Poppy Appeal

Fields of Poppies Each year the nation expresses its unequivocal support for the Legion’s work through its generous support of the Poppy Appeal. It is one of the best-known and supported campaigns in the calendar. The Poppy Factory in Richmond, London, produces millions of poppies every year, along with the wreaths laid at Remembrance services around the country and the poppy petals that fall at the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall. The poppy has become a symbol of reflection and hope.

Help wanted for the Poppy Appeal in Derbyshire and if you can give a little of your time follow the link Help The Poppy Appeal.

Why The Poppy?

The First World War caused widespread devastation to areas of Northern France and Belgium, but the poppy flowered every year, bringing colour and hope to the devastated landscape.  Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a doctor serving with the Canadian Armed Forces, was deeply moved by what he saw and, inspired by the poppies, wrote a poem – In Flanders’ Fields. McCrae died in a military hospital on the French coast shortly after writing his poem, but it was published in Punch magazine, showing the world what conditions on the battlefields were like.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae's poem – In Flanders' Fields

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, the First World War ended. Thousands had died; thousands more had been injured and scarred by their horrific experiences, and needed support and practical help when they returned. For those people and their families, life would never be the same again.

Civilians wanted to remember the people who had given their lives for peace and freedom. An American War Secretary, Moina Michael, was inspired by John McCrae’s poem, and sold poppies to friends to raise money for the ex-Service community. And so the tradition began.

The Royal British Legion – Poppy Factory.

In 1922 Major George Howson MC, who served in the First World War, founded the Disabled Society. He recognised unemployed ex-Service men could make artificial poppies and approached the Legion. He founded a small factory, which was later to become The Royal British Legion Poppy Factory.

The British Legion – now The Royal British Legion – was formed in 1921 from four separate ex-Service organisations. The first official Legion Poppy Day was held in Britain on 11 November 1921, and since then the Poppy Appeal has been a key annual event in the nation’s calendar.

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