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Why Do People Wear Poppies At This Time ?


Artificial poppies are worn to commemorate the sacrifices of the Armed Forces and also to show support for those serving now.

The battles of the First World War (1914-1918) were fought mainly in Western Europe, turning picturesque countryside into churned fields of mud and the detritus of war. Virtually nothing grew in this barren, nightmare landscape – except Flanders poppies, their vivid red flowers symbolic of the surrounding bloodshed.

These resilient yet delicate flowers inspired Lt Col John McCrae to write his poem “In Flanders Fields” after the death of a friend at Ypres in 1915.

The poem became famous and inspired Moina Michael, an American academic, to produce some silk poppies that were imported to England by Anna Guerin, a Frenchwoman. The (Royal) British Legion, which was set up in 1921, requested nine million red silk poppies to sell on Armistice Day. These sold out very quickly and became the first “Poppy Appeal.”

Poppy factories were established in London and Edinburgh and millions of poppies are produced to this day by disabled former members of the Armed Forces.


The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal

Created to assist those returning from the carnage of the First World War, the charity’s annual fund raiser assists modern Armed Forces families coping with bereavement, disability, and job seeking.


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