18th November 2016
Every year Queen Anne High School in Dunfermline, Fife commemorates Remembrance with a full pupil-led service in the assembly hall reflecting on the impact of war through a number of subjects.
Inspired by the original ceramic cascade of poppies at the Tower of London 2014 and the ‘Weeping Window’ at the Black Watch Museum in Perth 2016, the Art and History departments collaborated in creating their own version using paper poppies. Over the course of the next three weeks the poppies were made by Queen Anne High School pupils and draped from the organ balcony in the school’s assembly hall on 11th November 2016.
S1, S2 and S3 Queen Anne pupils received lessons on the importance of the Poppyscotland fund and how it supports veterans of all wars. This led to the creation of pupils’ very own ‘Poppy Factory’ during in their Art and History classes where they designed as many paper poppies as possible. Meanwhile, S3 History pupils visited the local archives at St Margaret’s House in Dunfermline and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Living Memory Project where they identified the 467 names of the Dunfermline fallen of WWI. They decided as a mark of respect it would be fitting to write the names of each of the fallen soldiers on their poppies as a local tribute.
Senior Art pupils and their teachers then painstakingly threaded the poppies together to create a waterfall effect and a river cascading below which they named ‘The Water Fallen’. It took pride of place during the school’s remembrance service and served as the backdrop for performances in Music, Drama, English and History. S5 pupil Calum Reekie read the poem ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ by an anonymous soldier from the top of the balcony and a lone student piper Daniel Ferry piped during the laying of the wreaths from same spot which made for a haunting and memorable culmination of their efforts.
The poppies were designed to be quickly installed and removed, allowing them to then be easily transferred to the Kingsgate Centre in Dunfermline, where they were then displayed over the weekend, meeting a very favourable reaction from the general public.
We at Poppyscotland were absolutely thrilled to hear this story as it truly exemplifies what wonderful work is being done in schools to remember those who have lost their lives in wars. All of the money raised by these hard-working pupils and their teachers will go towards helping former and current Servicemen and women and their families. Poppyscotland exists to recognise their sacrifices, understand the challenges they face and provide a wide range of practical support to enable them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.