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Free seeds for Swansea people to turn city into a sea of poppies for First World War anniversary

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: March 12, 2014

Swansea council cabinet members launching the poppy scheme that will be brought in across Swansea.

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A SEA of poppies will come into flower in Swansea this summer to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.

Swansea Council has launched a free poppy seed scheme for residents, community groups and schools across the city to remember the soldiers who lost their lives in conflict between 1914 and 1918.

Residents in many towns and villages have been busy researching those who perished from their area and sprucing up their community's war memorials.

Mumbles Community Council, for example, has set aside money this year for the dedication of soldiers from the area who died in "the war to end all wars".

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Their names will be added to those already inscribed on the wooden rood screen in All Saints' Church.

Poppy seed packs are available for residents at the Civic Centre and Swansea's district housing offices.

Council parks and gardens staff will be preparing ground before long for the planting of poppies close to the cenotaph on the seafront, outside the Civic Centre and outside the Guildhall.

The poppies will be planted to ensure they're in full bloom by August to mark the sombre centenary.

A state of war was declared in Great Britain on August 4, 1914.

The first British casualties were recorded two days later when HMS Amphion, a Royal Navy cruiser, was sunk by German mines in the North Sea.

By the time hostilities ceased on November 11, 1918, nine million soldiers, sailors and airmen had died.

Political upheavals rippled across the globe in its aftermath.

Swansea Council leader David Phillips said: "Many Swansea people died on foreign battlefields in the First World War and many more will have suffered from the hardships of war at home.

"They made those sacrifices so that generations to come could enjoy the freedom that we all cherish and sometimes take for granted nowadays.

"This is why it's so important that Swansea remembers.

"The poppy is an international symbol of remembrance and it's extremely poignant that poppy displays will be in full bloom by the cenotaph and outside our civic buildings this summer.

"It's one of the ways we'll be marking the First World War both this year and in the four years to come."

Councillor June Burtonshaw, Armed Forces champion, said: "We'd like people of all ages right across Swansea to grow their own poppy displays and remember those who gave their lives a century ago.

"The poppy displays won't just be eye-catching — they'll also be educational because they'll encourage people who don't know much about the First World War and the significance of the poppy to find out more.

"The free packs of poppy seeds will include information about Swansea's role in the war, a step-by-step guide on how and when to plant as well as information on how to care for poppies."

Other forthcoming First World War events this summer include exhibitions at both Swansea Museum and Swansea Central Library.

Workshops are also being organised as part of the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery's off-site programme of events and activities.

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  • sonofsand  |  March 12 2014, 9:39AM

    Dear oh dear. How is this this insipid gesture supposed to heal the divide in our city?

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