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Hundreds of crocheted poppies displayed for fallen university alumni

​​From 5 – 9 November the university will be displaying crocheted poppies at its Francis Close Hall Chapel remembering former students who lost their lives in the First World War.

264 poppies have been crocheted by staff and alumni in remembrance of those who died from the university’s predecessor colleges – 96 for students from Cheltenham Training College and 168 for pupils from St. Paul’s Practising School. 

These poppies will be displayed in the Francis Close Hall Chapel during the week leading up to Remembrance Sunday alongside biography cards for each of the former students. One card tells the story of twins Harry and Edward Turner who attended St Paul’s Practising School from 1888 and were both 1st Class Stokers in the Royal Navy. Harry and Edward were serving on the HMS Good Hope when they were killed at the battle of Coronel off the coast of Chile, on 1 November 1914. Between them they left two widows and eight children living in Gloucester.

An online Roll of Honour for all 264 alumni will be published on 5 November on the University’s Special Collections and Archives blog.

The university also houses the Dymock Poets Special Collection, and a selection of their works reflecting on the War, will also feature in the display.

Reverend Simon Witcombe, Senior Chaplain at the university, said:

“This will be a very moving display, with stories of loss and heroism which remind us of the cost of war. I’m so pleased that we decided to do something special to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the armistice, and it has been wonderful to see so many staff, students and alumni get involved with this way of saying thank you to those individuals from our own community who were involved in the First World War.”

The poppies will be on display from 5 – 9 November at Francis Close Hall campus. All are welcome to visit the Chapel to see the installation during the week and to join students and staff for ‘Remembering Together’ on Friday 9 at 12.30pm – a time of reflection ending with a two minute silence.