Poppy Appeal 2017: Poem 'In Flanders Fields' Takes Over Britain

Lines of the renowned poem have appeared in iconic locations as part of a campaign to launch this year's Poppy Appeal...

Lines of the renowned poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ have appeared in iconic locations as part of a campaign to launch this year's Poppy Appeal.

Every year, The Royal British Legion raises funds for the Armed Forces community throughout the period of Remembrance in November.

This time, the charity aims to encourage the nation to rethink the meaning of the poppy by re-creating John McCrae’s poem around the UK.

The letters of the poem are made up of clusters of poppies which appeared at Royal Hospital Chelsea in London, on Dunkirk Beach, on the White Cliffs of Dover, at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, in Cardiff Bay, at Salford Quays in Manchester and outside the Sage in Newcastle.

Even though the poppy and the work of the Legion are often associated with the First and Second World Wars and elderly veterans, the charity is inviting the public to reconsider what the poppy stands for and to wear it in support of the current Armed Forces Community too.

'In Flanders Fields’ was written after poppies bloomed on the battlefields of the First World War, despite the death and destruction around them.

Picture courtesy of The Royal British Legion.

The Royal British Legion’s Director of Fundraising Claire Rowcliffe said:

“The Poppy Appeal 2017 is encouraging the public to recognise that your poppy supports the Armed Forces community past and present, and is a symbol of both Remembrance and hope.

“The work of the Legion is as relevant and vital today as it was in the aftermath of the First World War when the charity was founded.

"The donation for your poppy will help the Legion support today’s Armed Forces community through hardships, injury and bereavements.

“We’re encouraging people to dig deep for this year’s Poppy Appeal to help us raise £47 million. The Legion’s work is entirely dependent on the public’s generous support – so please wear your poppy with pride.”

The men and women of Type 23 frigate HMS Lancaster formed a giant red poppy to honour the fallen on Remembrance Day 2013.

The first Poppy Appeal was held in 1921, the founding year of The Royal British Legion.

Red silk poppies inspired by 'In Flanders Fields' sold out instantly and raised more than £106,000. The funds helped veterans find employment and housing after the war.

The following year, the Poppy Factory was set up, employing disabled ex-Servicemen to create the poppies to sell during the appeal. 

The factory still produces millions of poppies each year.

FIFA recently backed down in its row with home nation football associations over the wearing of poppies by players in international matches.

Last year, football's world governing body fined England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for their use of the poppy to commemorate Armistice Day, as FIFA saw it as a "political symbol".

Cover picture courtesy of The Royal British Legion.