On Wednesday 7 November customers at Caesar Court, one of Orbit’s flagship independent living with care housing schemes in Deal, Kent, officially unveiled an art project to commemorate the Centenary of World War I.
The project originated from the craft group at the scheme. They felt passionate about marking the centenary and wanted to plan something visual that would serve as a special memorial for the fallen. They crafted two handmade wreaths and a stunning embroidery that said ‘Lest We Forget’. They also made over 300 poppies out of felt that they hung from netting in the foyer to frame the whole project for a dramatic effect.
Jackie Evans, who lives at Caesar Court and was involved in making the poppies, says; “The creation of the art project is important to me because 11 November has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. The war affected my whole family. As a child I could recall the anguish of my mother when her uncle was killed at the battle of Bullecourt in 1917. He was found in a field in France 96 years later and identified only by his silver identity bracelet. I also remember the impact it had on those who survived the war and the guilt they carried with them when they returned. They were never quite the same. It is for all of them that I wanted to be involved in the project so that I could honour those who fought for our freedom in my own way. May they all rest in peace.”
John Elms, from the Royal British Legion, says; “My wife, Anny, and I are really impressed by the display to commemorate the WWI 100th anniversary. We wish to thank all the customers at Caesar Court who donated towards the poppy appeal.”
Angela Riley, Orbit’s Activity Co-ordinator at Caesar Court says; “It has been an absolute pleasure working alongside such talented ladies to create this wonderful World War I Centenary art project. Having had a grandfather who was in World War I, it has made me want to ask my father about his own father. I particularly like the Lest We Forget embroidery…it is beautiful.”
Caesar Court comprises 81 one and two bedroom apartments, which were made available through a mix of affordable rent and shared ownership. The scheme is owned and managed by Orbit and has become a real hub for the local community, with a number of its facilities being open to the public, including: a hairdressers, café and restaurant.