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Ceramic poppies made for Rutland project

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Hand-crafted ceramic poppies were created in Rutland last week in aid of a community project and an Army commander from Oakham who died in a famous battle in the First World War.

The Rutland Poppy project is installing a commemorative display in the grounds of Oakham Castle made up of up to 10,000 handcrafted poppies.

Pupils from Wilds Lodge School in Empingham took part in a workshop led by Claire Brewis from the project in which they made poppies for the display.

And Rutland residents created ceramic poppies to commemorate the death of an Oakham man, Lieutenant Colonel Percy Evans Frek who died in one of the most decisive battles of the First Word War.

Lieutenant Frek was the commanding officer of the Leicestershire Yeomanry regiment and died in the Battle of Frezenberg Ridge in Belgium on 13 May 1915, along with most of his regiment.

His great grandson, Robert Boyle, and ten other volunteers took part in the ceramic poppy making at Bisbrooke Hall, where Robert lives, to commemorate the men who died from the regiment on the anniversary of the battle on Sunday. And the poppies will be donated to the Rutland Poppy Project for use in the display.

Robert, who is the honorary colonel of the Leicestershire Yeomanry, said: “I am absolutely delighted with how it went. It is a really special regiment.

“I think everybody appreciated it what we were doing and I we were all very pleased to be taking part in the project.”

He added that under his grandfather’s leadership, the regiment “held the line in an important battle in the war” - in doing so stopping the Germans getting into the town of Ypres.

The poppy making at Wilds Lodge took place in the school’s studio and involved six pupils.

Abigail Thomson, an art physiotherapist at the school, said: “The children really enjoyed it, it is a really special project.We decided to make the poppies as we wanted to do something for the community.”

The display will be in the grounds of Oakham Castle where it will remain on display for a month between October and November this year.

The Rutland Poppy project is co-ordinated through Catmose College.

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