Why do we remember with the Poppy?

Gary Baker - single poppy

Single Poppy from the Weeping Window installation at The Black Watch Castle and Museum  Copyright Gary Baker

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 in Punch, having been rejected by 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 Guérin, 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.

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About blackwatchmuseum

The Museum of The Black Watch offers an insight into one of the British Army's if not the world's most famous fighting units. Scotland's Black Watch is an elite military regiment whose history stretches back almost three centuries.
This entry was posted in First World War, Poppies: Weeping Window, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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