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AWM seeks knitters for Centenary

Each handmade poppy represents an Australian life lost in WWI. ABC News: Siobhan Heanue

Siobhan Heanue , Knitters wanted as War Memorial plans to unveil handmade poppies display, ABC News, 20 August 2017

The call has gone out to knitters from around Australia to help create 60,000 poppies to mark the centenary of the end of World War I in November 2018.

It is hoped the poppies will carpet part of the grounds at the Australian War Memorial (AWM) in time for commemorations.

Each poppy knitted will represent an Australian life lost in World War I, with the Great War remaining the costliest conflict to Australia in terms of deaths.

Out of the 416,809 men who enlisted, 60,000 were killed and 156,000 were wounded, gassed or taken prisoner.

To help the poppy project, a growing group of Canberrans with a flair for fabric regularly meet to add to the growing haul of poppies by knitting, crocheting and felting more creations.

School teacher Kelly Turner is learning to knit so that she can teach her students in time to involve them in the project.

“I’m super passionate about educating kids about the Anzac legend in particular, and why it’s still relevant today,” Mrs Turner said.

“They would say it’s old-school or it’s pretty vintage, but anything they can do to contribute positively to our community sets them up to be really positive citizens in the future.”

Keen knitter Kerry Apted is helping to organise the project and said she marvels at how enthusiastic people are about the idea.

“People from all over Australia knit these poppies and post them in,” she said.

“It’s about being of service but it’s also about remembrance.

“If these people hadn’t gone to war, lost their lives and served, then we wouldn’t be sitting here.”

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