University of Leicester to display knitted poppies on Remembrance Sunday

Published On: 7 October 2014

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Issued by University of Leicester Press Office

Issue date: 7 October 2014


University of Leicester to display knitted poppies on Remembrance Sunday

 Public invited to craft poppies in memory of soldiers lost during the First World War

In commemoration of the First World War, the University of Leicester is inviting people to knit a poppy to remember the soldiers whose lives were lost during the war and support the Poppy Appeal.

This October, as part of the Knit a Poppy Project, students, staff and members of the public are being encouraged to knit or crochet a poppy to be displayed at the University in time for Remembrance Sunday (9 November).

The poppies will adorn the lawns at the main entrance to the University of Leicester on University Road.

Each poppy will have a label attached for the creator to sign their name, include a message or dedicate it to someone who was lost or injured during the First World War.

Charlotte Barratt, project lead and Student Recruitment Officer at the University said: “It is a wonderful opportunity to combine creativity with history.  The poppy is a powerful symbol of remembrance and we hope to highlight the important role that the University played during the First World War.”

The University of Leicester was founded as a memorial to the local men who died in the First World War, which is reflected in the institution’s motto ‘Ut vitam habeant’ which means ‘That they may have life’.

During the war, the Fielding Johnson Building served as the 5th Northern General Military Hospital until 1919, after the war had ended. 514 deaths were recorded at the Hospital, and 286 of these casualties are buried in Welford Road Cemetery, near the University.

Also in support of the Poppy Appeal, from Thursday 23 October, the Fielding Johnson Building will be lit up in red for two weeks until Armistice Day on Tuesday 11 November. Other buildings taking part in the local initiative include John Lewis, Highcross Shopping Centre, County Hall and De Montfort Hall in Leicester.

Anyone can take part in the Knit a Poppy Project by knitting or crocheting a poppy at home, organising a group knit or visiting the University of Leicester’s Students’ Union to learn from a craft expert.

People are also encouraged to make a small donation to the Royal British Legion to honour the men who fought for their country during the war and to contribute towards the lives and families of serving and ex-Service people today.

Tim Yates, Deputy Director of Estates at the University added: “This is a wonderful idea, it has been taken up by a number of organisations around the country but at the University of Leicester, with its direct connection as a First World War Hospital site, it will make a particularly poignant display.”

Finished poppies can be dropped off at the Fielding Johnson Building main reception or posted to:


University of Leicester

Knit a Poppy Project (Charlotte Barratt)

University Road




All poppies must be received by Thursday 6 November in order to be in place for Remembrance Sunday on 9 November on the lawn at Entrance 2 on University Road.

For more information, poppy patterns and drop-in dates at the Students’ Union (tbc) visit:

For more information about the Light up your Building in Red project visit:

To make a donation to the Royal British Legion visit:



Notes to editors:

For more information contact Charlotte Barratt at:


The University of Leicester

The University of Leicester is uniquely placed as the only UK university founded in memory of those who died in the First World War.

It is no coincidence that the public fund for the endowment of a University College for Leicestershire – later to become the University of Leicester – was opened on Armistice Day in 1918. The University College was envisaged as a ‘living memorial’ to those local men who had lost their lives in the First World War. Leicester was to have, as the local paper put it, “more than a mere artistic war memorial”. The University motto ‘Ut vitam habeant’ (‘so that they may have life’) stands as a permanent reminder on every publication and degree certificate issued since.


University of Leicester Press Office Contacts:


Ellen Rudge

News and Events Officer

Tel: 0116 229 7467



Peter Thorley

Corporate News Officer

Tel: 0116 252 2415




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