- 1915"In Flanders Fields" written
- 1921First poppies sold
A wheatfield flower
a poem, an allegory
In 1915, lieutenant-colonel John McCrae, a Canadian army doctor, wrote his famous poem "In Flanders Fields" when his friend was killed by a German bomb in Ypres. He was buried in a makeshift grave marked with a single wooden cross, among wild poppies. This poem was to symbolize the soldiers' sacrifice during WWI.
Nothing could grow among the ruins, devastation and moonscapes, save this fragile flower with its delicately crumpled petals. The bright red hue paid silent tribute to the blood shed by dying soldiers on the battlefield.
When women pushed for poppies
a symbolic flower
Touched by John McCrae's poem "In Flanders Field", Moina Michael Bell strove for the American Legion to adopt the poppy as an official Remembrance symbol in 1920.
Anna Guérin, a French woman, did likewise in Great Britain and Canada. As did the British Legion, the Canadian Legion and the Australian Returned Soldiers League, all joining the international Poppy Appeal.
Ever since, thousands of paper and fabric flowers have been sold throughout the world for the benefit of war victims. Poppy wreathes and tiny crosses decorated with poppies are placed at tombs and memorials. Millions of people wear a buttonhole poppy on Remembrance Day.
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.
John McCrae, 1915
flavoured with poppy
- The poppy biscuit factory – Henri Potez Business Park in Albert – Tel.: +33 (0)3 22 74 80 70
- Jewellery by La Fée Lulu – Tel.: +33 (0)3 22 86 90 84
- Stick-on jewellery by Marbella – Tel.: +33 (0)1 55 28 17 66
- Cider from the La Garenne cider press in Saint-Gratien – Tel.: +33 (0)6 09 44 34 31
- "1916 Souvenir" beer in the Picardennes brewery in Corbie Tel.: +33 (0)6 83 90 20 06
- "Coqueline" or "Battlefields bier", lager made with poppy petals at the Somme brewery in Domart-en-Ponthieu – Tel.: +33 (0)6 21 47 46 32
- "Poppy", a poppy-shaped cheese by cheese maker Julien Planchon Tel.: +33 (0)3 22 91 96 22