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SE1 schoolchildren plant poppy seeds in 10 Downing Street garden

Prime minister David Cameron and culture secretary Sajid Javid joined pupils from Southwark's Cathedral School on Monday in planting poppy seeds to encourage others to sow seeds and cover the UK in poppies to commemorate the centenary of World War I.

The Royal British Legion has launched an educational kit for schools containing a packet of Flanders poppy seeds. The schools pack has been made possible by a 100,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

"The First World War centenary programme is about recognition and remembrance, focusing particularly on young people and helping them make a connection with the events that changed the world a century ago," said David Cameron.

"This Poppy initiative is a great idea that will help the next generation understand the significance of what happened during the First World War and commemorate the sacrifice of those who died.

Culture secretary Sajid Javid said: "The poppy is a powerful symbol of remembrance and this is a wonderful example of how a local community initiative can help shape our national commemorations.

"I hope that young people in schools enjoy sowing the poppy seeds and watching them flourish and that it provides them with a vibrant connection between past and present generations."

May and June are ideal planting times to ensure the flowers bloom by August 4th, the date that war was declared 100 years ago. The public can buy the Royal British Legion poppy seeds at B&Q stores nationwide, with a 1 donation going to the work of the Legion.

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