Commemoration blooms in Winchester

Press Release: 26/06/2014

WW1 Flower Bed, Bar End

This year’s anniversary of the start of World War One will be planted in the minds of everyone coming to Winchester with a commemorative floral display.

The raised bed on the roundabout at Bar End features an eye-catching poppy design, the words ‘Lest we forget’ and the dates 1914-1918.

It is part of Winchester City Council’s work to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War, which also includes distributing poppy seeds to schools and Parishes to plant. These are just a few of the initiatives undertaken by the Council since the signing of the Winchester Armed Forces Community Covenant in 2013, a voluntary statement of mutual support between a civilian community and its local Armed Forces Community.

The bed is the initiative of the Council’s Landscape and Open Spaces team and will be maintained by the Landscape Group. David Cowie, the General Manager for the Winchester City Council and East Hampshire District Council contract said:

The Landscape Group is delighted to work in partnership with Winchester City Council in providing high quality ground maintenance services for the enjoyment of the residents and visitors to this historic city and is keen to support our colleagues working for the City Council when events of this nature are undertaken.

Cllr Jan Warwick, the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment, Health & Wellbeing, said:

The roundabout at Bar End is one of the most prominent entrances for visitors and local people coming to Winchester.

Winchester played an important part in the First World War, notably with the huge encampments at Morn Hill. Around two million troops stayed at the camps between 1914 and 1918 when the population of Winchester was only 22,000. So it is right and fitting that we should take this opportunity to mark the anniversary of the outbreak of war with a floral tribute.

The commemorative bed was given an official seal of approval on Armed Forces Day (Monday 23 June) when Cllr Warwick welcomed a number of veterans to see the planting.