Christina Johnston

Christina Johnston

Christina Johnston to sing at Purple Poppy Day in Devon.

We are delighted to announce that acclaimed soprano Christina Johnston is to be the special guest of honour at Cockington Village Purple Poppy Day on November 2. In true celebrity style, Christina will ride into the village on a horse and carriage wearing our cloak of a thousand knitted poppies, worn by Kobi -Jean Cole, Miss Great Britain 2019 to launch this year’s Purple Poppy Appeal. Christina is a British coloratura soprano. Born in Framlingham, Suffolk, and educated at Framlingham College, she has performed leading roles in various productions, notably, at the Prague State Opera, including the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s The Magic Flute. She has sung many times for various heads of state, including Miloš Zeman, President of the Czech Republic, and Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Christina was an instant favourite with guests when she sang at our Anniversary Ball at Ascot Racecourse in June and has agreed to become our Appeal Celebrity Ambassador.

Last year the picturesque Devon village became the first in Britain to hold a Purple Poppy Day in support of War Horse Memorial. The idea was the brainchild of Kirk and Hannah Petrakis (pictured below) who run K and H Cockington Carriages and provide popular rides around the village. They had been selling pin badges and came up with the idea of a special ceremony to remember the local men and horses who gave service and sacrifice in the First World War. More than 200 residents joined members of the Royal British Legion; local MP Kevin Foster; Councillor Nicole Amil and ladies from The Red Hat Society in a special service of remembrance which included readings and poetry and a special song, written and performed by the local choir.

This year the village aims to go one better and the popular pub, The Drum Inn, will play host to an afternoon and evening of music and entertainment. Matt Rogan from local radio station Breeze FM will be on hand once again to help organise things with Kirk and Hannah, who we are proud to say have agreed to become of Ambassador Volunteers and are already raising lots of money for our good causes. The party starts at 2pm.

Kirk and Hannah Petrakis.

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