The Memorial 'Mob'
The Memorial Mob would like to introduce the #RibbonofPoppies project to the World.
Our idea was to create a carpet of crimson from Lands End to John O'Groats to remember all those killed or wounded in WW1.However given the power of the Internet, it now stretches from the Orkney Islands in the North to the Falkland Islands in the South and to the West Los Angeles, California and we are now as far East as Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand.
Wherever you are, you can take part.
All you need to take part is a pocket of land and a packet of seeds, if you don't have a garden of your own, some groups have organised with the local council to sow poppies in the local parks, roadsides, schools and other public land.
We aren't seeking to make money from this project as all we wish to do is to create a living legacy to those who paid the ultiimate sacrifice. To follow the project you can find details of how to grow poppies and potential seed sources @RibbonofPoppies on Facebook & Twitter.
The images below show the spread of the #RibbonofPoppies in a 2 week period in August, some poppies represent at least several pledges. But there is still a whole host of areas that need their first pledges or more pledges to help create the Ribbon effect. Given the huge losses during the Great War and the numbers who served, we feel a huge 'living' memorial is worthy of the sacrifices.
The spurt in pledges is in no small part due to the fantastic Scout & Guides Movements of the UK and the Leadership team should be very humbled by the spirit shown by their County, District and Group Leadership teams.
All groups, companies, sports clubs, individuals, faith groups, the Armed & Emergency Services, transport companies (etc) are all welcome.
Due to poplar demand we have now launched an electronic registration system using the Eventbrite platform. When completing the form all you need is to enter your City/Town or Village so we can track the growth of the ribbon.
To be part of a global act of Remembrance in 2018 please register here;
Poppy Supplies & Growing Instructions
There are many places to source poppies from online suppliers and we highlight other options on line, but also check your Garden Centre. You can get them for around a £1 a packet.
Once you have them, you can sow (depending where you are and on local conditions) in September, after that you may wish to wait until the Spring of 2018. You should sow in land that has been cultivated and in a sunny or partially shaded area (if in a warmer climate please check as full shade maybe better).
Do not introduce any non native plants and only sow only where you have permission to do so.
The Ribbon of Poppies will also be posting ideas to help remember the fallen on local War Memorials or to adopt a fallen soldier as part of the project.
We will also post creative ideas to help remember the fallen and those that served.
The Memorial 'Mob' are creators of memorials, walks, publications and events to help remember all the 'Uniformed' Services (Armed & Emergency Services).
The first memorial designed however was one for the Centenary of Scouting in 2007 in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire.
The memorial is in the form of a Totem Pole, a totem pole often marks an area or an event. Carved on the pole are various creatures connected to Scouting and the Guide Movement.
Since then we have gone on to create a memorial in Oxfordshire to remember the loss of a Blackburn Beverley Transport aircraft XH117 in 1957.
Sadly two members of the public on the ground died, along with members of 53 Squadron (the flight crew) and members of 47 Squadron (the 'slip' crew) and 8 RAF Police Dog handlers and their dogs. This was the worse loss of life for the RAF Police in Europe. The memorial at Sutton Wick Lane is now a lasting memorial created by a local resident, Mr Brian Eastoe, who is a woodcarver of 60 years experience (and also ex RAF) he has created a superb memorial to the crash, naming all those lost.
A very special mention should go to the
residents of Sutton Wick & Drayton – who have literally opened their doors
to us and finally the families and friends of those lost on the 5th
of March 1957. Who have very generously allowed us into their lives, we never
truly knew how this would be received, but you have been very warm to the work we are trying to do.
RAF Centenary 2018
We have been busy working on a series of ideas to help remember the creation of the World's greatest Air Force - the Royal Air Force.
The team have approached the Chief of Air Staff to offer these ideas to the planning team should they wish to use them.
The team at The Memorial 'Mob' are not short of ideas and have ideas so far up until 2018, although some are not time limited to mark an event. Coming up:
- Air Dogs - RAF Police Dog Memorial
- XA897 Vulcan Bomber (Heathrow, RAF Waddington and the Avro Factory)
- Poppy & Maple Memorial - Iver Heath area
- Dolphin Junction Train Crash
- Buccaneer Test Pilot Memorial, East Yorks
- RAF Northolt Memorials
- Gibraltar - TBC
If you would like to help with any projects, we are looking for hiking clubs to help map routes for some long distance walks/routes and we are always interested in assistant researchers and fundraisers.
Project Old Bill
Project Old Bill
This Gentleman is Captain Bruce Bairnsfather a hero of ours. Sadly he is still pretty much an unsung hero by the establishment, thankfully there is a group who run an appreciation society and there have been some excellent books written about the Captain and his comic creation 'Old Bill'.
Captain Bruce did more for the morale of Allied Troops in World War 1 (and World War 2) than many others ever could. He was awarded many medals and awards from all the other Allied Nations, but not so much from the UK sadly.
Well we hope to change that with a project to remember both him and 'old Bill' to mark the centenary of the end of the Great War in 2018, should we get permission from the Bairnsfather estate. The Nation owes a lot to this man, as even in the darkest hours, he shone some light into the darkness.
Update October 2017
Sadly the official gatekeepers of projects for WW1 have declined our plans for a charity fundraiser involving Old Bill, we understand there are many ideas in motion. But we will aim to come up with other ideas to honour the Captain and Old Bill as the work he did was much appreciated by those at the front.
We now hope to feature Old Bill as part of the #RibbonofPoppies project in some way and hope to introduce him to the the Younger generations to show the importance of morale and humour to the troops in the trenches during WW1 even in their darkest moments, there was always a better 'ol.
Military Working Dog Memorials
Buster Memorial - The dog that saved a 1000 lives
RAF Police Dog 'Buster' attended the first 2 memorial unveiling events to Blackburn Beverley XH117 (The Sutton Wick Air Crash) and on his passing away shortly after the second event at Fort Paull, we felt it would be fitting to work together on a memorial for Buster at RAF Waddington.
On the 16th of July 2016 Will and Tracey Barrow unveiled the Memorial to Buster in front of an invited crowd made up of current and veteran Royal Air Force Personnel and 'friends and admirers' of Buster. The event received top billing on BBC Look North who have followed Buster's work closely.
Military Working Dog Memorial
We felt it was about time a memorial should be created not just for Buster but all Military Working Dogs, we aim to have the first one at Holywell in North Wales who have kindly offered a site for free and have offered a start up fund.
The Memorial will honour 'Buster' RAFP in the Mascot section, 'Judy' the Dickens Medal winner who served with the Royal Navy. We will also remember 'Lucky' an RAFP German Shepherd Dog and Theo (Liam Taskers dog) both these dogs were also Dickens Medal winners.
Ultimately we hope to have memorials to the North, South, East (RAF Waddington for Buster coming Summer 2016 and Newton for all Dogs), West (Holywell) and Central (potentially at the National Memorial Arboretum).
If you would like to help donate please contact the Memorial 'Mob' we are also seeking supporters for the North Wales project at
E Mail: - [email protected]
UPDATE January 2018
The National Military Working Dog Memorial is now a registered Charity no. 1173384
We would also like to welcome Colin Singer to the team, who is the owner of WagTails Search Dog company, a great addition to the team.
Sutton Wick Air Crash Memorial 2016
On the 5th of March 2016 at Sutton Wick Lane, a new more lasting Memorial was unveiled at the scene of the 1957 Sutton Wick Air Crash.
There was a number of relatives of those tragically killed in the gathered crowd, members of local councils, including local Parish Councils and District Councils.
Also members of the local community and the Armed Services, both active & reserve, past & present, including canine representatives from RAF Brize Norton. A special guest from the Czech Embassy attended to remember the Czech born crew member Jindrich Zarecky who was serving with the RAF at the time of the crash.
A shot from the recent 2016 unveiling of the new memorial by Mr Brian Eastoe, a local resident of Sutton Wick Lane, with the RAFPA Standard and the RAF PTi Standards and Bugler.
Sutton Wick Air Crash 60th Anniversary Memorial 2017
On Sunday the 5th of March 2017 starting in St Peters Church, Drayton The Memorial 'Mob' welcomed those affected by the crash of XH117Z a Blackburn Beverley to their special service to mark the 60th year since the incident.
On conclusion of the formal service, the team moved up to the Memorial we unveiled in 2016, to lay wreaths in Sutton Wick Lane. The weather forecast was set to be dire so we held most of the event in St Peters Church. However we hadn't needed to be worried, as the weather was glorious for early March and the sun shone over the Lane. However not in time to reverse the cancellation of the flypast by an A400M Atlas Transport aircraft, an aircraft that would have been the modern equivalent of the Beverley.
The Royal Air Force Police formed a Guard of Honour or more a Parade of Paws as the congregation were greeted by a 'pack' of RAF Police Dogs and their handlers, one each to represent the 8 handlers lost in 1957.
For more images of the event please see out Facebook Page or our Twitter Feed.
Sutton Wick 2018
It was with great sadness we had to cancel this years event due to the weather and with people travelling from across the UK it was deemed to be best not to have people put at risk by driving in the wintry weather, we hope to hold an event later in the year.
On the 1st of October 2016 from 1045hrs until 1115hrs we will unveil a small plaque to the 1956 Crash of Vulcan XA897 of 230 Squadron, Royal Air Force.
The event will be at St Georges Chapel at Heathrow Airport. We suggest being there from 1030hrs.
We will remember
Squadron Leader Stroud
Squadron Leader Eames
Squadron Leader Gamble
Mr. Bassett (Avro)
Poppy & Maple
We have Les Langley an ex member of the British Army offering to help create our memorial.
This will honour the Troops based locally in the area including those of the Canadian Forestry Corps during both #WW1 and #WW2.
Follow the link to see our chosen wood carvers work.
UPDATE January 2018
Invites will be going out to official Canadian representatives to attend the unveiling on the 30th of June 2018.
The Memorial Mob and our Projects are all protected by Copyright
Please contact us to use any information or images
The Buster Memorial at the RAF Waddington Memorial Gardens is now we are pleased to say in place and looks stunning!
It was unveiled on the 16th of July 2016 a year to the day Buster sadly passed away.
A huge thanks to Scott Etheridge for his help and the masons, who have done a superb job.
For #BadgeforBuster #B4B products we now stock all the range of items and proceeds go towards the canine memorials we are planning.
The next being the National Military Working Dogs Memorial at Holywell and then after that one for the National Memorial Arboretum all being well.
Amber Conflict Training (ACT) UK
ACT UK have supported all The Memorial 'Mob' Projects to date and we would like to mention the fact they offer Free Personal Safety Tips on their Facebook & Twitter Feeds please support their work.
We are working towards installing a sculpture to remember the work of the Hawker factory at Langley in Buckinghamshire (now Berkshire).
The most numerous fighter of the Battle of Britain was made there, the mighty Hurricane, but we will also remember the Tornado, Typhoon, Tempest and Furies, in the sculpture.
Around the site will be other displays remembering other key events and aircraft created there, such as the Hawker Hunter.
We are actively recruiting interested parties to build on the work we have done so far and that of a local historian who has done a great deal of work researching Langley's military links.
We have established contact with an experienced Foundry who have created several aircraft memorials and we are looking forward to working with them in the future.
Bespoke Architectural & Sculptural Metalwork
The 29th July 1948 saw the start of the Paralympic Games at Stoke Mandeville in Bucks.
We are looking to create a new County Day to celebrate the beautiful county of Buckinghamshire.
The idea is for communities to pick a weekend near the 29th of July to hold Sports Day, BBQ's, Summer Parties etc etc. A chance to have a party and meet the neighbours.
You could always raise funds for local Bucks based good causes as well of course!
Check out the Facebook Page
We would like to hear from local Buckinghamshire Organisations to take on Buckinghamshire Day and help it expand and flourish.
The Mob are working with local groups and suppliers to create a Memorial to Blackburn Buccaneer XN952.
It sadly crashed whilst testing at Holme on Spalding Moor, killing both crew members.
We would like to hear from staff at BAe Brough who may know the incident and who maybe interested in creating the Memorial.
We will remember;
Mr Gartrell Richard Ian 'Sailor' Parker DFC* AFC DSM
(Deputy Chief Test Pilot),
Mr Gordon R. C. Copeman
We would like sponsors to help create a memorial to the crew. Please contact us at;
Dolphin Junction Rail Crash
On the 2nd of July 1941 on the GWR line from Paddington Station to the South West & Wales at the above named junction (between Slough & Langley) due to a signal error, 2 trains collided head on.
5 people tragically died and 24 were injured.
3 of those killed were members of the Royal Navy Patrol Service on their way home on leave.
We hope to create a memorial (or two - 1 for Slough and 1 for Langley, if funds are forthcoming).
Initial thoughts were the crash may have been due to enemy action - bomb damage on the tracks.
We are still researching the crash and have launched an appeal via BBC Devon.
Update January 2018
The team at the Slough and Windsor Railway Society have offered to assist in the placing of a memorial at Slough Railway Station to remember the crash and we are hoping to create a living memorial in the shape of tree planting in a local park close to the crash site.
We have also just contacted the Royal Navy Association for their assistance in tracking down anyone with knolwdge of the incident.
Northwood Air Crash 1948
On the 4th of July 1948 an Avro York of 99 Squadron, Royal Air Force and a DC6 of SAS Airlines collided in mid air as they waited clearance to land at RAF Northolt.
To this day it remains the worst mid air crash in UK air accident history.
After the crash local Scouts were used to help locate the crash site and assist. So we thought it would be fitting to invite the local Scout group to help create a memorial to the crash.
If you have any information on the crash please get in touch.
Jane Harrison GC
On making an emergency landing at London Heathrow, Jane helped rescue over a 100 passengers, and even though she could have escaped herself she returned into the now burning aircraft to rescue a disabled passenger.
Sadly she perished in this rescue attempt and remains to this day the only female winner of the George Cross in peacetime (there have been other GC winners but these all involved medals that later became the George Cross). The only other winners are members of the Special Operations Executive in WW2, who were parachuted in Nazi Occupied Europe.
Update January 2018
We have been in touch with members of Jane's family and they have asked we don't hold an event, so we will of course honour their decision.
We would like to thank the Yorkshire Post and BBC Sheffield among others whose coverage helped us find her family.
A huge thank you to the team at Harkness Roses who had offered to create a special white rose to remember Jane by.
Update May 2018
We have ordered a special white rose to plant in honour of Jane in our memorial garden and will update as the flower grows.
She was also remembered this year with the Yorkshire county flag flying at half mast.
The Memorial Mob had suggested to the #RAF100 team numerous ideas to help fly the flag in the RAF's Centenary Year.
We had considered if an aircraft could have been created in glass fibre and then painted in variety of designs. But that presented a huge problem in the sense of which aircraft shape would one use?
A biplane, a WW2 Monoplane, a jet, a helicopter? First World War, Second World War, Cold War, Gulf War??
As well as the parent body (the RAF) 2018 also marks the Centenary of the RAF Police - famous for their Police Dogs (among other things). So as dogs would hopefully attract attention when auctioned off as well as in the street - we felt it was worth using dog shapes to create this charity fundraiser.
But again...which type (breed)? We decided on German Shepherds, Labradors and a Spaniel as they have been the backbone of the RAF Police.
They would have been split into 3 lots and have toured the UK, with a small number visiting key locations across the Globe and the UK after an initial launch parade in London.
We have a Facebook Page @ProjectAirDog which we will show the 20+ prototypes before we place the idea on the back burner.
It was our hope the project would have seen some funds going to the National Military Working Dogs Memorial.
Update October 2017
Sadly the project wasn't taken up by the RAF 100 team, but as we say in the RAF Per Ardua Ad Astra... there maybe life in the old dog yet, one kennel door closed...and another has opened, we are due to have a meeting this week which may tie in nicely with the work we have done to date.
Dates for the Diary
31st October - Private Burchell Service, Iver Heath.
19th February 2018 (TBC) - Holme on Spalding Moor, XN952 Buccaneer
4th March 2018 - Sutton Wick XH117Z Blackburn Beverley
30th June 2018 - Maple & Poppy Totem, Black Park (TBC)
2nd July 2018 (TBC) - Slough, Dolphin Junction Train Crash
4th July 2018 (TBC) - Ruislip, Northwood Air Crash
1st October 2018 XA897 Vulcan