Volunteer at Scope’s Letchworth store creates poppy dress to mark centenary of the Battle of the Somme

Pete Waitley, Robin Waldock, Sue Sykes and Ben Kitchener with the poppy dress.

Pete Waitley, Robin Waldock, Sue Sykes and Ben Kitchener with the poppy dress. - Credit: Archant

A Letchworth charity shop has marked the centenary of the Battle of the Somme by creating a dress made of poppies – and it could be exhibited in a French museum later this year.

Robin Waldock's poppy dress, in which each of the 800 poppies represents 2,000 soldiers who died at

Robin Waldock's poppy dress, in which each of the 800 poppies represents 2,000 soldiers who died at the Somme. - Credit: Archant

The dress, which has featured prominently in the Scope shop window in Broadway and during the town’s Armed Forces Day festivities, is the work of 22-year-old volunteer Robin Waldock.

“I do all the window displays here along with our manager, and I wanted to do something as a tribute,” said Robin.

She stencilled and cut out each of the 800 poppies by hand in her living room, then pinned them to the mannequin – the poppies making up the dress’s train are stapled onto cloth.

Each poppy represents 2,000 lives lost at the Somme.


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And Robin’s boss at the Broadway site, Cheryl Aldridge, told the Comet that a museum in France has expressed interest in exhibiting the dress around Armistice Day.

Cheryl said: “I never thought this idea would really come to life like this. The train is so important to the whole effect.

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“We decided to leave her without a face because we thought that would be like the Unknown Soldier.”

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