A VILLAGE will be flooded with 4,000 ceramic poppies as it commemorates the centenary of the end of the First World War.

Lanchester resident Eric Hepplewhite first started on the project with the aim of creating around 2,500 poppies which he hoped to use to create a display in the village to mark Armistice Day.

But the project has proved so popular more than 4,000 of the flowers have been made over the last 18 months.

He said: “It’s an unbelievable number but people have been really swept up by it.

“I think everyone wants to be a part of it.”

The main display will be at the methodist church, which will have a cascade of poppies, inspired by a display at the Tower of London in 2014.

There will be smaller displays by the war memorial at the catholic church, at the memorial gates at the church of England and at the war memorial on the village green, where there will be 131 poppies – one for each man named on the memorial.

They will be displayed for three weeks from November 1 and can be bought, with proceeds going to the Royal British Legion’s poppy appeal.

The first of the poppies were placed at the war memorial on Friday, during a re-dedication service.

It follows a project by the village to inscribe the names of 131 men, who died in the First and Second World Wars, and the Falklands conflict, as well as that of Gavin Peacock, who died in service in 1985, on the memorial.

The original war memorial did not have the names of any soldiers.

As part of the village’s efforts to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, Lanchester Parish Council led a project to identify and research the names of all those who died during the conflicts.

The names have now been engraved on new marble panels, which have been added to the memorial.

Sally Laverick, clerk to the parish council, said: “We started almost two years ago with members of the community and the churches.

“We started with a long list of 99 names which are read out on Remembrance Sunday and we found another 31 names of people from the parish.

“It is the first time the memorial has had any names on it.”

Pupils from Lanchester Primary School, All Saints Primary School and St Bede’s Catholic School attended along with other members of the community.

As part of the service, the names of 131 men, who died in the First and Second World Wars, the Falklands campaign and Gavin Peacock, who died in service in 1985, were read out by pupils at St Bede’s.

A number of representatives from village groups, including Lanchester Parish Council, the Boy’s Brigade, Women’s Institute, Mother’s Union, Girl Guides and Churches Together placed ceramic poppies, which have been made ahead of the events to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War, at the memorial.

The service was led by the three churches in the village. Mark Draper played the Last Post while Stephen Burt read parts of Laurence Binyon's poem For the Fallen and part of The Kohima Epitaph.