Do you wear your Poppy with pride?
Poppies were first suggested as a symbol of Remembrance in 1918 and were adopted by the American Legion in 1920. In 1921 the British Legion adopted it and the first Poppy Appeal was born.
The first appeal raised £106,000 (nearly £30 million in today’s terms) and all the poppies were supplied from France. In 1922 the “Poppy Factory” was established in the UK to keep costs down and employing disabled ex-Servicemen to make the poppies.
Note that poppies were “sold” when the appeal started but charity legislation now requires them to be ‘distributed in return for donations’.
My poppies that I’m very proud to wear.
I wear my poppy with pride for all those who have lost their lives in honour of their country.
This includes my great grandfather Frank Longfield.
He died in The Somme on 20 April 1916 and is buried in a small cemetery near Albert surrounded by a field containing poppies.
My great grandparents early 1916
Newspaper cuttings regarding my great grandfather
1989 My grandfather at his father’s grave for the first time, with my dad
Our next visit to The Somme and the war graves will be in 2016 for the centenary of my great granfather’s death.
So my quest this year was to find an easy crochet pattern to make poppies for my family.
These are the new poppies that Mr C and I will be wearing this year… I love the larger poppy that I’ve made myself.
The main thing is that I will still be making a donation to the Royal British Legion. They do amazing work and are a charity who need to be supported all year and not just on Remembrance Day.
I also love the other items that they sell in their Poppy Shop, I use my shopping bags all year round and I think the large poppy umbrella is stunning!
The Buckly poppy jewellery has been available for a few years and I highly recommend the sparkly poppies!
Two of my favourite poems
In Flanders Fields by John McCrae
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.
Mametz Wood 1916 and 1984
Harry Fellows 1896-1987
Shattered trees and tortured souls
The acrid stench of decay
Of mangled bodies lying around
This man made devastation
Does man have no regrets
Does he pause to ask the question
Will the birds sing again in Mametz Wood
The Welsh lad lying near my feet
With blood matted auburn hair
Was his father proud when he went to war
Did his mother shed a tear
Did he leave a girl behind him
Awaiting the postman’s knock
Oh! The sadness when they learn of his death
Dear God help them to bear the shock
That German boy, his bowels astrew
Fought for his Fatherland
That he fought to the last is obvious
A stick bomb still in his hand
Did he hate us so much as we thought
Was our enmity so much
On his belt an insignia GOT MIT UNS
Did no the same God favour us
As far as the eye can see
Dead bodies cover the earth
The death of a generation
Condemned to die at birth
When comes the day of reckoning
Who will carry the can
Of man’s inhumanity to man
What a wondrous pleasant sight
Unfolds before my eyes
A panoply of magnificent trees
Stretching upwards towards the skies
Did someone help Dame nature
The sins of man to forget
Where ones there was war now peace reigns supreme
And the Birds sing again in Mametz!
A memorial Portland stone for Harry was placed in Mametz Wood following his death in 1984