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Published: 13 November 2021

By Andy Ross

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The textiles that help us remember

Remembrance Day is marked in November across the world, a commemoration of the ending of the First World War.

Now the day is used to remember different conflicts across the globe. Originally though it was created to mark the signing of the Amistice on "the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month" of 1918. 

In the town of Syston in Leicestershire an anonymous artist, nicknamed "Knitting Banksy" has created a life-size soldier that stands next to the War Memorial Clock Tower in the town in recognition of the day. You can see the beautiful and poignant sculpture here. Meanwhile, in Birchington-on-Sea, poppy wreaths have been made to adorn trees, lights and flower beds across the town, the bright red flowers celebrating resilience and beauty in amongst the chaos of the battles. 

Not the First World War but the Second is remembered in the Imperial War Museum, London. In newly-renovated galleries, uniforms are displayed alongside banners and commemorative kerchiefs, telling poignant stories of lives upended by the conflict. One of those stories includes a scarf, woven on a handmade loom that was crafted in a Prisoner Of War camp.

Another piece displayed nearby is of a woman's Siren Suit, a somewhat impractical but oddly stylish solution to air raids. Even in times of war, looking good was considered a way to boost morale!

As we remember, these kinds of story help us to recall people and places affected by war.