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During the First World War (1914–1918) lots of the fighting took place in Western Europe. Land that was once beautiful countryside was turned to muddy landscape after the bombings and the battles that occurred there. Due to the mud and bad conditions, hardly any plants could grow and it soon became a baron landscape.
The only flowers that could grow, were the bright red Flanders poppies and these grew in their thousands. These flowers were associated with the First World War and since this time have been worn as a mark of remembrance for those who have died in battle.
Poppies are currently available all across the country and money raised from the sale of these goes to help The Royal British Legion who in turn help servicemen and their families. We spoke to one such volunteer Karen Fisher from Hornchurch in Essex, who gave up her time to collect donations in her local Sainsbury’s. Karen said
“I met some lovely people with great stories to tell. One old lady told me that her mum worked on the radios in the First World War and that she couldn’t walk past a poppy donation box without putting money in”
It is thanks to these volunteers who give up their time to help raise much needed funds and to keep the emblem of the poppy alive and in the forefront of people’s minds.
Both the English and the German national football teams will be wearing black arm bands bearing the poppy emblem at their friendly match tonight at Wembley as a mark of respect.
Do you know the significance of the poppy?
The RED represents the blood of the fallen and injured soldiers, the BLACK represents the mourning for the soldiers who never returned home and the GREEN leaf represents the grass and crops growing a future prosperity.
How should the poppy be worn?
The leaf should be positioned at 11 o’clock which represents the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the time of which WW1 ended. The poppy should also be worn on the left hand side positioned over your heart.
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.
Lest we forget.