continued Katy. ‘They were so enthusiastic and several of the older children particularly wanted to know the name of the soldier that “their” poppy was for.’
Alongside the banner project, another local craft group, Stitch and Bitch, challenged local residents to make poppies to add to the display — and the village responded with about 2,000 poppies being knitted, crocheted or sewn.
Most of them are red but a few are purple to represent the horses lost in the war.
The poppies will form a backdrop to the banner in the displays at the village hall.
Carol Green from Gunnislake Community Matters said that the poppies would be hung on nets on the village hall wall behind the banner.
She said: ‘We thought it was very fitting to use the village hall, formerly known as the public hall, because it had been newly opened just before World War One and was used as one of the focal points in the village during the war.’
A programme of events has now been devised around the art installation.
A short blessing service will be held outside the village hall on Sunday, November 4 at noon led by the Rev Chris Painter.
And the commemorations continue with a ‘Gunnislake Remembers’ evening in Gunnislake Village Hall on Saturday, November 17 from 7pm. Admission is by ticket only, available free from the Post Office, over 14s only.
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