‘Blanket of poppies’ tribute to brave nurse

Artist Charron Pugsley-Hill at home in Longthorpe EMN-150623-193410009
Artist Charron Pugsley-Hill at home in Longthorpe EMN-150623-193410009
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A Peterborough artist will provide a colourful focal point for tributes to a nurse who helped save hundreds of lives during the First World War.

Charron Pugsley-Hill, from Longthorpe has created the Blanket of Poppies to pay tribute to the work of Edith Cavell.

Edith, who went to school in Peterborough, was a British nurse, who helped hundreds of allied soldiers escape from German occupied Brussels.

She was executed on October 12 1915 by the Germans.

The poppies have been made by 49 women in workshops reminiscent of First World War knitting circles, each poppy representing a year of Edith Cavell’s life

Charron said: “I have been humbled and honoured by these women, many of whom were drawn to take part through emotional connections known and unknown to the inspirational story of Edith Cavell.

“I have also been astonished by how many people know nothing about this amazing woman and her bravery from such an iconic period of history. Her story needs to be told.”

The art work includes Britain and Belgium as its centre piece, with quotes and symbolic depictions of her life before and at her execution surrounded by beaded and embellished hand made poppies, leaves and stems.

There is a series of events taking place in Peterborough throughout October to commemorate Edith Cavell, including a service at the city’s war memorial at 7am on October 12 - exactly 100 years after her execution. The blanket will be laid on the memorial during the service.

The blanket will also be at a lecture being given by Diana Souhami taking place at Peterborough Cathedral on October 9.

The Cavell Nurses Trust-set up in 1917 following Edith Cavell’s death to help nurses in need as she had wished to do when she retired, will also use the piece to raise awareness of their work.

Charron added:“It’s a very intense, special and emotional experience creating art about a woman you feel connected with, having researched her life and travelled to the very places that she walked and worked in England and Brussels before her execution in 1915. Her story is one that every woman should know!”