Remembrance

Royal Navy Sailor Turns Shell Casings Into Remembrance Poppies

The poppies cannot be sold to the general public because of the nature of the materials from which they are made. 

A sailor from HMS Sutherland has turned shell casings into poppies to raise money for the Royal British Legion (RBL).

Petty Officer Andy Kirkaldy has raised more than £950 for the RBL - beating his target of £750.

The 35-year-old has used his spare time over the past three months on the Type 23 frigate to craft the unique poppies for his shipmates.

Each poppy takes 20 to 30 minutes to hand-cut, file and then assemble, while the different finishes can vary how long each one takes to be completed.

There are four different types of poppy: red with a black centre, red with a brass centre, polished brass and original brass, marked with the cordite burning on the inside of the shell.

The poppies cannot be sold to the general public because of the nature of the materials from which they are made. 

Each poppy takes 20-30 minutes to hand cut, file and assemble with the option of four different finishes (Picture: Royal Navy).

Petty Officer Kirkaldy, who is responsible for maintaining HMS Sutherland’s missile systems, said: "This which was once used for war is now used to remember.

"I decided to make as many poppies as I could for my ship's company to raise money for the RBL – over 235 in all.

"They do such wonderful things for ex-servicepeople and I just wanted to make something for a good Remembrance for the ship’s company – the last one before it goes into refit."

He added: "Everybody’s really, really loved it, it’s great."

The frigate sailed into Plymouth on Friday after five years of near-constant duties and patrols in the UK and abroad.

She will soon undergo a major refit and will not re-emerge until 2023 when she will return as the fleet's  "most potent submarine hunter", according to the Navy.

Cover image: PO Andy Kirkaldy turning shell casings into poppies for shipmates on HMS Sutherland (Picture: Royal Navy).