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Student is planting the seeds of peace

Malvern Editorial 14th Feb, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A WAR student is handing out free packets of poppy seeds to schools to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

Chantel Summerfield is hoping some 250 schools in Worcestershire and Herefordshire take up the offer and has already had more than 100 contact her for seeds.

The 25-year-old from Malvern Link is the secretary for the two counties’ branch of the Western Front Association driving the scheme.

Chantel is currently studying a PhD in Conflict Archaeology and Anthropology and is keen for the First World War to be widely recognised in the 100th anniversary of the year it began.

If the seeds are planted in March then many will have bloomed by August 7- the official date the battle commenced – however they may also lie dormant for a year and flower in the next coming years.

Chantel said: “It’s important people remember those who served in the First World War.

“Most people are more familiar with the second as many who served may still be alive and people have a connection to it. Whereas the First World War has passed out of living memory.”

The national body of the Western Front Association has contributed £400 towards the drive so any businesses or any other organisations with connections to the First World War can also take participate.

Northleigh Primary School are among those which are set to plant seeds and pupils will be learning about the conflict in upcoming lessons.

Headteacher Duncan Jones said: “The pupils are very interested in the historical part of it and are just as moved as adults at the number of people who lost their lives.”

Staff from schools or business wishing to plant their own seeds can e-mail to receive theirs for free.

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