A FACEBOOK group with more than 13,000 members has gone global in its efforts to commemorate the Forest’s fallen soldiers, and is holding a competition to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War next month.

Forest of Dean Rocks has asked members to design and hide poppy-themed rocks, some of which have gone back to the countries where young men fell in battle, and now wants members to design a remembrance-themed front cover for the FoDRocks Facebook group, using decorated rocks.

Group founder Amy Sampson said: “To mark 100 years since the end of World War One, members of all ages and abilities are busy decorating remembrance rocks to hide around Forest of Dean, near and around war memorials as a mark of respect and remembrance for those who fought and lost their lives in the war.  

“Some of our rocks have even been taken to different countries with veteran soldiers to hide in memory of friends who fought and died in the two world wars.” 

Member Sue Pemberton has sent her poppy pebbles around the world in an attempt to ensure they make it back to the country where each local soldier died.

She said: “I live in Westbury-on-Severn and we lost 40 soldiers in World War One.

“I thought it might be a nice thing to try to send a ‘thank you’ poppy pebble to the country where each of the soldiers died.

“Each poppy pebble has the soldier’s name, age, the date and the country where he died.  

“When a trustee of the Royal British Legion heard about this, she asked if I would paint 16 more for veterans to place on the Second World War D-Day landing beaches.  

“Since then people have asked for pebbles to take to other counties – Oman, Italy, Majorca and Burma.

“A cadet is taking a very special pebble for me to the Somme, to remember my grampy, who survived the Som- me and was invalided out in 1917, with shrapnel in his eye.  

“He never spoke about the war and was a broken man after his time in World War One.” 

Fellow group memberRachael Love made 100 numbered poppy rocks, each with its own certificate, which she placed with the rock.

She hoped that it would spark meaningful conversations between people of all ages, and that they will then post their finds on the group’s Facebook page.

“We have albums especially for photographs of remembrance rocks in the group,” Amy added.

“We are running a competition this week to design our group’s front cover using decorated remembrance rocks. There is a little prize but the winning design will be used as our front cover for a few weeks during remembrance.

“We encourage our group to be mindful of wildlife and the environment when decorating rocks, and we also encourage each other to pick up litter as we go,” she added

“It is quite amazing how FoDRocks has touched the lives of so many people of different ages and walks of life.”

The closing date for entries is Sunday, October 14.

Go to Facebook/FoD Rocks to enter.