Each poppy is a symbol of hope and remembrance. Mummy told us about the story of the poppy.
100 years ago, the First World War began. Much of the fighting took place in Western Europe. Where once was beautiful countryside were bombed and fought over again and again. They became fields of mud, horror – they were bleak and barren – little or nothing could grow.
But out of this desolate scene of chaos and destruction, little bright red Flanders poppies flourished – by the thousands. They were the only things that grew after the complete devastation. They were delicate flowers yet resilient.
A Canadian doctor, Lt Col John McCrae was deeply inspired by the sight of poppies and wrote the famous poem “In Flanders Fields” –
In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders’ fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high,
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders’ Fields.
May’s comment: In London today, over 2,500 volunteers representing the Royal Navy, Army, RAF and a host of corporate supporters are collecting at over 60 sites around London, including Tube and mainline rail stations – helping to raise finds for the The Poppy Appeal (British Legion)