Centenary Poppy Campaign

The Centenary Poppy Campaign is an initiative from the Royal British Legion. The aim of the campaign is to cover the UK with poppies during the centenary period in commemoration of all those who lost their lives in the First World War.

 

The national campaign, more about which is being run with in partnership with retailer B&Q, remedy  will see the public and local authorities purchasing Flanders poppy seeds to plant on their own land. The plan is for the flowers to bloom this summer, and in time for the anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.

 

Weymouth is taking part in this campaign and there have been poppy seeds sown in flower beds outside the train station by volunteers.
This morning when walking along the Rodwell Trail, by Westham Halt, I noticed that poppies had been planted here too and were now in bloom.

poppies at Westham Halt



The significance of the poppy as a memorial to those who died in past conflicts was first realised by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, who wrote the poem Flanders Fields following the death of his friend on the battlefield at Ypres in 1915. Since then, it has become synonymous with remembering fallen soldiers.

 

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.

John McCrae, May 1915


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