Care home residents in Lymington have turned to arts and crafts to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War.
Members of a ‘knit and chat’ group at Colten Care’s Belmore Lodge home knitted and crocheted 100 woollen poppies, one for every year since 1914.
The collection was put on display at a poppy picnic with individual poppies sold, raising more than £220 for the Royal British Legion.
For resident Anne Uren, it was a chance to remember her father, Lieutenant Edward Raymond Peal, who was in the Royal Flying Corps during the war. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in June 1916 in recognition of his role as an aeroplane observer.
Anne, who was born in London and lived in Salisbury before moving to Lymington, said: “In those early days of military flying there were very few aerodromes so they would often take off and land in farmers’ fields. There were also no maps for navigation. It was incredibly dangerous. Like many other former servicemen, he never spoke much about the war afterwards but I knew that he flew over northern France many times.”
Belmore Lodge Activities Organiser Nikki Hansford said: “Our arts and crafts sessions are relaxing, social occasions that help our residents to reflect on times gone by and discuss personal memories. At the same time, many of our residents used to knit when they were younger and, like riding a bike, they tend to just get back into it.”
At Linden House, Colten Care’s dedicated dementia care home in Lymington, residents have been painting watercolour poppies in art therapy classes led by Shaun Stevens, an artist who works with the Alzheimer’s Society.
Gardeners at all 19 homes run by Colten Care planted poppy seeds in advance of the centenary so that flowers would appear in the summer. At several homes, peace roses have also been put in the ground in memory of all those who have served and died in war.