[Hannah-Rose Bicknell | Features Editor]
On Remembrance Day, it is common knowledge that a poppy is worn as a way to commemorate the sacrifice of brave soldiers who fought in the past wars. But why a poppy in particular?
There is a lot of speculation around the answer of this question. Some people believe that it signifies the colour of blood and has connotations to death, that it shows prolonged mourning while others believe it’s because that is the flower that grew from the blood of the fallen soldiers, so it is used to remember them. The real reason is because in 1914, the fields of northern France, played host to World War I, and after it was finished, all that would grow in the barren land was the poppy. This was depicted by a Canadian man named John McCrae while travelling through France. He then wrote a poem called ‘In Flanders Fields’, which identified the significance of the poppy as a symbol of hope and remembrance. The poem quickly spread all over the world, inspiring people to make and wear silk poppies.
This notion was brought to the UK by a French woman and was then introduced nationwide by the Royal British Legion charity. This sparked the Poppy Appeal in 1921, to which all of the donations from poppy purchases go towards to help those in the military and their families.
Today, poppies are still worn on the left-hand side to show that the fallen are close to our hearts, and that we will alway remember them.