WW1 MEMORIAL QUILT
Julie Gladwin got in touch with the Western Front Association through our Facebook pages. She comes from Southport, Lancashire. Through her efforts, she galvanised a troop of local ladies into action and has produced a Memorial Quilt. She is now keen to find a permanent home for it where it can be displayed and seen by the public.
Julie had been doing her family tree and discovered that a few of her family had been killed in the First World War, though both her grandfathers fought and survived. This is how her interest in the Great War started.
As the centenary years approached, she decided that a fitting way to remember some of those who died would be to make a First World War Memorial Quilt.
Julie started by asking people if they could embroider or cross stitch. The idea was that each person would be a square, six inches by six inches, made of cotton and thread.
Julie started by putting up flyers in the local haberdashery and craft shops and the church clubs, she even got the local press involved, but the response was very poor.
“I was determined to get this WW1 Memorial Quilt made even if I had to do it all myself. The problem is I can't embroider, and I didn't know the first thing about how to make a quilt.
My friend and I purchased lots of cheap bundles of cotton pieces and cut them all to the sizes we needed. Embroidery thread was donated. I then went to local craft clubs and a couple of church groups and asked if they would like to help.
I then went to a local business that does work wear embroidery. George and Paula, who run Asterisk Direct were most helpful. I showed George the designs I had in mind and asked if he would be able to embroider them if we provided the cotton material.The squares had to be a certain size to fit the machine. Fortunately, we had chosen the right size squares.
When ladies did contact me about the squares, I would take the cotton, thread and designs to them to show them the type of idea we had, then it was entirely their choice, or they could do their design.” The ladies were asked to put the person's name, or memorial where they are remembered or buried onto their quilt ‘Memorial Square.’ Each woman chose what they wanted to put on their square; some were handmade and those who couldn't embroider, their square was made by a local business.
Tarleton library has a craft club; they made twelve squares. One of the ladies here, Carol Lye, offered to sew the quilt together when all the squares were finished. One of the ladies gave us the wadding for the quilt.
St Johns Church craft club made two though one of the ladies who asked a square to be made in memory of her family sadly passed away before she could see the square.
Byng House, a holiday home run by The Royal British Legion for veterans and their families, asked Julie to call in. She went along on a Thursday morning for a few weeks, and a few of the guests made or ordered squares.
A lady that worked in a local Red Cross charity shop made several squares. And a local shop called Clouds donated four squares.
There are seventy-one embroidered squares on the quilt, and thirty-one of them are named, the other squares are of crosses, flowers, and Regiments.
Moisters Funeral services of Southport paid Darren Twist of Cobra Frames, Southport to have the WW1 Memorial Quilt preserved in a frame.
Joe Trees, Moisters Funeral Services; Darren Twist, Cobra Frames and Gary Johnson, Moisters Funeral Services.
The frame measures 157.5cm x 103.5cm.
The men and boys all came from different places in England. Some are remembered on war memorials in France, Belgium, Gallipoli and Malta. Some are remembered on the Thiepval, Tyne Cot, and Ypres memorials.
Some were lost at sea.
The Regiments featured are 1st Btn East Lancashire Regiment, Bedfordshire's, Loyal North Lancashire, Canadian Regiment, Manchester Regiment, Kings Regiment, Royal Engineers, Prince of Wales Volunteer's South Lancashire Regiment, Royal Rifle Corps, Norfolk Regiment, Royal Marines, Durham Light Infantry and the Lancashire Fusiliers.
The Memorium in the centre of the quilt is taken from a memorial where one the soldiers is remembered.
“It was an honour to have been able to make it.” said Carol Lye.
The First World War Memorials Quilt is looking for a permanent place where it can be displayed and seen by the public. Can you help?