8,500 poppies laid at Hull's Holy Trinity church in 'Trench' tribute for Remembrance Day
THEIR bright red petals sit in stark contrast to the cold stone floors.
More than 8,500 poppies have been laid out in a church to mark Remembrance Day.
The art installation called Trench has been designed by Martin Waters at Holy Trinity Church and opens to the public today.
Visitors to the church in Hull's Old Town will be able to add to the collection, leaving poppies to remember fallen loved ones.
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Martin, 57, who is based at Kingston Art Gallery and Studios in the city, says there were two reasons for laying the poppies out in a long rectangle.
He said: "The first reason is because the soldiers spent their time in the trenches.
"They were there for safety but also it was often where they died.
"The second reason is, until recently, I didn't realise the war graves in France are actually mass graves.
"Although there are little white crosses laid out in rows, underneath there are thousands of soldiers in one big grave."
Surrounding the poppy trench is a display of poems – each word made from a rubbing from a grave.
There are also more than 400 dried poppies displayed in glass case. Their petals have been allowed to fall to the bottom of the casing and they represent the number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
Martin said: "I'm keen to emphasise the fact that Remembrance Day is still something relevant to today.
"There are still atrocities going on all over the world."
Martin created a similar project last year at the church called Poppy Drift.
The poppies were laid out in swirling paths, which people could walk around.
Trench has been accompanied by a display on trawlers and fishermen at war, which has been put together by former Hull skipper Ken Knox.
Ken, 75, has displayed photographs of fishermen, trawlers and sea charts.
He said: "The stories of Hull's fishing industry are quickly disappearing into the history books.
"All we have left is our thoughts, pictures and memories."
Ken says many people do not know how much of a part those in the fishing industries played during the world wars.
"The more powerful vessels were requisitioned for the Navy," he said.
"But the fisherman who kept their boats would have to go out and face attacks from U-boats to get fish back to England.
"Hitler's idea was to starve Britain by cutting off food supplies."
Trawlers were also used to hunt for mines and submarines.
After the First World War, Rear Admiral Ronald Hopwood said: "Fishermen have played such a great part in the sinking of the German U-boats."
It is thought about 2,000 fisherman died during the First World War and a similar number in the Second World War.
Martin said: "We're created a space where people can come and remember a loved one or just walk around the displays.
"About 200 people a day visited Poppy Drift last year, so hopefully Trench will be just as popular."
Trench and Ken's fishermen display open today and will be in the church all this month.
The church is open on Tuesdays from 9.30am to noon, and from noon to 3pm Wednesday to Friday and from 11am to 3pm on Saturdays.
Visitors are also invited to submit Remembrance poetry.
They can be left at the church are sent to Martin via his website www.martin-waters.co.uk