Students at the JCB Academy have created a unique roll of honour for the fallen of the two World Wars to launch the 2016 Staffordshire poppy appeal.
The youngsters have been researching the heroic exploits of servicemen who died in the two conflicts – many of whom were members of their own families.
Now their study has led to the names of the fallen and some who served and survived being honoured in a moving and striking display at the JCB Academy. The names have been laser cut on to red acrylic- shaped poppies and suspended from 35 wires in the Rocester-based school’s reception.
JCB Chairman Lord Bamford today officially opened the display by hanging the final palm-sized poppy on the display to honour his grandfather’s cousin, Captain Oswald Bamford, who died aged 38 in the Battle of Loos more than 101 years ago. On the day he died 15 other Uttoxeter men also perished in the battle.
Moments after the opening, poppies fell from two balconies overlooking the reception as JCB Academy student Joe Hey played the Last Post.
Lord Bamford said: “The JCB Academy students have created a very moving display. It’s a wonderful tribute to the servicemen who gave their lives for our freedom.”