ABOUT

What began as a small personal tribute by two Australian women to honour their fathers who both fought in World War II, has become an international tribute of respect and remembrance to those who have served their country in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

Lynn Berry and Margaret Knight set out to crochet a humble 120 poppies to “plant” at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne Australia for Remembrance Day in 2013 in honour of their fathers Wal Beasley (14/32nd Battalion – Australian Imperial Forces) and Stan Knight (Queen’s Own West Kent Regiment – British Army).

It was this simple tribute of love and honour that sparked a massive community outpouring with an estimated 50,000 plus contributors to the project and hundreds of smaller localised installations throughout Australia, New Zealand and beyond.

More than 300,000 beautiful handcrafted poppies have been contributed from all over the world. Contributors include children as young as two, right through to people aged 102, and from many different backgrounds and cultures.

Acclaimed Landscape Designer Phillip Johnson’s spectacular design on the steps of Melbourne’s Federation Square and on Princes Bridge for Anzac Day 2015 provided an emotional backdrop for Melbourne’s Centenary of Anzac commemorations.  The magnificent installation was seen around the world.

Fed Square Banner Pic Gratitude Anzac Day 2015 Karyn MitchellAnd now the installation in its entirety will be shown at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Phillip’s simple, elegant design for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show promises to be a major highlight, with more than 12,500 sq ft of handcrafted poppies on show extending into the gardens of the Royal Chelsea Hospital.  26,000 additional stemmed poppies have been created specifically for the Show, including 1200 stems contributed by women from the UK community knitting group “Knitting for Victory”.

chelsea 2016 artist impression_RT-Small5000 Poppies has been a three year labour of love for many thousands of people.  The project has been well over half a million hours of volunteer labour in the making, and is a stunning acknowledgement of the service and sacrifice of our servicemen and women, their families and their communities.

Phillip Johnson Logo

Our major sponsor, the Victorian Government must be congratulated for its vision in providing the funding to enable us to take the entire installation to Chelsea.  This is not a small undertaking and without a significant grant through the Department of Veterans Affairs, Chelsea would still be just a dream for us.

VIC_LOGO_FA

Our official carrier Qantas will fly the entire installation plus the team to London.  The estimated load is 35 cubic metres of poppies – approx. half the cargo hold of an A3 Airbus.  Setup will take three days with a core team of seven and at least 10 additional volunteers from Melbourne and the UK.

Qantas Logo

We also have a number of key supporters who have provided much needed assistance throughout the project.

We are incredibly grateful to RSL Victoria who are also right behind the project with a significant grant.PrintCarpet Call Australia is donating approx 300 sq metres of beautiful red carpet for the centre of the installation … one we live in hope that the Queen will do us the honour of walking on.

Carpet Call logo

And we also owe a huge debt of gratitude to our graphic designer who has been unstinting in his support for the project from day one … with our logo and all of our marketing collateral.  Taso you are a genius and you have done and continue to do an amazing job for us.

akd-logo-footer

Postal address : 5000 Poppies, P.O. Box 115, Ashburton 3147

email : 5000poppies@gmail.com

blog : 5000poppies.wordpress.com

facebook : 5000 Poppies

89 Responses to ABOUT

  1. Norma Gallacher says:

    Saw some poppy makers yesterday in Fed Square but I did not have time to linger longer and find out why you are doing ,what you are doing . Now that I have read the blog i am interested and I will start knitting a poppy. I have an uncle who was a W.W.1 soldier and would like to honour his memory . He was killled in France in 1916 .

    • 5000poppies says:

      Hi Norma, would love to have you make a poppy or even more. It’s a wonderful project full of meaning and heart. You can download a pattern from the blog … or you can make one of your own design and put your dedication on the back.We will be back at Fed Square on 12 August from 12.00 to 2.00 p.m. or thereabouts so you are welcome to join us if you would like. Otherwise just print out the submission form off the blog and send your poppy to us. Fabulous!!!
      Lynn

  2. We have just completed a community knitting project involving older people in our services and nursing homes and I have been delighted at the enthusiasm and purpose that it provided
    We would love to participate in this project as we provide services to the veterans community in SA Vic , parts of NSW we would like to host an exhibition in SA as well as contributing and would like to check with you about this
    It may be possible to involve Dept Veterans Affairs and seek a small grant
    Please let me know if you would like to discuss collaborating on this
    Lenore

    • 5000poppies says:

      Love the idea Lenore … it’s one of the things the project is all about … community involvement and engagement. I am out of action for the next week … my real job is interfering (but it’s what pays for the yarn) … so by end next week will be free. Give me a call … Thursday/Friday next week to discuss if you can.
      Lynn

  3. Dana Gibson says:

    This is a great idea, I have passed on this information to The Ladies Auxillary at Watsonia RSL.

  4. Maureen Beesley says:

    I think your idea is highly commendably and will certainly contribute. Go crafters. MDB

  5. Jeannie Taylor says:

    I heard your interview on 774 ABC Melbourne today and was very interested in the project. I’m originally from Tasmania and recently discovered one of my grandmother’s cousins was a soldier in WW1 – he was from St Marys and was lucky enough to survive the fighting, but died in England from the Spanish flu epidemic. I will start making poppies and am keen to keep in touch with the next stage of the project – hopefully can make it to Fed Square for the show.

    Jeannie Taylor

    • 5000poppies says:

      Thanks Jeannie … how wonderful … the ladies from St Marys will more than likely be making a poppy in his honour. What a wonderful tribute. Look forward to seeing your poppies in due course.
      Regards,
      Lynn

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  7. sue says:

    I think that is a wonderful idea. My great uncle fought in the war and is buried over in Belgium, and he fought alongside his brother who went to war 2 times. I am sure there will be many contributors towards this.

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  10. Marg says:

    Beautiful

    • 5000poppies says:

      Thank Marg. We are absolutely thrilled with the display in Fed Square. Just wait until Anzac Day 2015 … it will be breathtaking.
      Lynn

      • Thel Wiltshire says:

        Is the display still at Fed Square and when is the next workshop please. Thel

      • 5000poppies says:

        Hi Thel,
        Display will be up until Friday at 3.00 p.m. Then sadly … I need to break it down. We have worked so hard to get to this point … so then not again until April 2015 when we hope to have a massive field of 25,000 poppies in Fed Square. Fed Square workshops are 2nd Monday of each month throughout December, throughout 2014 and then into 2015 right up until April. There will be other workshops as well during 2014/2015 but they are in the planning stages. Hope you can make it in to see the display.
        Lynn

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  14. maureen ellis says:

    Great idea, however is there a pattern for sewing poppies using fabric. Maureen Scarborough QLD

    • 5000poppies says:

      Hi Maureen,
      No fabric patterns on the blog but there are plenty on the internet. If you google fabric poppy you tube or fabric poppy … lots of tutorials to watch
      I hope you enjoy making poppies.

      Regards,
      Lynn

      • Jeniffer Sterland says:

        Hi Maureen,
        I’ve found a great pattern for making poppies, using machine embroidery. OK. The design is actually named ‘Anemone’ … but it looks pretty much like a poppy to me when I assemble it. If you … or anyone else for that matter … are into Machine Embroidery, simply go to astitchahalf.com and look for the Anemone flower in the FSL [free-standing lace] items. I can stitch out two sets of petals to make one flower in just under an hour. I’m only onto my fourth poppy, but will post a photo asap.
        Happy Poppying!

      • 5000poppies says:

        Hi Jennifer.
        I have posted the link on our facebook page.
        Already one other participant is making.
        How exciting.
        We have a number of poppies from the lacemakers guild … they are so lovely.
        Can’t wait to see yours.
        Lynn

  15. Bron Britton says:

    hi Lynn, I am in Yarck, North East Victoria. I have been spreading the POPPY word & have been surprised at how many have not heard of it. Even our local RSL didn’t know about it. I will keep getting the word out. I have made about 20 poppies so far. During winter 2014 I intend to make heaps.
    Regards
    Bron Britton

    • 5000poppies says:

      Thanks so much Bron.
      It is still early days yet … I am so surprised at the uptake given that we only started in mid-late June. So now we have our first 5000 … actually now in excess of 6000 which I thought would take us over a year. So we are happily growing. I will up the promotion this year … and hope that people like you keep spreading the word and getting new people involved and we will see where that leads us. Exciting prospect isn’t it.
      Lynn

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  17. Julia says:

    What a wonderful project! I would love to contribute some felted poppies!

  18. I just read about this project in Vogue Knitting (!) – we’ll take it up in Bega too. Good luck!

    • 5000poppies says:

      Hi Rebecca … it’s wild isn’t it … we are really enjoying the response to the project. Enjoy making. Look forward to seeing your poppies in due course.
      Regards,
      Lynn and Marg.

  19. Vera Rayson says:

    Hi Lynn and Marg.
    don’t think I’ve given up the Poppy making, I just have been so busy that I had very little time to sit down quietly to do some. I always follow your progress and I’m impressed with the results. I will do some more soon and hopefully can contribute with my little amounts to bump up the tally.
    Good to see so many joining in. Keep it up.
    Regards
    Vera

  20. Aleeta Smith says:

    I belong to a craft group in Port Pirie, in South Australia and a few of the ladies, including me have been busy knitting and crocheting poppies. And yes it is very addictive, I personally have made neRly 80 in just over 3 weeks. Our lovely town is going to look amazing next year during the 100th celebration. Keep up the great effort every. Regards, Aleeta Smith

  21. Julie Davies says:

    Hi Lynn and Marg

    5000 Poppies Great Lakes project is doing really well and we now have lots of community support, especially from the local RSL Sub Branch and the local Advocate newspaper.
    We now have a blog site:
    http://greatlakespoppies.blogspot.com.au/
    The official launch and first poppy making workshop for our project is on ANZAC Day 2014 from 1pm to 3pm at St Alban’s Anglican Church in Forster. The president of our local RSL will be there and our the Great Lakes Mayor Jan McWilliams has also been invited.
    Jim, the owner of The Craft Shoppe in Tuncurry is in the process of creating a window display with our poster and poppies (knitted, crocheted and made with felt) as well as war time memorabilia-should look terrific. Posters are now being displayed in shops throughout Forster and Tuncurry and our first article has appeared in The Advocate with many ladies requesting patterns as a result.
    This project has reached the hearts and minds of so many people in our area. One elderly lady, after knitting some poppies has said:
    “When I knit a rug it makes someone warm but when I knit these poppies it makes my heart warm.”
    What a lovely sentiment.
    Julie Davies

  22. Dianne de Munk says:

    My grandfather died in Flanders Fields in 1917. I have just joined a group in Healesville.

  23. 5000poppies says:

    Oh Julie …. that’s just amazing … it truly makes my heart sing. So thrilled and so grateful to you for coming on board. What a ride this is going to be for so many of us.
    Love your work.
    Lynn

  24. Barbara Pullin says:

    Love the concept, I hope we have a Poppy for every soldier we have lost and maybe one for every soldier that has served this great country.

  25. M. White says:

    I really love this idea, and would like to know if there is going to be a display of poppies in Adelaide, as I am a South Australian and relatives of mine have fought and died in the wars, I would specifically like to make some for them and have them displayed in an Adelaide exhibition, possibly in the North Terrace Memorial Gardens….can you please advise.
    Meryl

    • 5000poppies says:

      Hi Meryl,
      This is in the main a Melbourne based project … mainly because Marg and I are Melbourne based.
      Some people who are involved are organising local displays in the main for Remembrance Day this year … and then sending their poppies on to us to be included in the main display in Fed Square. I understand that you would like to display locally … but at this point I have not heard of anything happening in Adelaide although there are a number of people making in SA and there are two SA collection points listed on the blog you could contact which may or may not be of interest to you.
      Sandy Mankoch, Bute R.S.L. Women’s Auxiliary, PO Box 27 Bute Sth. Australia or 2 High Street, Bute Sth. Australia, 5560 or phone 88 262212
      Mile End … ACH Group, at 22 Henley Beach Road, Mile End 5031
      I am sure there will be more over time … or if you wanted, you could start one up yourself perhaps in conjunction with the local library.
      Enjoy making poppies Meryl. It is addictive.
      Lynn

  26. Mrs Gae Smith says:

    Hi Lyn and Marg, love the idea and have started making them, I have to uncles that died in World War One, I am involved in a rugging group so will pass it on, keep up the good work, Gae.

    • 5000poppies says:

      Hi Gae,
      Welcome aboard … we have people from far and wide making poppies … kinda makes my heart swell.
      Enjoy making … home you can get a little poippy making group going.
      Lynn

      • Gae Smith says:

        Dear Lyn, I am up to 20 poppies not many but not wanting to put the knitting needles down, in my last e mail to you I didn’t mean to put were I lived could you take it off your comments please, keeping up the good work for you, Federation Square here we come, also an idea I thought of the people that have an invitation for Gallipoi, wouldn’t it be nice if they wore one. Gae.

        Sent from my iPad

      • 5000poppies says:

        Well done Gae … it’s definitely addictive. And they are so easy to knit and crochet. I think the ease is part of it … it allows you to meditate as you make. I have removed your address details from your last comment. Take care. Lynn

  27. Lyn Hanvey says:

    Hi i saw the sheet at the recent Craft and Quilters show, now have 10 yes its addictive…Lyn Diamond Creek Victoria

  28. susan keysell says:

    Wonderful idea. My grandfather and father both served in WW1 and WW2 another grandfather was in the home guard . We will remember them and the sacrifices they made.

  29. Melanie says:

    Hi Lynn.I heard about your project and got started. It keeps me busy and takes my mind off this dreaded terminal cancer I am batteling. So far I’ve croched 50 or more and intend to do a lot more. Congratulations on such a wonderful idea to commerate the men and women who fought to make this wonderful country what it is today. Stay safe and welll. Melanie

    • 5000poppies says:

      Hi Melanie,
      Lovely to have you on board … it’s such an amazing project and I am loving every minute of it.
      I am finding our contributors are so incredibly generous … of time and spirit and enjoying the fact that they will be a part of something really huge and important.
      I wish you well in your personal journey … and hope that making poppies keeps your hands and heart busy.
      Regards,
      Lynn Berry

  30. Michelle says:

    Hello girls! Here’s Michelle from Poland! I’ve just have found your stunning project site, and want to participate. I will organize action in Poland, and will send you some Polish poppies.

    I’ve takend part in Butterfly Prioject and I gathered 40 some crafty butterflies – so I hope that this time Polish crafters also will give their heart to this awesome project.
    So count me in,I will post about it on my blog and I will start to share your great idea with Polish crafters. Then I will send you all polish poppies in one package. Thanks for organising and sharing it!

    Kind regards from Poland

    • 5000poppies says:

      Hi Michelle.
      Love to have you on board.
      Join our facebook group … and start making poppies. It’s as simple as that.
      I will send you separately a poster which you can use to promote the project and a little background information.
      I am not sure about the significance of the Poppy in Poland … but in Australia it is a very powerful symbol of Remembrance and Respect
      Enjoy making … it’s quite addictive.
      Patterns are posted on the blog or you can use any pattern that you wish.
      Welcome aboard.
      Lynn

  31. eEducate says:

    Hi,
    Our college (St Ursula’s College, Toowoomba http://www.st-ursula.qld.edu.au) have started to make poppies for the project. We will collect them at the college and make a field on our oval, take photos etc. and then pass them onto you. We have a service group called ‘Rising Daughters’ that meet every week to raise money for our local RSL (Harlaxton Sub-Branch) and our girls are very keen to get involved. What a wonderful idea!
    Wendy

    • 5000poppies says:

      Hi Wendy,
      Wonderful to have you on board.
      Enjoy your poppy making … it’s quite addictive as I guess you have found out by now.
      Would love to see the photos posted on our facebook group …. 5000 Poppies if that’s possible.
      Lynn

  32. Tammy Snelling says:

    We are so excited to get involved. The residents at Seasons Aged Care in Redbank Plains Qld are starting to make poppies and very quickly they will mount up as they are extremely fast knitters. I have been sent out to buy wool so look out my knitters are on the ball. As an ex service woman myself (Air Force) I think this is wonderful. Thank you for starting this up.

    • 5000poppies says:

      Brilliant Tammy … so look forward to receiving your poppies in due course.
      In the meantime … enjoy the making … it’s quite addictive.
      Regards,
      Lynn Berry

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  34. katrina treloggen says:

    What is going to happen to the Poppies after the display?

    • 5000poppies says:

      Hi Katrina,
      We are still looking at a number of options for the poppies after Federation Square. But we are hoping that they can stay together as one big art installation.
      Lynn

      • Christine says:

        This was a question that I had as well, what will happen with them after they have been used. Would hate to see them put in boxes, gathering dust. if some of them can go on a permanent display that would be wonderful. maybe some could be made into blankets and used in places where they need such warmth. I am sure our diggers would be thrilled to see that what they are being remembered for, continues to live on and be used, again in a different way.

      • 5000poppies says:

        Hi Christine,
        the plan is to tour the poppies if we can raise the funds and then to have them finish up as a permanent display in the War Memorial in Canberra … if we can convince them of the importance of this little grass roots project!!!!!
        Keep you fingers crossed.
        Lynn

  35. Aleeta Smith says:

    Having been involved previously in projects in aged care type facilities, they will make so many, think they have secret ambitions to beat everyone, too funny

  36. 5000poppies says:

    Perfect Aleeta … a bit of competition never hurt anybody.

  37. Heather Schokman says:

    Someone has told me that the poppies will line the road during the march in Albany, WA. This seems a waste of all the effort. Please tell me how these poppies will be displayed.

    Regards,
    Heather

    • 5000poppies says:

      Hi Heather,
      I am not quite sure how the poppies will be displayed in Albany … but I would think lining the road for the marchers would be a wonderful tribute for the marchers to see as they pass. I think there will be a couple of different types of displays this year to commemorate the 100 year anniversary and the volunteer WA ladies are doing a wonderful job of developing the project locally.
      In Melbourne they will be displayed in Federation Square as both a horizontal and vertical display. We are still working on the final display.
      Lynn

  38. Helen Douglas says:

    Hi Lynn
    I heard about the 5000poppies project through working at Red Cross and have started crocheting and spreading the word. I am interested to know if there is any reason for the green middle as I thought poppies usually had a black centre?
    Kind regards
    Helen Douglas
    Manning WA

    • 5000poppies says:

      Hi Helen,
      Welcome aboard … are you addicted yet?
      There are many different types of poppy centres, some people are using plain black, green, yellow, buttons, ANZAC pins, felt, there are no hard and fast rules and if you join the facebook group and look at the variations you will be amazed … there is much room to be as creative as you like.
      Enjoy making.
      Lynn

  39. Sharon says:

    Well done. It is great to see the number of proposed poppies increasing. I have recognised and promoted your blog on my own by nominating you for a “One Lovely Blog Award”.

  40. Sarah says:

    Hi, I have been teaching crochet to a group of ladies of all ages for a little over a year now, and we were thinking of doing a group project together when someone mentioned the poppies. I am wondering how we go about contributing to the field of poppies and where to find information? Thank you

  41. We’re coordinating a region-wide Poppy-making campaign across our nine library branches. We’re partnering with local galleries and craft groups. We’ll be displaying them locally in February and shipping them to you well in time for the national display (probably the beginning of May). Wish us luck.

    • 5000poppies says:

      Good luck of course.
      So excited about our Queensland poppy friends …. so many of you … it’s amazing.
      Our launch display is of course on Anzac Day next year and we are collecting poppies up to mid March. So hopefully we can get them from you before that time.
      Would you like me to add your libraries to the collection points list on the blog?
      Enjoy making.
      Lynn

  42. Betty McDonald says:

    Hi Ladies, I was lucky enough to sit with you at the Caulfield Racecourse Quilt and Craft Show, and join in knitting and crocheting Poppies, what a privilege, I haven’t stopped I;m addicted, and I am looking forward to catching up at Fed.Square on Tuesday the 11th. Cheers, Betty McDonald

  43. Michele Porter says:

    Only heard about the project to-day through work, Aged Care Facility, will be getting the Ladies who can be involved in this awesome project. Tried both the Knitting and Crochet one to-day, I think they look awesome. Will be showing them at work to-morrow.

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  45. Laine says:

    My two friends and I are making some poppies at boarding school in our spare time, our goal is 50 to give for the soldiers 🙂

  46. Marilyn says:

    Will you still be accepting poppies after March 15th 2015? I know somw people who would like to contribute.

    • 5000poppies says:

      Hi Marilyn,
      We have finished our collection now … with over 220,000 poppies received, we have been inundated.
      We are now asking those who are making poppies to use them in their local area. An excerpt from our blog yesterday states
      We now have enough poppies for our project … well and truly. We are winding down our collections now. If you are still making poppies … that’s not a bad thing. What I would REALLY love to see now is for those people who still want to make a difference with their poppies … is MASSIVE YARN BOMBS (be brave) in your area. Cover inanimate objects in and around your suburb on ANZAC Day … your town hall, your local RSL, your local Cenotaphs, your local cafe, school, retirement villages … cover them all. Do it with our love, our respect and let them know that we remember their service and their sacrifice.
      Hope that works for you.
      Lynn

      This fantastic project has started a massive community movement and we are proud of your commitment and your involvement.

      Marg and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

  47. Isabel says:

    Hello! This is a wonderful idea. I have just come across this now, only a month or so before Anzac Day 2015! I am in China and it may take a while to post a poppy from Nanjing to Ashburton. Nevertheless, I will do my best. Thanks for running a project that fosters community spirit and pays respect to those who have served in wars. x Isabel

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