Knitted poppy memorial at Southmead Hospital

Friday, 9 November 2018

Volunteers and staff at Southmead Hospital have marked their respect ahead of the 100th anniversary of the First World War by knitting 192 poppies.

The poppies have been knitted by staff and volunteers of ‘Knit with me’, which is a project funded by Southmead Hospital Charity. The group wanted to create a memorial to the 192 people who died at Southmead Hospital as a result of the Great War.

The group spent weeks knitting, stitching and researching the history of Southmead Hospital during World War 1 and unveiled their hard work in the Brunel building earlier this week.
Southmead was a military hospital from 1914 – 1918 and was part of the 2nd Southern General Hospital. During the war 37,397 patients were admitted to the hospital with 192 dying in the wards.

Injured soldiers, sailors and airmen - including some from Australia, New Zealand and Canada - arrived at Temple Meads on hospital trains. Southmead Hospital treated shrapnel wounds and shellshock and also provided rehabilitation for badly-injured soldiers with workshops where they could learn crafts to help them earn a living in civilian life.

Donna Baber, Fresh Arts Manager, said: “The Knit With Me Group was established after an artist residency project in 2014, since then they have met every month to undertake projects for the hospital and patients.

“In July 2018 they decided to create a lasting memorial through the creative medium of knitting to remember fallen heroes. This fitting tribute came together over eight weeks of meetings and much time at home spent knitting, stitching and researching names and regiments.”

The poppies have been on display in the Atrium since Tuesday 6 November and have had great feedback from staff, patients and visitors.

As part of Remembrance Day the hospital will be holding two minute’s silence at 11am on Sunday 11 November as a mark of respect.