THOUSANDS of Flanders poppies were planted in Abergavenny in remembrance of the centenary of the start of the First World War.

The memorial poppies were planted by the vicar of St Mary’s Priory Church, Fr Mark Soady, in the Tithe Barn Courtyard, next to the Church on Friday.

The courtyard is poignant as it was here that volunteer soldiers from Abergavenny gathered before going off to war a hundred years ago.

The poppies were provided by the Royal British Legion and their use was inspired by the First World War poem, In Flanders Fields, by Canadian army surgeon, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, who died in France in 1918.

Its opening line refers to the many poppies that were the first flowers to grow in the churned up earth of soldiers’ graves in Flanders, a region of Europe that straddles western Belgium and north-eastern France.

A Memorial Service will be held among the poppies on the courtyard outside the church at 6pm on June 28, which is the Centenary of the Assassination of the ArchDuke Ferdinand, which caused the War and Armed Forces Day.