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Unveiling of poppy painting

Two females and man stand in front of a painting of poppies.

A painting which served as the inspiration for an interactive community remembrance project marking the end of the First World War has been unveiled at Farnham Town Council.

Artist Eleanor McLean visited the office to unveil the poppy field painting which was commissioned by the women’s section of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in 2018. The women’s section raise money each year for the Poppy Appeal.

Eleanor’s painting was used to create a banner onto which members of the public were invited to write personal messages as part of the commemorations of the First World War Centenary in 2018. The banner was hung on the wall outside Farnham Town Council’s office in South Street during the town’s Remembrance Day parade. The banner was later displayed at Waverley Borough Council.

The unveiling of the painting was Councillor David Attfield’s last official event as Mayor of Farnham, he said: “The banner and people’s messages served as a key reminder of the sacrifice made by over a million service personnel from Britain and its colonies (later commonwealth) in World War One. They gave their past for our future and it was a unique and poignant way for us to remember the fallen.

“The lovely watercolour has a depth and simplicity and will be seen by visitors to the Council Offices alongside some of Farnham’s great artists (notably Harold Falkner and Charles Bone). I would like to thank Eleanor, and also Rashida Nasir from the women’s section of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for entrusting the original artwork with us in Farnham. We look forward to seeing more of Eleanor’s work in the future.”

The banner has been offered to the National Arboretum where it is hoped it will have a permanent home.

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