Royal British Legion Launches 2018 Poppy Appeal

The charity hopes the artwork will highlight “reasons to say ‘thank you’ to the First World War generation”.

An art installation has been revealed at the National Maritime Museum, the former Greenwich Hospital (Picture: Royal British Legion). 

The Royal British Legion (RBL) has launched the 2018 Poppy Appeal with a series of artistic installations around the UK.

The RBL hopes the artwork will highlight “reasons to say ‘thank you’ to the First World War generation”.

Poppy installations have been built in locations across the United Kingdom with a connection to the history of the Great War and will aim to tell the stories of the soldiers, women, children, pioneers and artist of the period.

The central installation is at the National Maritime Museum, the former Greenwich Hospital.

The site was chosen because it is where the records of Royal Navy and Merchant sailors who died in conflict are kept.

Overlooking the Museum is the Royal Observatory, the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is also a meaningful location for Remembrance.

During the First World War, daylight saving time was first used nationally to help conserve coal reserves.

Smaller installations can be found across the country, including at No. 10 Downing Street, Brighton’s Royal Pavilion, the Library of Birmingham and Ballyclare Football Club in Co Antrim.

Downing Street was chosen because it was there that Lloyd George, then Prime Minister, told a jubilant crowd on 11 November 1918 that "the war will be over by 11 o'clock today."

Nearly 100 years later, Lloyd George's successor, Theresa May, has bought a poppy to honour those same "sons and daughters of the people".

The Prime Minister gave her support to the appeal on Thursday morning, buying a poppy at 10 Downing Street (Picture: RBL).

The Library of Birmingham was picked because it stands not far away from where the famed author J.R.R. Tolkien said goodbye to family before he left for the front in 1915.

To this day, it holds a number of works by the author – many of which draw on his experiences as an officer in the Lancashire Fusiliers.

The Royal Pavilion was used as a hospital for thousands of Indian troops injured on the Western Front.

Poppy Artwork at the Royal Pavillion Brighton
The use of the Royal Pavillion by so many Indian soldiers made it one of the most famous military hospitals in the world (Picture: Royal British Legion).

Ballyclare Football Club is to this day the home of Ballyclare Comrades FC.

The club was formed in 1919 by veterans of C Company, 12th Royal Irish Rifles (now Royal Irish Regiment) who missed the comradery that had helped see them through the war.