The first panel of hand made poppies
is erected in the Tears on
The first of the special World War One tribute of poppies has been displayed in the Roimata Pounamu Tears on Greenstone memorial on Armistice Day. Poppy Project Coordinator Alison Jones said "it's been overwhelming the support we have received from all over New Zealand and we are now fast approaching 4,000 poppies hand-made."
On 16th October the National Army Museum launched their 'Patriotic Call to Yarn' project commemorating all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice on an important day in history when the first soldiers left New Zealand for Europe and the First World War.
On 16th October 1914 over 8,000 New Zealand troops and their horses left Wellington harbour and New Zealand shores bound for Egypt. They left thinking, "it will all be over by Christmas", that it was an adventure of a lifetime, the opportunity for overseas travel. Little did they know what awaited them on the other side of the world.
Over the course of the next four to five years on the battlefields of Gallipoli and later Europe, New Zealand lost 18,166 men and women to the ravages of war.
Back home the war effort was strong as the women realised they also could 'do their bit'.
"For the empire and for freedom, we all must do our bit, the men go forth to battle, the women wait and knit" - Lady Annette Liverpool
Patriotic associations were formed all over the country with over 5 million pounds raised. Women got together and knitted and stitched items of clothing for the soldiers including balaclavas, shirts, underclothing, socks and darning kits.
In honour of all these men and women 100 years ago, the National Army Museum is seeking assistance from the general public of New Zealand to make a patriotic 'call to yarn' by producing one hand crafted poppy for each servicemen and women lost by our nation in the Great War. That is 18,166 poppies!
Poppies can be knitted, crocheted, sewn or hand crafted in anyway and there are several different patterns available to assist people in their contributions.
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