The poppy is the enduring symbol of remembrance of the First World War. It is strongly linked with Armistice Day (11 November), but the poppy\’s origin as a popular symbol of remembrance lies in the landscapes of the First World War. Poppies were a common sight, especially on the Western Front. They flourished in the soil churned up by the fighting and shelling. The flower provided Canadian doctor John McCrae with inspiration for his poem \’In Flanders Fields\’, which he wrote whilst serving in Ypres in 1915. It was first published inP
Punch, having been rejected byP The Spectator. In 1918, in response to McCrae\’s poem, American humanitarian Moina Michael wrote \’And now the Torch and Poppy Red, we wear in honor of our dead\’. She campaigned to make the poppy a symbol of remembrance of those who had died in the war. Artificial poppies were first sold in Britain in 1921 to raise money for the Earl Haig Fund in support of ex-servicemen and the families of those who had died in the conflict. They were supplied by Anna Gurin, who had been manufacturing the flowers in France to raise money for war orphans.
Selling poppies proved so popular that in 1922 the British Legion founded a factory – staffed by disabled ex-servicemen – to produce its own. It continues to do so today. Other charities sell poppies in different colours, each with their own meaning but all to commemorate the losses of war. White poppies, for example, symbolise peace without violence and purple poppies are worn to honour animals killed in conflict. The poppy continues to be sold worldwide to raise money and to remember those who lost their lives in the First World War and in subsequent conflicts. The Royal British Legion has started this year\’s Poppy Appeal. In the days leading up to 11 November, you will see people on the TV and in the streets wearing a poppy. This is a symbol to remember those who have given their lives in war. Millions of poppies will be given out over the coming days by tens of thousands of volunteers. Why do we wear poppies? The reason poppies are used to remember those who have given their lives in battle is because they are the flowers which grew on the battlefields after World War One ended.
Poppies growing in a field in France, which used to be a battlefield This is described in the famous World War One poem In Flanders Fields, which you can read below. Ever since then, they have come to be a symbol of remembering not just those who gave their lives in World War One, but all those who have died on behalf of their country. Every year, volunteers make poppies available throughout the country and people make a donation in order to get their poppy. The money raised from these donations is used to help servicemen and women who are still alive, whose lives have been changed by wars that they fought in. Former soldiers remember those who have lost their lives in war on Remembrance Sunday. You can see one at the front is carrying a wreath of poppies It might help them to get jobs and somewhere to live, and will also help older war veterans with any support they may need. It is also used to help those who have lost loved ones because of wars. Where did it all start? Wearing poppies like this to raise money to help people who had fought in wars started in 1921.
This was year that the Royal British Legion was founded on 15 May. However, back then the poppies weren\’t made out of paper like they are today. They were made out of silk. They sold out straight away and raised more than бе106,000 for those whose lives had been affected by the war, by helping to find them jobs and somewhere to live once they were no longer serving in the army. In 1922, a factory was set up where disabled former soldiers were employed to make the poppies. The poppies are made out of two plastic parts and two paper parts, and must be assembled by volunteers. Here you can see a pile of the green stems used to make poppies This factory is still running – and producing many millions of poppies each year – to this very day. While the majority of people wear their poppy on their chest, there is no right or wrong way to wear a poppy. As the Royal British Legion says: \”We only ask you to wear it with pride. \” What is happening this year? For the 2017 Poppy Appeal, the poem mentioned earlier in this guide is playing an important role.
That\’s because the words of the poem have been written out in poppies in seven different places – at Royal Hospital Chelsea in London, on Dunkirk Beach in France, on the White Cliffs of Dover, at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, in Cardiff Bay, at Salford Quays in Greater Manchester and outside the Sage in Newcastle. The letters of the words have been made up of groups of poppies, so it looks like the poem is growing from the ground. You can read In Flanders Fields below. 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.