Every year the nation unites to make sure that no-one is forgotten and to remember and honour those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom.
This year Remembrance Sunday (10th November 2019) is the 101th anniversary of the end of World War 1. We will honour the service and sacrifice of our Armed Forces community, the British and Commonwealth veterans, the Allies that fought alongside us and the civilian servicemen and women involved in the two World Wars and later conflicts.
The day is particularly meaningful to our ladies and gentlemen as many fought in World War 2 and other wars.
As the Kohima epitaph reminds us “When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today”. We feel that it is incredibly important to keep the stories of our veterans alive. We always encourage our ladies and gentlemen to share their experiences and memories. We can learn so much from and about them, often they give us an insight into behaviours and issues they are struggling with today.
We feel so very privileged to be able to share these stories with people who fought to protect our freedoms and keep us safe. So many stories and traditions have been lost or forgotten over the years and we’d like to share one with you.
One of our gentlemen noticed a member of staff was wearing a poppy and he asked if she knew why we wear them? When she said she didn’t and he offered to tell her, a group quickly assembled to listen. Here is what Eddie told us;
“Well, during the first world war, much of the fighting took place in Western Europe. The countryside was left bleak by all the bombing and fighting. It had been beautiful before, you know flowers, meadows and streams, but now it was mud, and nothing much was growing. Well nothing except in all that mud and sludge there were these poppies, bright red poppies. They say that poppies are very hardy little flowers, well they must have been to have flourished in the middle of all that destruction and death, because they grew in their thousands.
Anyway, a doctor, I can’t remember his name now you’ll have to look it up, lost a friend in a terrible battle and he wrote a poem. He said that his inspiration was those tiny little red flowers, and he wrote a very famous poem called ‘In Flanders Fields’. You should read it, it’s very moving.”
In Flanders Fields
By John McCrae
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.
If you would like to hear the poem, please click here https://youtu.be/K6BlOkpdkg8
All the parts of a poppy can be recycled. After Armistice Day you can recycle your poppy at any Sainsbury’s supermarket.