The poppy remains to this day an “enduring symbol of remembrance of the First World War”.
Often associated with Armistice Day on 11 November, the poppy’s origin as a symbol of remembrance remains in the landscapes of the First World War.
Helen Mavin, curator at the Imperial War Museum, explained the reasons behind the symbol:
“Poppies were a common sight, especially on the Western Front. They flourished in the soil churned up by the fighting and shelling.”
The flower provided inspiration for Canadian doctor and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, author of inspirational poem ‘In Flanders Fields’, written whilst serving in Ypres in 1915.
“Artificial poppies were first sold in Britain in 1921 to raise money for the Earl Haig Fund in support of ex-servicemen and the families of those who had died in the conflict.”
The flowers were originally supplied by Anna Guérin, a French manufacturer who aimed to raise funds for charity to support war orphans.
Poppies were in such high demand from that point on that their manufacture and sale went from strength to strength.
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