Collingwood’s knitted tribute to ultimate sacrifices

VISITORS, staff and trainees visiting Cunningham Building are being treated to a unique remembrance display as Armistice Day fast approaches  – thanks to two dedicated knitters.
Back in 2019, a team from the Maritime Composite Training System based in the building created an 19ft-long Poppy Wave comprised of over 800 hand-knitted poppies with the idea to create an annual tradition of displaying the masterpiece and remembering the Fallen.
Although it went up in 2020, it didn’t have as many visitors as they hoped for, due to pandemic measures in place at the time, so this year two of the original team planned to resurrect the idea… but with a twist.
Tina Mayhead and Carol Ursell were the inspiration behind the original wave and, this year, initially decided to knit more poppies and just extend its length before Tina spotted a commemorative horse’s head online, commemorating the animals in war who also made the ultimate sacrifice.
Carol had been keen to incorporate purple poppies into the original Wave, so Tina immediately began work constructing her own life-size horse’s head from cardboard and paper which she and Carol covered with beautiful hand-knitted purple poppies. The horse even has “reins”, of perfectly constructed black poppies! The head now perfectly complements the extended Wave and creates even more of a spectacle.
In a joint statement, Carol and Tina said: “We are pleased with the outcome of the horse and are open to ideas to expand the display, as long as it’s respectful and in keeping with the ethos of what the British Legion stands for”.
OVERVIEW: Tina Mayhead and Carol Ursell survey the results of their efforts. Photograph courtesy of Keith Woodland, Crown copyright