Devon ladies honour the fallen

Great War banner and quilt launch

At 11am on Thursday 30 January 2014, the Royal British Legion officially introduced a specially commissioned banner and quilt at the annual Craft Show, Westpoint Arena, Exeter, to mark the centenary of the First World War. This Banner, started in February 2013, is the brain-child of Adrienne Howells, an artist and tutor at the South Devon College in Paignton, and of her son John, whilst the quilt is the creation of the well-known South West Quilters. Both Banner and Quilt will be on view at Westpoint for three days before setting off on display around the county, ending at Killerton House in November for hand over to the Legion and raffle draw.

“War Horse” ridden by Lucinda McAlpine, former Royal Marine Mark Ormrod and Legion Standard Bearers was in attendance at the launch. In addition, there will be an exhibition of Great War memorabilia, which includes horseshoes from the Somme, trench art and recipes. Pictures of family members, anecdotes and family stories have also been collected. The Quilt of 50 squares entitled “Every stitch a memory”, will be the main prize in a raffle. Other prizes include hand-made items donated by craftsmen and women from across the county.

Mrs Carole Arnold, the Royal British Legion’s Community Fundraiser for Devon, likens the quilt to “a field of poppies”, evoking “memory, honour, respect and emotion”.

Quilt by Quilters J&A Howells

The Banner, officially called “We will Remember”, depicts a trench with a horse standing on a bridge. Poppies donated by the Legion are available for people to write the name of a family member who served in the Great War, together with their regiment or ship, onto the poppy which will be sewn around the main image. There will be a visitors’ book for personal messages.

Main Banner plus one side RBL J&A Howells

Children of military families have placed poppies on the banner in memory of the “Men and Women of Devon” whilst Mrs Dorothy Ellis, the last surviving widow of the First World War, has placed a poppy in memory of her husband Wilfred.

The banner, quilt and exhibition will be travelling around Devon throughout 2014. For more information, see our events calendar). Villages, parish communities, WIs, schools, etc wishing to host this exhibition should contact Adrienne Howells on 07791 609068 or Carole Arnold 07769 671590 or email: carnold@britishlegion.org.uk