Cockington Village

976 1380 The War Horse Memorial

Cockington Village’s first Purple Poppy Day.

November 3, 2018.

Many Devon villages lay claim to being ‘picturesque’, but take a walk back in time along Cockington’s narrow lanes, lined with thatched houses with their colour washed walls of stone and cobb, and you’ll experience a quiet charm that is a quintessentially English with its manor house, cricket ground, thatched pub, cream teas, cottages dating back to the 16th Century and some, like the old Forge, mentioned in the Doomsday Book. Now it has a new claim to fame as Britain’s first village to hold a Purple Poppy Day in support of The War Horse memorial. The idea was the brainchild of Kirk and Hannah Petrakis who run K and H Cockington Carriages and provide popular rides around the village. They have been selling pin badges and came up with the idea of a special ceremony to remember the local men and horses who gave service and sacrifice in the First World War.

More than 200 local residents joined members of the Royal British Legion; local MP Kevin Foster; Councillor Nicole Amil and ladies from The Red Hat Society in a special service of remembrance which included readings and poetry and a special song, written and performed by the local choir. Afterwards Kirk dressed in authentic WW1 uniform, presented us with a cheque for £250 and I with him unveiled a special plaque in the village square as a permanent tribute to the contribution local horses, mules and donkeys made to the war effort.