In the spring of 1915, shortly after losing a friend in the battle of Ypres, a Canadian doctor, Lt Col John McCrae was inspired by the sight of poppies growing in battle scared fields, to write a now famous poem called ‘In Flanders Fields’. After the First World War, the poppy was adopted as a symbol of Remembrance.
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.
WHAT THE POPPY MEANS
The poppy is
- A symbol of Remembrance and hope
- Worn by millions of people
- Red because of the natural colour of field poppies
The poppy is NOT
- A symbol of death or a sign of support for war
- A reflection of politics or religion
- Red to reflect the colour of blood
Wearing a poppy is a personal choice and reflects individual and personal memories. It is not compulsory but is greatly appreciated by those it helps – those currently serving in our Armed Forces, veterans, and their families and dependants.
They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning:
We will remember them.