WMPC
2 Apr 2024

Community

South West donation for poppy memorial

A project to construct and house in Somerset a memorial to Britain’s sacrifice during the First World War has received a boost from our South West region.

Persimmon Homes South West handed over a £1,000 cheque to West Monkton parish councillors – who, along with Cheddon Fitzpatrick Parish Council and volunteers, make up the Somerset Wood Joint Committee – as part of their fundraising efforts.

The donation comes after West Monkton Parish Council applied to our Community Champions scheme.

The Poppy of Honour structure, which has been given National Memorial Status honouring British and Commonwealth Servicemen and Servicewomen listed as killed or missing in World War One, is to be permanently located in the Somerset Wood after visiting 19 towns across the country.

As such a planning application has been submitted and approved for an open pavilion within which the Poppy of Honour will be permanently housed, together with informative display boards.

The Somerset Wood, located at Maidenbrook Country Park in Taunton, is a memorial wood where one tree will be planted for each of the fallen of WW1 from Somerset, some 11,281 personnel. There is a dedication stone carving at the entrance leading towards the Somerset Wood.

Persimmon Homes South West is currently constructing the Hartnells Farm housing development on the A3259 Monkton Heathfield Road, which will eventually comprise a total of 320 homes. Proposals for the final 90 homes, a quarter of which will be designated for a local housing association, are with Somerset Council.

Persimmon donates over £700,000 each year to good causes and much-valued organisations across Britain as part of our Community Champions scheme. Recent recipients include St John’s Ambulance Taunton, Wellington Baptist Church, and Ilminster Town Council.

Commenting, Persimmon Homes South West Sales Director Stacey Harris, said:

“Persimmon is proud to support this really exciting project to bring the Poppy of Honour permanently to Somerset Wood.

“The parish councils and volunteers who are shepherding this process should be commended for undertaking this challenge as they work to enhance their area with the memorial, making them excellent examples for our Community Champions scheme.

“I am sure current and future residents at our development at Hartnells Farm will be delighted with news that such a significantly meaningful memorial will be coming to the area, and will prove regular visitors.”

Stuart Haskins – Chair of West Monkton Parish Council – added:

“There is a significant amount of fundraising needed to deliver this excellent project for Somerset Wood and I am grateful to a company with such a presence across the county like Persimmon for helping us.

“Every member of the Somerset Wood Joint Committee is driven by a sense of pride in both place and country, so we are well motivated to deliver on the ambition of hosting the brilliant Poppy Memorial here.

“We are all looking forward to getting through the funding stages and breaking ground on this fantastic initiative.”

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