Poppy project

Project to honour the memory of men from Bowburn who lost their lives in WWI

On 20th October 2015, the first resin poppies were placed on the fronts of houses that were once the homes of Bowburn men who lost their lives in World War I. Although many of their homes have since been demolished, nearly 40 are still standing, mostly in the former colliery rows.

Summaries of the biographies of men who lived and/or worked in the Bowburn and surrounding area, and were killed in World War I, were written for display on Friday 16th October 2015, at an event to mark the centenary of the death of Nurse Edith Cavell. The overwhelming majority of them were coal miners but there were also three teachers and two farm workers.

Please click here to view these summaries.

This project was inspired by Fire Officer Michael Burdon, two of whose great uncles left the same house in Clarence Street, Bowburn, but did not return, having lost their lives on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, on 1st July 1916. It follows the example of a similar venture carried out in Washington, Durham, by the Wessington University of the Third Age. (See “Wad thou gan?”). We are grateful to local County Councillors for helping us to purchase the poppies. The poppies were made of resin, with a brass-like finish, by sculptor Allan Scott.

Please click here to see some pictures of the poppies being installed and in place, and of the ceremony on 20th October.