[TR] Poppies from England

John Macartney john.macartney at ukpips.org.uk
Sun Nov 13 11:34:04 MST 2016

I’m so pleased the Poppy has such a wider appeal. I always buy one every year. Naturally, I do it in remembrance of British servicemen and women, those of all our allies – and yes, to not forget those whom we fought against. Remembrance Sunday which is today is always a moving ceremony performed at The Cenotaph in London and it’s always televised. Last night was the annual event at the Royal Albert Hall in London which at the end of the Service sees tens of thousands of Poppy Leaves falling from the roof – one leaf for every British life lost since 1914 until 2016, male or female, any conflict theatre.

I feel it is incumbent on all of us to remember our war dead and it’s poignant for me because my dear Dad was one of the first operational pilots in World War One in the Royal Flying Corps. He lied his age, joined up in late 1915 and at a time when a front line pilot’s life was about six weeks. Somehow Dad managed to see the war’s end which in itself was a miracle because he daily had to do and out and back ‘sweep’ of the front line at about 300 feet. He never talked about it because he and I both had PTSD as a result of conflict in different places at different times in which it was kill or be killed. My Poppy is precious to me because it daily serves to remind me the sheer hell that my dear Dad and millions of others shared together at different times – and which I also know a little of myself.





The World’s Most Famous WAR MEMORIAL POEM
By Lieutenant Colonel 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

Composed at the battlefront on May 3, 1915 
during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium



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