Striking display of poppies to remember the fallen

Father Sean Neylan, with St Bede's School chaplain Liz Boylan (centre left to right), flanked by four senior members of the school council.
Father Sean Neylan, with St Bede's School chaplain Liz Boylan (centre left to right), flanked by four senior members of the school council.

ALMOST 1,000 crucifixes and poppies were planted into the shape of a giant cross to remember the war dead.

St Bede’s Catholic Comprehensive School and Byron College, in Peterlee, were paid a visit by a youth ministry team and set a task called Step Up To Life.

Staff at the school were asked to think of ideas for an activity to link to the topic, and head of history Lynsey Rich came up with the cross project.

Pupils, teachers and members of the community came to the school grounds and each planted a cross and a poppy onto a designated grassed area, until the crucifix was formed.

And after War Centenary celebrations at the school this week, the cross was illuminated with flood lights, which assistant headteacher Geoff Wilson said looked “fantastic”.

He told the Mail: “We thought the planting of the crosses linked in perfectly with this Step Up to Life topic because each and every soldier stepped up to life and gave their lives selflessly for their country.

“The pupils researched soldiers from all different wars.”

He added: “It’s been a very enjoyable project and we hope to keep it there for as long as possible because it really is very striking indeed.

“Everyone is very proud of it.”