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November 10th 2018

Blackheath High School Students Create Touching Poppy Tribute

Students and staff at Blackheath High School have transformed the school’s roof terrace into a stunning art installation of acrylic poppies to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War.

The touching tribute was commissioned by the school’s Artist in Residence, Mary Aspden who was inspired by the John McCrae poem ‘In Flanders Fields’.

Over the past few weeks, students have been working in their Design & Technology classes to make the poppies for the installation which will remain up for the rest of the month.

Each of the poppies on display are available to be sponsored by members of the school community for £5, with all the proceeds going to the Royal British Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal.

Sponsors are also given the option of having the name of a family member or friend who lost their life in the Great War engraved on the poppy’s petal. Once the display is taken down, sponsors will receive their personalised poppies to keep as a souvenir of the installation.

We also hoped the display would honour the wartime efforts made by the staff and students a century ago when many of them volunteered in the Red Cross and in a New Eltham factory painting aeroplane compasses to help during the struggle.

The rapid introduction of women into the workforce was of particular meaning to the girls’ school, founded in 1880. Rousing speeches to encourage girls to find meaningful work and the responsibility that came with being a part of the war effort characterised life at the school in wartime years.

During the war, the school field was also ploughed for use as allotments and many of the staff were appointed to important posts in the local community.

Head at Blackheath High School GDST, Mrs Carol-Chandler Thompson said:

“We have been delighted with the way our whole school community has supported our armistice centenary poppy installation, inspired by John McCrae’s poem; ‘In Flanders Fields’.

“Our design department and their team of student volunteers have been working hard with trademark Blackheath High imagination and commitment to create this beautiful installation and parents and staff have generously sponsored a huge number of the poppies.” 

“Alongside our annual Remembrance service, the installation is the culmination of events marking the 2018 armistice centenary which have included a school production of ‘Oh What a Lovely War!’ and a lecture on ‘World War One in public memory.”

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