It has been announced that the Duchess of Cornwall will visit the New Forest next week. She will be in Brockenhurst to officially open the new Poppy Pods Holiday village, by unveiling a poppy-shaped plaque. She will be welcomed by local dignitaries, including the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson, Chairman of Hampshire County Council, Cllr Keith Chapman and the leader of the authority, Cllr Roy Perry.
Mr. Atkinson said: “There are over 20,000 military personnel based in Hampshire, more than any other county, and I know Her Royal Highness and the people of Hampshire place enormous value on our long and close relationship with the forces.”
Once the formalities are over, The Duchess will get a chance to tour the site and meet some of the military personnel who are already holidaying in the pods. Cllr Perry said: “We have received wonderful and heartfelt messages from military families who have stayed at the Poppy Pods, who appreciate our gesture of giving something back to the Armed Forces community.”
This holiday village has been built by Hampshire County Council and will allow service personnel and their families to have free holidays. The village consists of twenty wooden camping pods, which are solar powered and named after World War I battles; from Amiens to Ypres. In addition, the landscaping includes pine seeds from Gallipoli.
However, the World War I connection does not stop there. This facility has been built at the Tile Barn Centre, this is on the site of a World War I hospital where soldiers were treated. The construction of the pods has been funded by £250,000 from the Armed Forces Community Covenant Fund and £50,000 from the Brockenhurst Royal British Legion.
The Duchess will also visit the local church, St Nicholas, where she will view a recently installed stained glass window, which honours those who were connected to New Zealand No.1 General Hospital a century ago. She will also visit the graves in the churchyard of those who were treated at the Tile Barn during the Great War.