News Release

Poppies Knit with Love for The ANZAC 100th Anniversary

Women from the Hobart Australia Stake (diocese) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do their part to commemorate the ANZAC 100th Anniversary. 

They knitted 218 poppies which will be attached to sticks to be planted in lawns at The Avenue of Honour at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne. 

The project began when two Victorian women, Lynn Berry and Margaret Knight were looking to plant 120 poppies in the Avenue to honour their fathers who fought in World War II.  Others around the country wanted to help and so the project took off.

Lee Howe, one of the women who knitted the poppies, had been doing her family history, and knew the names of three of her great uncles.  So when a newspaper article came out several days ago listing the names of those who had served in World War I, she looked for their names and there they were: Claude Edward Milhouse, Horace Clyde Milhouse and Albert Curran.

“I was over the moon about that”, she said.  “I’m not ever going to throw that paper away, I feel so proud of them, proud of their service.” 

Yvonne Watson, another of the women involved in the service effort said, “I discovered an article in ‘Better Homes and Garden’ magazine about the poppy project a few months back and decided it would be a good one for us.  

“We have done charities for other causes for people in need. We are all retired ladies close to or over 80 and this is our ‘fun’. We have a nice time together.  We would all gather at my home once a month.  Knitting each poppy takes an hour or more.  The Church encourages us to do service and we do so enjoy it.

“Knitting these poppies was such an honour, one of the few ways to pay tribute to these men who gave their all to home and country.”

Other members of the Hobart congregation contributed wool and money for the poppies. 

From Wikipedia: “Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australian and New Zealanders ‘who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations’ and ‘the contribution and suffering of all those who have served.’  

“Observed on April 25th each year, Anzac Day was originally to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli against the Ottoman Empire during World War I.”

According to the Australian Shrine of Remembrance website: “Today the poppy is a symbol of remembrance across the world and is the official flower of remembrance in many of the First World War Allied Countries.  

“The journey of the poppy from simple flower to powerful symbol starts with a poem written by a Canadian Doctor, Lieutenant John McRae, whilst he was serving on the Western Front….and so, the poppy was enshrined forever as the symbol of sacrifice, the reminder of courage beyond the call of duty. Entitled 'In Flanders Fields', it read:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky
The larks, still, bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard among the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt drawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McRae

…above all, they symbolise a universal salute to those who have sacrificed their lives and allow for reflection on our history.”

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