Elsecar Poppy Trail

Elsecar Remembers (19th Oct -5th Dec 2018)

As we mentioned in a recent blog post, a collection of local community groups, charities and educational bodies have joined together to create Elsecar Remembers, a project to commemorate the memory of 72 local lives lost in the First World War.

The collaboration includes:

Elsecar Holy Trinity Church

    People across the village contributed to the preparations for the Poppy Trail, including members of the congregation of Elsecar Holy Trinity Church and other ‘poppy volunteers’. Together they have undertaken historical research into the lives of the 72 men commemorated and contributed to the preparations for the trail.

    The historical research is built on work by parishioner Graham Noble and the Elsecar Family History Group who had previously researched the history of the 32 men named on Elsecar Church’s own war memorial (see the limited edition book, Parishioners of Elsecar who laid down their Lives in the Great War 1914-18, 85 pages long, a copy is held at Barnsley Archives). Taking the number to 72 for the wider village has brought new stories and connections to light.

    The design and creation of the poppies themselves was led by textile artist Gemma Nemer, artist-in-residence for Great Place Wentworth and Elsecar, based at the Button Tin studio at the Heritage Centre.

    Around the village, on 16 separate streets, the individual poppies are to be found attached to lamp posts close to the addresses from where the soldiers came. From October to December 2018 local people and visitors will be able to see the trail of poppies and read about the lives of the men who did not come back; the 5th December marks the date when the final local casualty occurred.

    A map of the locations of the poppies has been produced and can be accessed online here: Elsecar Remembers Poppy Trail Map.

    The Friends of Hemingfield Colliery are pleased to see this project come to life, particularly as two names appear opposite the colliery, at Pit Row: two members of the Guest family, Ernest and Frank, whose names also appear on the Hemingfield and Jump War Memorial.

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    Hemingfield and Jump War Memorial

    We hope to write more about these men as the year progresses and on the impact of the war, both in terms of the casualties, but also on the service men and families who emerged from a world at war into a new and uncertain peace. Indeed the end of the First World War would mark a significant point in the life of the colliery itself.

    Printed copies of the World War I Poppy Trail are available from the Visitor Centre in the Elsecar Heritage Centre, from Holy Trinity Church itself (open on Mondays from 10.30am-2.30pm), and also from Hoyland Library. Some copies have been delivered to local village pubs including the Market Hotel, the Milton Arms, the Crown Inn, and the Fitzwilliam Arms.

    There will also be a special service of remembrance at Elsecar Holy Trinity Church on the 27th October 2018 at 4pm.

    For detail of other Remembrance services and events taking place in 2018, please see the Barnsley Remembers programme.

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