Town’s appeal to honour those who fought and died in First World War
- Credit: Archant
Households in Godmanchester are being challenged to pay “a sovereign for a soldier” as part of a campaign to commemorate the 77 men from the town who lost their lives in the First World War - in time to mark the end of the conflict 100 years ago this autumn.
Karen Pauley, who is behind the Godmanchester Remembers project, is trying to raise £750 to complete a series of soldier cut-outs representing each man who died.
The scheme became enormously popular when the first 14 of the cut-outs - which are about three feet tall and are marked with the soldier’s name and a poppy - were made in 2016 to commemorate the men who died in the Battle of the Somme a century earlier.
A further 14 were made last year to mark the men who fell in the battles of Arras and Passchendaele.
Now the campaign wants to provide 49 more so that every man who died is recognised.
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Karen said that if every household in Godmanchester contributed £1 - equivalent to a sovereign - there would be enough to pay for the remaining cut-outs, which cost £11 each, with enough left over to cover promotional costs.
She needs to raise £300 to get the order for the new cut-outs under way.
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Karen, who has become known as the “Poppy Lady”, said: “In 2018 we will ensure that we have remembered every man from Godmanchester who died for his country during the Great War - 77 men in total.
“We are also trying to find information about the families of the men because I am sure there are a lot of people in the town who are not aware they are related to them.”
Karen said she had earlier been impressed by a decorative remembrance poppy display, although the idea of extending it did not attract much interest - but the cut-outs had taken off and she had since received inquiries from other towns which wanted to follow suit.
“Ultimately, we would like to have something to commemorate these people in the town, other than the war memorial,” she said.
The cut-outs are adopted and the person looking after them creates a history of the soldier which goes on display with remembrance poppies and can be seen on a trail around the town.
More custodians will be needed for the extra soldiers which will feature on Remembrance Day in November.
Donations can be made to https://www.gofundme.com/godmanchester-remembers and more information is available on Twitter @Goddy_remembers, Instagram and Pinterest at godmanchester.remembers.