Having read through the Resource Pack provided by the CWGC Living Memory Project I decided to focus on a cemetery near to my home; Mere Knolls Cemetery in Sunderland. Taking advantage of the beautiful weather we are having I set out feeling confident I have it all under control. Hmmm…maybe not.
First set back is it is a much larger cemetery than I realised and walking is not my strong suit. Secondly I foolishly assumed the the majority of the war graves would be together. Despite this I have progressed.
It is a beautiful place. This is a photograph of the main gates.
And here is the view as you reach beginning of the graves.
It was very peaceful and tranquil.
According to the CWGC’s site there are 181 war graves here. I wandered about for quite a while and found some dotted about here and there:
And then a group of 30 arranged together in 2 rows:
Clearly I need to return and be more organised. Having said that it was very pleasant to be there and read the stones.
2016 is the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. It took place during the period 1st July – 18th November 1916 and resulted in more than one million dead or wounded. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Living Memory Project provides resources to discover and explore local war graves. The CWGC Living Memory site informs us:
These are in the main,the graves of the men who were wounded on the Western Front and later died in hospitals in Britain along with those who fell ill while serving their country including many men and women who died in the influenza epidemic. Their headstones stand in the midst of the large civic cemeteries in the big cities across the British Isles. Sometimes in a group and sometimes scattered, these graves also lie in village churchyards up and down the country.
The project asks that we remember those who died who are buried in local cemeteries and is encouraging groups to carry out a variety of activities.
I was very interested when I heard about the project and set about finding a local group. Unfortunately as yet I haven’t been able to locate one though if there are any out there who would like an enthusiastic volunteer please feel free to contact me.
Never one to be put off by life’s set backs I have resolved to be a group of one. The Living Memory Project provided me with a Resource Pack full of information and suggestions for activities. In addition they make the important point that ‘Remembering all the CWGC war graves here in the British Isles is an important and appropriate mark of respect for the centenary of the Somme. The 1st July affected every family in the British Isles. Find out more at www.cwgc.org and email firstname.lastname@example.org.’
It has been a glorious day in Sunderland. As we don’t have the opportunity to say that very often I wanted to record it for posterity. It was sunny and (relatively) warm. Blue skies. Just the weather I had in mind when I thought of having Robert Frost’s poem Blue-Butterfly Day as inspiration for some designs. I like to think my latest cushion is in keeping with his words.
It also got me thinking about inspiration in general. Why one sensory input triggers no creative desire while another, often random, experience results in a rush of creativity. So as much as I love cake (and goodness me I do like cake!) I have, as yet, never been moved to make a quilt after eating a Victoria Sponge. I do however admit to eating many Victoria Sponges, and countless other cakey delights, whilst sewing.
Spring/butterflies/the sea etc never fail to urge me to try to transform fabric and thread into something new. This blog and this website will hopefully chart my creative journey. And equally hopefully we will have cake along to sustain us.
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