'A marvellous achievement': The Poppy of Honour memorial to be housed at Taunton park

  • Watch Louisa Britton's report

A national memorial to a million soldiers lost in the First World War could be permanently housed near Taunton.

The Poppy of Honour was made in 2018 and has since been on display across the country.

It features more than a million poppies handwritten with a soldier's rank and name.A planning application has been lodged to have it on display at the Maidenbrook Country Park.

Andy O'Brien from the Poppy of Honour Committee told ITV News West Country: "We've been trying for a few years to find a place that is suitable for the poppy, and when I heard that the country park was going to have it, it was absolutely brilliant.

"I was over the moon with it. I'd been up here a couple of times for Remembrance services and different services, and I thought it was an ideal spot ."

This is what the memorial would look like if given approval. Credit: Reed and Holland Architects

Terry Williams, who is the President of the Poppy of Honour Committee and came up with the design, said: "I think it's a marvellous achievement.

"When we started the project ten years ago, we never, ever thought it would come full circle as it has to become a national memorial. And having that here is absolutely fantastic."

The park is already home to the Somerset Wood which was planted to remember each one of the 11,281 people from the county who died in WW1.

Cllr Alan Hall from West Monkton Parish Council added: "My grandfather who I never met, he went in at the start of WW1 and got killed three months before the end at Ypres.

"The trees are here, the earth that they're standing in was brought over from the battlefield.

The Poppy of Honour is filled with 1,117,635 poppies handwritten with a soldier's rank and name. Credit: Reed and Harris Architects

"So somewhere in the Poppy of Honour, my grandfather is in there. So that's a personal connection from my point of view."

The volunteers behind the project say that if a planning application is approved later this month, they will then have to raise £90,000 to install the memorial and its display.

The hope is that once the project is completed it will draw people from across the country and that it will be in place in time for Remembrance Day in November 2024.