I love poppies. Even in this country I always find their appearance, dancing at the edges of arable fields very poignant. Seeing the massed swathes of red when travelling through northern France never fails to reinforce their role in remembrance.
Like many, I had a grandfather who went to France in the First World War and unlike many he came back again. For the 888,246 British and Colonial military who didn’t return, the most beautiful ceramic poppies have been planted at the Tower of London, each one representing a fatality. I think this is a magnificent and beautiful act of remembrance and thanks, for all the brave men and women who didn’t make it back home.
The poppies have been carefully put into position from August 2014 by many hard working volunteers, including several people I know. You can read one experience here. After much public debate it appears two sections will now be kept and are headed for display around the country, finally coming to rest in the Imperial War Museums in London and Manchester. The display is due to be completed by Armistice Day, 11/11/14. The poppies will then be dismantled and cleaned, again by volunteers and sent on to their new homes.
I’m very pleased to be the owner of one of them.
I also found the Royal British Legion’s “Every man remembered” initiative. You search for a relative or just commemorate someone who died in WW1. I have commemorated Private P. R. Bee of the Army Pay Corps who died on 14th November 1918, exactly 44 years before I was born. He may or may not be related but he is buried not far from me so I think I shall go and find him.
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.” Laurence Binyon 1914
( I also didn’t know that Binyon wrote this in Cornwall)
©Chez l’abeille 2014