A WW1 Cenotaph Surrounded by Poppies in Ypres, Belgium


This information is from the Ypres 2016 website on the event happening September 2016.

In September 2016, a new World War 1 Cenotaph will be created at the Grote Markt, in front of the In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres, Belgium. The Cenotaph will be located adjacent to the German War Cemetery at Langemark Poelkapelle.

The Cenotaph will commemorate everyone involved in the conflict, both military and civilian on all sides – all those who died, all those wounded, all those displaced – and of equal importance, their families and their communities. In the War of 1914 -1918 blacksmiths and farriers were indispensable in sustaining the war effort on all sides. In September 2016, hundreds of blacksmiths from around the world will come together in Ypres to remember all those affected by the war and to create in one week, a Cenotaph based on the internationally recognised icon, the Flanders Field Poppy. This will make a unique contribution to the many commemorative sites and structures on the Western Front, serving to commemorate all involved in and affected by the conflict.

Up to 2000 poppies will be forged from steel and will be arranged at the Poppy Cenotaph site, in rigid formation around its base, to echo and pay homage to the serried ranks of gravestones and crosses honouring the dead in graveyards throughout the region. There will be one white poppy to remember those that suffered from shell-shock and were called cowards.

Downloadable poppy template:  http://www.ypres2016.com/wip/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/poppie_rev002.pdf

How to make the poppy videos:  http://www.ypres2016.com/design/making-the-poppies/

The original idea was that blacksmiths around the world would make just the petal part of the project and then send that on to Terry Clark in the UK where another team would make and attach the stamens.  However, there will be a need for some poppies to remain in the US to be used to help raise funds to get our Master, Jeffrey Funk and perhaps some other over to the event in Sept.  So if you’d like to try your hand at the stamen/stems have a go.  Please ship the stamens and poppy petals unattached, it is much easier to pack them not put together.  They can be welded together once they reach their destination.

The Stamen/Stem is made starting with 5/8 rd (16mm) and the stem is hammered down to (7mm)

The poppy seed heads I have made are 20mm long overall. Before the end (top hat) was forged I think that the overall measurement was 23mm.


The material size for the stem & poppy seedhead is 16mm – or 5/8th.  It is forged down to 7mm.

The overall length is approx 300mm.

Poppy Seed heading tool

Basic shape is forged under the air hammer to fit the hardy hole in the anvil.

It is drilled all the way through with an 8mm drill.

Then I sharpened a 17mm (approx) drill, to be the shape of the seed head.

I drilled the depth approx 18mm, as in the seed head photo with the ruler.

The ‘top hat’ of the seed head is then forged over the top of the tool.

The deadline for sending in the poppies is May 2016.

There will not be any names on the poppies.  It is to make them all the same, as we are all the same in death.  The project is about the overall picture rather than individuals.  As such, please do not apply a maker’s mark or touch mark to the back of the Poppy

We want the poppies sent in a raw state without any finish applied.  Since you won’t attach the stem and petals for easier transport just leave the poppies as bare metal.  We will be getting them finished in Europe, where they will be galvanised and coated.

Where to send poppy petals and stamens:

In the US                                                 In the UK

Kate Dinneen                                         Terrence Clark

1582 N 1500 Rd                                     Wildfields Farm

Lawrence, KS  66046                             Woodstreet Village

NR Guildford

Surrey   GU3 3DT


If you send the poppy and stamen to Terry please, when filling out the customs form, put the value at $0.00 and label them as metal samples.  Otherwise, Terry will be required to pay a rather large tax on them.


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