SOCK: Somme Observed Community Knitting

Somme Observed Community Knitting
Somme Observed Community Knitting at the People’s Palace

The railings on either side of Glasgow’s People’s Palace are festooned with colourful blankets at the moment. During the First World War, Queen Mary’s Appeal for Knitters exhorted the women of Britain to produce 300,000 pairs of socks and 300,000 woollen belts for soldiers, a target which they exceeded. This inspired current members of Glasgow Knit and Stitch to form SOCK – Somme Observed Community Knitting – as an appropriate way to commemorate both the soldiers of Glasgow’s three Pals Regiments who took part in the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and the women at home who knitted for them.

Each knitted or crocheted square represents one soldier – about 3,700 in all. Come September, the blankets will be cleaned and given to local charities working with refugees and homeless people.

What a tremendous idea – a memorial with a practical use afterwards. Thanks to Beverly McFarlane, one of the knitters, for alerting me to it.

Somme Observed Community Knitting


  1. Thank you for communicating this. What a wonderful idea; I think I might try to go take some photos myself. It is too bad some were taken. State of the world today. Someone took all the herb plants out of my garden tub.


    • Really – that’s shocking! The blankets should be there till Sept but, NB, I’m told if there are events on the Green they might be taken down temporarily. Probably makes sense given there has already been theft, but annoying for anyone who goes to see them and finds them gone.


  2. Great photos, Never knew it was on at all. Just back from Glasgow Green last weekend but I had a bike tour of the east end from the Richmond Park side and was too knackered to tour the rest of the park afterwards as I intended doing.


  3. It warms my heart to read and see such a wonderful and colorful – and useful – initiative in these dark times. Here’s to remembering the past and learning from it! And to commemorating our heroes and learning from that as well.


  4. I love this, Anabel – both a great way of commemorating the past and making a contribution to the future. I always love to see people’s creative efforts, and any form of needlework certainly falls in that category. Beautiful!


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