Poppies for Remembrance

Royals with two poppies

A photo in this morning’s paper of Prince Charles and his wife Camilla caught my eye. The couple are visiting the East coast of Canada at the moment and the photo shows them dressed finely and sporting not one, but two poppies on their left lapels. I noted, having lived in the UK that one of the poppies was of the paper style worn in England while the other was the plasticized, flocked version common in Canada.

Remembrance Day or Veteran’s Day is a day designated by Commonwealth nations to show respect for those who died in war. November 11th is selected in honour of the Armistice at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month to end World War I in 1918. This ceremonial day has been in effect since 1919 when those soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War were first honoured. A number of nations outside the Commonwealth also participate in similarly themed memorial events.

The poppy as a symbol itself was inspired by the Canadian John McCrae’s poem “In Flanders Fields” in which he references the wild poppies growing in the battle fields. The concept of wearing a poppy was presented by Moina Michael, an American school teacher, in 1921. Crepe paper pins were produced in the United States while silk poppy lapel pins began to be produced in France by soldiers’ widows and orphans. To this day in England and in the United States, the disabled, war veterans and their dependents work to manufacture the poppies. Canadian veterans made poppies until 1996 when manufacturing moved to a private contractor. In all cases, the proceeds from poppy sales are directed to the rehabilitation and support of veterans of not just the First and Second World Wars but of subsequent wars as well.

The most likely explanation for the visiting Royals wearing both English and Canadian poppies? A symbolic gesture of support for the communities of veterans in both the UK and Canada and for the disabled veterans still making the poppies in the UK.

9 Responses to “Poppies for Remembrance”

  1. November 4, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    It’s a shame that Canadian veterans no longer make the poppies themselves. Just another example of old traditions given up for short-term financial reasons. Another example: the last piano manufacturer in Britain recently closed down.

    Surely making the poppies cannot mean as much to a worker in some far-away factory as it would have meant to a Canadian war veteran. We’re losing something precious here.

    • 2 Brendan
      November 9, 2009 at 2:06 am

      I’m 34 years old. Some of my family died for beliefs greater than themselves. There is no “2 poppies” and i am insulted that he would try to patronize Canadian ideals such as “never again”. Never I hope, has a Canadian soldier risked or given his/her life for a cause other than to help, and end suffering.

      This is Canada, there are things done that need doing. Maybe I read too deep. The poppy means to me of sacrifice and the loss of life (needlessly) from both sides of a battle. I know of no soldier of the 2 major wars who relished in killing, and i have met a few.

      This was the point of the poppy, children sent to war with ideas of serving king and country, the survivors feeling not so glorious. After their duty was fulfilled.

      I feel that 2 poppies dishonours their sacrifice; the ones that survived and the ones that died.

      Chucky will never be my king now……. What a goof……

      It would have been appropriate had he thought of that.

      I’m going to be poor if I see his face on one of my coins

      There are no 2 poppies.

      • 3 David
        January 11, 2010 at 9:10 pm

        Actually there are more than two poppies. In Australia they have their own version as well, with a stem and everything. It is unfortunate that the poster named Brendan can’t respect the way another country honours their fallen soldiers. The fallen soldiers of England are no less important than ours.

  2. 4 V.E.G.
    November 23, 2010 at 7:45 am

    There are similarties between Prince Charles and Lt. Col. Steven Charles Dody:
    Both born in 1948.
    Both have two sons.
    Both married twice (Although Prince Charles is divorced from his first wife, while Steven Charles Dody’s first wife went Home to be with the Lord.)
    Prince Charles’ ex-wife had a boyfriend Dodi Al-Fayed, while Steven’s last name is Dody.
    Both first wives died at 36 years old.
    Both Prince Charles and Steven Charles Dody’s have the name William. (Prince Charles’s son is Prince William while, Steven Charles Dody’s son’s Michael Dody’s middle name is William.)
    Both second wives have two children (a boy and a girl)
    Both have grandfathers’ name George (Prince Charles have George VI, while Steven’s grandfather is George!)
    Both have grandmother’s born in the early 1900’s!
    Both have grandfathers born in 1895.
    Both have relatives named Albert (Prince Charles have grandfather’s Christian name Albert while Steven Charles Dody’s father’s middle name is Albert!)
    Both have three siblings.
    Both are have younger brothers.
    Both second wives are older than the spouses.
    Both have parents have birth years almost five years apart.
    Both have relatives derived from Elizabeth: Prince Charles’ mother is Elizabeth while Steven’s aunt named Betty!

  3. 6 V.E.G.
    April 13, 2011 at 1:40 am

    While Prince Charles have the oldest son named William, Steven Charles Dody’s oldest son’s middle name is William! Their lives are so similar to one another!

  4. 7 V.E.G.
    May 24, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Mercy sakes! The victims before Steven Dody was another William and Catherine! This time from Oklahoma, William Frederick Miller and Catherine Irene (Evans) Miller-Rott. William was a hero and Catherine got remarried to John Edward Rott!

  5. 8 V.E.G.
    May 24, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Another Catherine and William! This time back east, the victims are Catherine Hubbard and William Harrison Rhodes! Ironically, the Rhodes leads to the future victim, a window cleaner of Winston Churchill, Leslie Arthur Rhodes!

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