Poppy Petal Scattering and Circling the Crater


At the end of the formal part of the Ceremony each person present is invited to take a small handful of poppy petals and to scatter them anywhere in or around the Crater, and to do so with the thought in mind that, in all probability, a young man lost his life on the spot where the petals landed.

This symbolic scattering of petals always begins with children casting the first petals into the Crater, followed by the congregation. Whilst the petals are being scattered the Somme Pipe Band plays 'The Lament'. Some of the congregation have expressed the view that this is the most poignant part of the Ceremony.

Scattering petals into the Crater, 1st July 1983 CeremonyThe congregation at the 1st July 1983 Ceremony
Scattering petals into the Crater, 1st July 1983 Ceremony and
The congregation at the 1st July 1983 Ceremony
Children scatter the first petals into the Crater 2001Everyone joins in with the scattering of petals 2005
Children scatter the first petals into the Crater 2001 and
Everyone joins in with the scattering of petals 2005
Images courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2011

After the 2010 Ceremony the congregation were invited to stand around the rim of the Crater and to hold hands to form a complete unbroken human chain in an act of fellowship and reconciliation. The invitation proved to be very popular as an estimated 400 people stayed after the Ceremony to complete the chain.

A complete chain was also formed after the 2011 Ceremony when an estimated 600 people remained. It is hoped that this will now become a regular feature of the Ceremony.

Linking hands around the Crater, symbolising fellowship and reconciliationLinking hands around the Crater, symbolising fellowship and reconciliation
Linking hands around the Crater, symbolising fellowship and reconciliationLinking hands around the Crater, symbolising fellowship and reconciliation
Linking hands around the Crater, symbolising fellowship and reconciliation
Images courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2011

July 1st 2010. An aerial photograph of the congreation forming a complete circle around the Crater by holding hands, symbolising fellowship and reconciliation.
July 1st 2010. An aerial photograph of the congreation forming a complete circle around the Crater
by holding hands, symbolising fellowship and reconciliation.
Image courtesy of Georges Vandenbulke © 2011


After the 2011 Ceremony, the Cross, which had been erected only two days before, was a splendid sight, with the many wreaths and floral tributes placed around.

The Cross after the 2011 Ceremony
The Cross after the 2011 Ceremony
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2011

Attached to the Cross during the Ceremony was a magnificent wood carving of three hands with fingers touching.

A British hand. A French hand. A German hand.
A symbolic representation of:

RESPECT
REMEMBRANCE
RECONCILIATION

Carved hands with fingers touching, created by Tim Rogers.
Carved hands with fingers touching, created by Tim Rogers.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2011


Logo - Click to go to home page
 July 1st 1916
 Statistics
 Mining
 George Nugent
 Friends Page
 Friends Articles
 Membership
 Ceremonies
 Armistice Day
 Photo Albums
 Visitor Info
 For Schools
 Donate
 Memorial Plaques
 Sitemap
 Links
 Home

Email:


French and German Flags
Translate

Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Twitter