Poppy planter

150. Joan Clayton-Jones (Sussex)

A 72 year-old woman from Sussex has helped plant thousands of ceramic poppies at the "Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red" installation at the Tower of London.

Joan Clayton-Jones has spent the past thirteen weeks volunteering as a Team Leader at the installation, despite the long journey from Sussex to the Tower. She has been helping and encouraging others to plant 888,246 ceramic poppies – one to commemorate each and every British and Commonwealth soldier who gave their life during World War I. The final poppy will be planted on Armistice Day on November 11 to mark the end of the conflict.

Joan was inspired to volunteer with the project because of her Great Uncle Godfrey Leseelleur, who was killed on September 19 1918 at Ephy. Leseelleur died just weeks before the end of the conflict, despite having survived the Gallipoli campaign. Each day Joan carries a photo of her great uncle in her bag as she makes her journey from Sussex to the Tower.

In recognition of Joan’s commitment to the scheme she was asked to meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry when they symbolically planted poppies in the dry moat surrounding the Tower.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Joan’s outstanding commitment to this installation, which demonstrates the significance of what happened during the First World War, and commemorates the sacrifice of those who died, is highly commendable. I am proud to name Joan our 150th UK Point of Light.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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