Splash of red poppies outside Chatteris Parish Church honours fallen soldiers whilst raising money for charity

PUBLISHED: 16:58 09 November 2017

The Fallen 2017. PHOTO: Chatteris In Bloom

The Fallen 2017. PHOTO: Chatteris In Bloom

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A cascade of poppies outside Chatteris Parish Church is helping to raise money for the Poppy Appeal ahead of Remembrance Sunday.

The Fallen 2017. PHOTO: Chatteris In Bloom The Fallen 2017. PHOTO: Chatteris In Bloom

The colourful and moving design, called ‘The Fallen’ and created by the Chatteris in Bloom team, commemorates local Victoria Cross (VC) winner George Clare and other fallen soldiers.

The Fallen 2017. PHOTO: Chatteris In Bloom The Fallen 2017. PHOTO: Chatteris In Bloom

Just outside the Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul, the cascade honours the fallen soldiers of World War 1 (WW1).

The Fallen 2017. PHOTO: Chatteris In Bloom The Fallen 2017. PHOTO: Chatteris In Bloom

Tina Prior, chairman of Chatteris In Bloom, said: “Hundreds of people across the town donated and crocheted the poppies, and five or six did the sewing and put the display together.

The Fallen 2017. PHOTO: Chatteris In Bloom The Fallen 2017. PHOTO: Chatteris In Bloom

“If people want to support a poppy for a donation they can write a personal message in memory of their loved one.

The Fallen 2017. PHOTO: Chatteris In Bloom The Fallen 2017. PHOTO: Chatteris In Bloom

“The response since Monday has been phenomenal; it’s gone bonkers.”

The Fallen 2017. PHOTO: Chatteris In Bloom The Fallen 2017. PHOTO: Chatteris In Bloom

It’s been revered by the local community for its craftsmanship and message.

The Fallen 2017. PHOTO: Chatteris In Bloom The Fallen 2017. PHOTO: Chatteris In Bloom

“So proud to live in Chatteris” said a local resident on the Facebook page Chatteris in Bloom while another called it “beautiful and representative”.

The Fallen 2017. PHOTO: Chatteris In Bloom The Fallen 2017. PHOTO: Chatteris In Bloom

The decoration commemorates one soldier in particular, George Clare. He came from Chatteris and won the VC. Although he did die in the war, he is commemorated at the local doctors surgery named after him.

The Fallen 2017. PHOTO: Chatteris In Bloom The Fallen 2017. PHOTO: Chatteris In Bloom

The Fallen 2017. PHOTO: Chatteris In Bloom The Fallen 2017. PHOTO: Chatteris In Bloom

Who was George Clare?

The Fallen 2017. PHOTO: Chatteris In Bloom The Fallen 2017. PHOTO: Chatteris In Bloom

The Cambridgeshire Community Archive Network’s website states:

George William Burdett Clare VC Private 6657 was part of the 5th Royal Irish Lancers. He was awarded the VC “for acting as a stretcher-bearer during a most intense and continuous enemy bombardment he had dressed and conducted wounded over the open to the dressing-station 500 yards away”.

He was born in St Ives on May 18 1889 but was raised in Chatteris by his grandmother as his parents had moved away to London. He lived down Anchor Street which later named Clare Street in commemoration.

Before serving in WW1 he served in the Imperial Yeomanry for eight years, he was well known for singing songs in the pub on a Saturday whilst on leave. He had joined the 5th Irish Lancers at the outbreak of the war being at the frontline as early as March 1915 as he sent a letter to a friend which was published in the Cambridgeshire Times March 15.

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