Welcome to Polly's Blog

Welcome to Polly's Blog
Watercolour, humour, this and that

Saturday, 9 November 2013

POPPIES AND REMEMBERENCE DAY

I have posted this poppy before so no comments.  I just wondered why we use poppies at this time of year and found this explanation on BBC page, for anyone interested.  I don't know if any other countries reflect in this way with a flower, although I think that France uses the cornflower, must check up on that one.

We must never forget them .................

Why the Poppy?

The poppy has a long association with Remembrance Day. But how did the distinctive red flower become such a potent symbol of our remembrance of the sacrifices made in past wars?
Scarlet corn poppies (popaver rhoeas) grow naturally in conditions of disturbed earth throughout Western Europe. The destruction brought by the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th Century transformed bare land into fields of blood red poppies, growing around the bodies of the fallen soldiers.
In late 1914, the fields of Northern France and Flanders were once again ripped open as World War One raged through Europe's heart. Once the conflict was over the poppy was one of the only plants to grow on the otherwise barren battlefields.
The significance of the poppy as a lasting memorial symbol to the fallen was realised by the Canadian surgeon John McCrae in his poem In Flanders Fields. The poppy came to represent the immeasurable sacrifice made by his comrades and quickly became a lasting memorial to those who died in World War One and later conflicts. It was adopted by The Royal British Legion as the symbol for their Poppy Appeal, in aid of those serving in the British Armed Forces, after its formation in 1921.

22 comments:

  1. That is interesting information, Polly, I did not know that. Lovely poppy painting!

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  2. I didn´t know that Polly either. Thanks for telling. But Poppies has allways been a favourite flower of mine since I saw the fields in southern Sweden filled with them.Back then I lived in the middle of Sweden and there no Poppies grew, so it was kind of exotic for me. I tried to pick some home when visiting my grandparents who lived down in Malmö earlier, but only to see that all the petals fell off one by one. And that made me so dissapointed. Talking about war: Sweden wasn´t in the second worldwar the way you were. But I´ve heard that we were very very close in the time when the war ended. So we were very lucky here. We just missed it by a few days!!

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    1. Thank you Catharina for explaining how near Sweden was to being in the Second World War. Glad you like poppies. I love the delicacy of them. It is a shame that they don't last long at all!

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  3. I had heard about poppies growing on battlefields like this - and it's no wonder the poppy became a symbol - I love your poppy, for someone who doesn't particularly enjoy painting flowers you're very very good at them!

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    1. Sharon, one day, I may be a flower painter, but not at the moment (actually I don't mind once in a while for a change).

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  4. very fitting post ..superb poppy polly

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  5. We have been wearing red felt poppies in remembrance of our veterans for the past week, do you do the same? Thanks for sharing the information. A very pretty poppy!

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    1. Yes, we too have been wearing poppies for a while. Don't seem to be as many people as there used to be though, which is a shame.

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  6. Esta amapola te ha salido fantástica.

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  7. Il papavero è un fiore stupendo e tu lo hai dipinto con grande bellezza.
    E' impressionante,osservare ancora oggi la straordinaria fioritura dei papaveri nelle zone dove ci sono state le battaglie...
    The poppy is a beautiful flower and you've painted with its great beauty.
    It 'amazing, still observe the extraordinary flowering
    poppies in areas where there have been battles ..

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  8. Thank you all for your comments and finding the information interesting. I still think of relatives who served in both wars and wish I had asked them more about it before they died. I also think about those still serving and risking their lives.

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  9. Polly - Thanks for the information. I know that here for Veterans Day (tomorrow) and Memorial Day the veterans sell artificial poppies as a fund raiser. I always associated them with soldiers, and remember this poem written by Colonel John McCrae.


    In Flanders Fields
    By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
    Canadian Army
    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.

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    1. What a lovely and moving poem, thank you for sharing this with us Joan.

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  10. Hi, Polly, thank you for sharing the very beautiful work and the precious info. Yes, and we should not have any war on the earth.
    Kind regards, Sadami

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  11. Polly - I always new that poppies were associated with Flanders Fields but not all the history behind it. Thank you so much for sharing the history and Joan T' also for sharing that poem. My hubby memorized it when he was in grade school and still cites for me from time to time. Thanks Polly for reminding us our veterans.

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    1. I'm sorry I left it til now to find out! Thanks for your comments.

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  12. Very interesting... and your poppy is beautiful.

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  13. Your poppy really shows the beauty of of watercolor.

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