HMS Albion's Michelle crochets special poppies for shipmates

Fifty sailors and Royal Marines on the UK flagship are wearing unique poppies this weekend as they remember the nation’s war dead.

One shipmate aboard HMS Albion has used her spare time to create crocheted poppies – raising more than £800 for the Royal British Legion’s annual appeal.

While PO Andy Kirkaldy on HMS Sutherland turned used shell cases into more than 250 unique metallic poppies, Albion’s AB Michelle Walters used her pre-Royal Navy education to charitable effect with yarn and other materials.

Before joining the Royal Navy as a steward, Michelle completed a fashion studies degree and uses her creative skills to raise money for charity. Ahead of remembrance period, she raised money by sewing name badges onto sailors’ uniforms aboard Albion.

I have always been passionate about helping others and knowing that our donation will help those need, especially during the pandemic, has been great motivation to raise as much as I can

Steward Michelle Walters

It takes her about 30 minutes to create the crocheted poppies – she’s spent more than 25 hours producing the emblems of peace and remembrance, with the first ones snapped up by Commodore Rob Pedre (Commander Littoral Strike Group) and Captain Pete Laughton (Albion’s Commanding Officer)

“I am extremely proud to see people wearing the poppies around the ship,” said Michelle. “The amount of support I’ve had from everyone onboard has been really heart-warming. I have always been passionate about helping others and knowing that our donation will help those need, especially during the pandemic, has been great motivation to raise as much as I can.”

Her ship is currently supporting NATO with Operation Sea Guardian in the Mediterranean and will commemorate Remembrance Sunday at sea.