In Flanders Fields inspires Sydney white cross project
Woman inspired by soldier's letters from World War I
A stack of old letters found in an attic has inspired a unique Remembrance Day project for the Royal Canadian Legion in Sydney, where members have decided to sell white crosses like the ones described in the famous wartime poem, In Flanders Fields.
Evelyn Peters said it all began when she found a stack of old letters in the attic of her husband's family home.
"These would be letters that were sent from France by his uncle. His uncle's name was George Peters and he served in the war from 1916 to 1919," she said.
"Some of the stories were very sad. He talked about friends that he had met from North Sydney and Port Hawkesbury and he couldn't find them and they were killed."
Peters said the letters touched her and she wanted to do more than wear a poppy to honour those soldiers. She had 20 white crosses built and covered her front lawn.
Her neighbour, Frank Gaudet, saw them and shared the idea with his fellow legion members.
"We got about 100 made up at the start and then they moved very, very fast and we had Pathways to Employment start working on another 100," Gaudet told CBC News.
"In a couple of days, they were gone also and I think we sold probably close to 300 in less than a two week period."
Gaudet said the legion plans to sell more crosses next year and they'd be thrilled if legions across the country borrow the idea.
"I'd like to see a mini Flanders Fields on everyone's lawn from one end of Canada to the other," said Peters.
"On Remembrance Day, that would show everyone that they do remember. If you read the poem In Flanders Fields, it would inspire you to do so."