01 Sep 2014 @ 10:01
Why a Red Poppy?

The red poppy, the Flanders poppy, was first described as the flower of remembrance by Colonel John McCrae, who was Professor of Medicine at McGill University of Canada before World War I. Colonel McCrae had served as a gunner in the Boer War, but went to France to World War I as a Medical Officer with the first Canadian contingent.
 
At the second battle of Ypres in 1915, when in charge of a small first-aid post, he wrote in pencil on a page torn from his dispatch book:
 
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.
 
The verses were apparently sent anonymously to the English magazine, Punch, which published them under the title ‘In Flanders’ Fields’.