Ceramic poppies that formed part of the Tower of London’s Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red Rivers display will be a new centre piece around the permanent, memorial to honour the men from a North Yorkshire town who lost their lives in the First World War.
Sixty-five of the earthenware flowers – one for each of the servicemen from Masham and the villages of Healey and Fearby who fought and died in the conflict – will be permanently affixed around the existing honours board in Masham Town Hall.
The poppies have been purchased by the Mashamshire Branch of the Royal British Legion, and the new memorial will be unveiled during a special ceremony in Masham Town Hall, being held at 11am on Saturday, April 16, 2016, by former Secretary of State, Lord Jopling.
The date has been chosen to coincide with another memorable event in the town’s history, when 75 years ago to the day, a German bomber randomly dropped its payload on the White Bear Hotel, narrowly missing Bellfield House, where Lord Jopling was sleeping.
During the Saturday afternoon, a 1940s market will be staged in Masham Market Square, followed by a celebration concert that night in the Town Hall, featuring the Dishforth Military Wives choir and “Sound The Trumpet”.
The Royal British Legion are also using the day to raise funds for the everyday running of new recovery units, including Phoenix House rehabilitation centre at Catterick, which was built by the charity Help for Heroes.
Edward Theakston, Secretary of Mashamshire Branch of the Royal British Legion, said:
All those who saw the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red Rivers installation at the Tower of London could not have failed to have been moved by the sight of the poppies, each representing a British soldier, sailor or airman killed in the Great War.
As a branch, we raised money to purchase 65 of these iconic pottery flowers to honour each of the brave men from Masham, Fearby and Healey, who fought and died in that terrible conflict a century ago.
We are delighted that Lord Jopling has agreed to perform the honours for us. We are asking people to remember those service men and women who lost their lives in recent conflicts, and those who are currently being nursed back to health at specialist units like the Phoenix House rehabilitation centre at Catterick.
As it is a little known fact that the Royal British Legion pays for the day to day running the new recovery units, we hope to raise a significant sum for the likes of Phoenix House with the evening concert, and by simply asking visitors and shoppers to give a donation.
Tickets for the concert, which commences at 7.30pm, cost £10 and are available
Mashamshire Community Office, located at 7 Little Market Place, by telephoning 01765 680 200 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org