A GILLINGHAM woman, who is known for her lockdown-inspired book for children, is urging residents to send her pearls, as part of her own campaign supporting Remembrance Day.

Anne Kings, also known as Granny Annie, launched the ‘Remembrance Pearl Appeal’ to raise money for the Poppy Appeal.

She wanted to revive an old war tradition of donating pearls to then be transformed into a necklace and auctioned.

Anne said: “With Remembrance Day [today] and beautiful poppies everywhere, this is the time to wear your pearls, because they actually came before the poppy as a symbol of remembrance.

“In 1918 Lady Northcliffe conceived an idea to raise money for the war effort. The British Red Cross Pearl appeal sought the donation of single pearls from women all over the world – each pearl representing a life changed forever by war.

“It was hoped to collate enough pearls to create a single necklace to be auctioned at Christie’s, but almost 4,000 pearls were received. Every pearl came with a really moving story from the women who sent them, which were arranged into 41 necklaces, raising £100,000 when auctioned.

“The poppy as a symbol of remembrance followed in 1921.”

Anne added: “We all know that the ‘Poppy Appeal’ fund this year is going to struggle due to Covid-19 regulations so maybe we can steal an idea from what happened in 1918, and do a similar thing in this time of exceptional circumstances, over 100 years later.”

To send your pearls to Anne, drop them at The Copy Shop or the Post Office, both in High Street, marked with ‘The Remembrance Pearl’ appeal, by December 20.

For more information email annemkings2@btinternet.com