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The Official Opening of the Field of Remembrance

Published on: 15 November 2022

Assistant Julien Pursglove with The Poppy Factory representatives

On Thursday, 10th November, the 94th Field of Remembrance was opened at Westminster Abbey. Amid the shared loss of the pandemic and ongoing war in Ukraine, remembrance is ever more poignant. The Remembrance period brings context to current difficulties and a moment for collective and individual reflection.

As The Poppy Factory is a charity that The Worshipful Company of Butchers support, we were fortunate to be given VIP passes to attend this special event. Sadly, on the day there were major train and underground disruptions, which resulted in many people being unable to travel. However, the event was well attended by a multitude of serving military personnel and veterans.

The Garden of Remembrance

Within the Garden of Remembrance there are total of 308 plots which are laid out in the names of military associations and other organisations. A new plot was added this year to represent those who have served or are currently serving on an airborne early warning squadron (AEW) of the Royal Navy known as the AnyFace Association. There was also an additional plot dedicated to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, for those wishing to lay personal tributes and pay their respects.

Staff and volunteers from The Poppy Factory in the days leading up to the opening had placed circa 70,000 poppy crosses within the various plots, many containing the names of family members and comrades dating from the First World War to the present day.

This year, Her Majesty The Queen Consort attended and laid a Cross of Remembrance. Following the two minute silence at 11am, Her Majesty conducted a review of the plots.

The Poppy Factory

The Poppy Factory was established by Major George Howson MC in 1922 following the First World War at Richmond-upon-Thames to help injured and disabled serviceman. The first time the Garden of Remembrance was laid out was in 1928 where 30,000 crosses were laid and has since continued to this day. In addition to employing veterans at their Richmond-upon-Thames factory, The Poppy Factory also supports ex-Forces personnel to find all kinds of employment each year across the UK.

Following the official opening The Field of Remembrance will remain open from the 10th to 20th November for members of the public to pay their respects. More information can be found here.