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Over 300 poppies knitted for D-Day remembrance display at Luton retirement development

A group of FirstPort residents in Luton have been working with their local community groups to knit over 300 poppies for a D-Day remembrance display at their retirement development.   

Jane Angell, 65, and Chris Gore, 73 – residents at FirstPort’s Popes Court development in Luton– had just a few months to plan and create the display which consists of dozens of knitted soldiers and hundreds of poppies.  

The pair roped in support from their neighbours, local church group, and community hub to create the display, while their local B&Q donated the backing for the display. 

The remembrance display, which is mounted around the fireplace in the communal lounge of the development for all residents and visitors to view, is in place to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day on Thursday 6th June.  

Jane explained: “I came up with the idea in February to create a display to remember the lives of those lost during the D-Day landings. We’ve knitted hundreds of poppies and I’ve knitted airmen, soldiers and sailors to make up part of the display.  

“I wanted to remember everyone and everything that we lost that day. It is terribly sad to think that the majority of the lives lost that day were only an average age of 18 to 20 and they gave their lives for us. It is a mark of respect, 80 years on from that day. 

“Some of our residents would have been children at the time of the D-Day landings and their parents may have even been there so it’s important we mark this day and remember.” 

There are four colours of poppies in the display to mark those lost during the D-Day landings on the 6th June 1944. These are:  

  • Red: remembrance 
  • Black: commonwealth 
  • Mauve: animals 
  • White: peace 

Eileen Sweeney, the Development Manager at Popes Court, said the display has “brought the whole community together”. She added: “The ladies have worked so hard, and it gave them motivation to accomplish the display and remember those that gave their lives so that we might live our lives as we do today.” 

The FirstPort Group recently announced its charity partnership with Tommy Club, a division of Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI), in their mission to support society’s most vulnerable military veterans. 

In addition to the charity partnership, The FirstPort Group has signed the Armed Forces Covenant, showcasing its commitment to the Armed Forces Community. This includes promoting the organisation as an Armed Forces-friendly business and recognising military skills and qualifications in its recruitment and selection processes.