Thank you Fromelles …

Well Fromelles was amazing.  Everything we hoped for and so much more.

Fromelles France 2016 1 Photographer Claire Takacs

Image by Claire Takacs

Not as big an installation as we had at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, but still sizeable, and incredibly emotional … and our tribute touched the hearts of all who visited … busloads of Australians, English, French, New Zealanders, Germans … and many more. People from all walks of life … many seeking to connect with distant (and not so distant) family and friends who fought right there … on that ground.  We are so grateful that they stopped to share their stories … it was the icing on the cake.

Cobbers was the perfect spot for us … beautifully compact and right in the middle of all that picturesque French farmland.  The Cobbers memorial is a poignant reminder of our mateship and our commitment and yes our losses … and it is sacred turf for Australians … a battle scarred plot of land … one of many in that part of the world. It is humbling to know that the French don’t forget the Australians … and still welcome us with open arms.

Phillips Fromelles masterpiece

Image by Phillip Johnson

Rural life has resumed, ducks are quacking in the background, crops are growing all around, but there are little reminders everywhere of the hell that it must have been one hundred years ago. It is truly hard to fathom the amount of devastation and loss as you sit among this incredibly beautiful, peaceful vista … especially at sunup when it’s oh so quiet and the dew is on the poppies.  The stunning image above was shot on an iPhone 6 at dawn by our Phillip … Il est beau est-il pas?

The installation was a true community effort.   Phillip Johnson’s amazingly simple, elegant design was perfect in every way.  It’s a mathematical jigsaw puzzle that he makes work on every level … and we cannot thank him enough.  We also could not have done it without the help of all of those wonderful people who came and stayed … and in particular Jean Pierre Engelen, District Gouverneur and Daniele Aurich who marshaled the troops from the local  Rotary District … they shared the load with us, among many others, and it made our workload so much lighter in so many ways.

Planting Poppies with French Rotarians July 2016 at Cobbers Day 2Planting Poppies with French Rotarians July 2016 at Cobbers Day 1So … again, thank you all for the opportunity to have done this … What an adventure we have had … and how privileged we feel to have been part of it.

Here are a couple of links to some of David Brooks’ amazing videos on the Fromelles installation.  There are many more on on both Fromelles and the Chelsea journey on Vimeo … Google search Brooksy Films.

Love Lynn and Marg

About 5000 Poppies

The 5000 Poppies Project is a community tribute of respect and remembrance for our servicemen and women, their families and their communities. Created in 2013 by sisters in law Lynn Berry and Margaret Knight in honour of their fathers service in WWII, the project has been closely aligned with the Centenary of Anzac 2014 to 2018, and has consisted of a number of small and large scale installations made from handcrafted poppies from many thousands of contributors from all over the world.
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1 Response to Thank you Fromelles …

  1. matilemile says:

    You’ve summed it up perfectly Lynne. it might not have been as big an installation as Chelsea, but perhaps you could say that the size of it’s impact and significance was incomparable. Thank you very much for including me in the team and allowing me to play a small role in this incredible project. Thank you also to you and Margaret for your inspiration, organisational skills, vision and friendship.
    And so, let the journey continue.

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