Wednesday, 11 November 2009


The Poppy of Remembrance, worn by millions the world over, truly is an international symbol, involving Canada, America, France and Great Britain. Amid the carnage and blood of the First World War, a Canadian Medical Officer, John McCrae, at the start of the Second Battle of Ypres, was moved to write the poem, “In Flanders Fields”. The poignant, and now famous, poem was first published in Punch on 8th December 1915. Colonel McCrae died in France in 1918. That year his poem was printed in the United States. A reader, Moina Michael, was profoundly touched by the verses. On the day that the Armistice was signed, 11th November 1918, a conference of Y M C A Leaders was taking place. Miss Michael went to a department store and bought its entire stock of red paper poppies. She then handed them out to delegates to wear in memory of those who had fallen. Moina Michael instigated a campaign to adopt the Flanders Poppy as the National Symbol of Sacrifice. In 1920 the American Legion gave its approval. The popularity of the Poppy spread throughout the United States and a French woman, Anne Guerin, was asked to help supply the demand. In August 1921, Anne Guerin approached the recently formed British Legion in London with the idea of using the Poppy in Britain. The Legion was in urgent need of funds to carry on its work, the fundraising potential of the little red flower was recognised, and it was decided to give it a try. The date of the Armistice, 11th November, was selected as the next suitable occasion to sell them. With the personal endorsement of Earl Haig, the Founder of the British Legion, the nationwide appeal began. It was a resounding success! Moina Michael’s idea had indeed caught the imagination of the world. Unfortunately, since Colonel McCrae wrote “In Flanders Fields”, many more have died in wars and conflicts around the world. Today, the Poppy is worn in remembrance of them all.


A German Soldier rests among his former enemies. He is the only German Soldier buried in this Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery on the Somme. In War, there are no winners!




  1. The Battle of El Alamein Egypt. I believe the tank wireless operators were welsh. because the Germans could not understand our welsh language,

  2. Gorgeous poppy field....It wouldn't enlarge for me...but it is so beautiful. I have never seen a poppy field, so much red is stunning. Interesting information also...

  3. Hello Life in Egypt
    Yes, I have heard that as well. We Welsh are very useful in quite a lot of ways! Thanks for looking in & hope you will continue.

  4. Hi Carol
    Glad you like it. A French Poppy Field is a sight to behold. I'm sorry you couldn't enlarge the picture. I have no idea why that is, but I am trying to find out.

  5. Hello Gwentman

    This is a lovely post and very appropriate for the time of year. Thanks for sharing it. Hope to see more of your great photos!

  6. Hello Gwentman, thank you for stopping by my blog and for your comment. I found this history of the poppy very interesting.

    Somehow, when I saw the beautiful red dragon as your "portrait" I knew you were Welsh. My husband and I were in Conwy for a couple of days this summer...we would have loved to spend more time there...perhaps someday we'll return. What a beautiful country, and we only saw a tiny bit of it!

  7. Hi Sara
    Thank you for looking in. I am pleased you found the story of the poppy interesting. I hope you will continue to follow my blog as there will be plenty more pictures of Wales as well as other countries. If you have friends who are interested in Wales, please tell them about my blog.

  8. Hi Breadgirl
    Thank you for looking in and your comment. There will be lots more pictures to come.


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