Birmingham hospital knitted poppy field is unveiled

A field of 1,000 knitted red poppies has appeared outside a hospital as part of activities to mark Remembrance Week.

Volunteers at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham knitted and crocheted the flowers to commemorate the annual event.

The installation also features a life-size horse, as well as purple and white poppies and doves.

The knitted items will be sold following the event, with a donation made to charities.

Di Olalla, a member of the Knit and Natter group at the trust, said the installation was a "group effort" to commemorate Remembrance Week.

"We had the idea for the field of poppies after seeing another display, but we wanted to include something to commemorate horses in the service of war too," she said.

Susan Osborne, co-founder of the War Horse Memorial, said "tens of thousands" of animals died over "countless wars, but particularly the two world wars."

A donation from sales will go to the Royal British Legion and the Animal Purple Poppy Fund, which recognises the sacrifice of animals drafted into wars.

"Dogs were sent into the trenches carrying messages between soldiers, cats were sent to kill the rats, horses were used to pull heavy artillery guns and donkeys worked the mines to keep the war effort productive," Ms Osborne said.

"When food ran out thousands died of starvation and when the conflict was over hardly any came home. We can never repay them for their service."

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