Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland




McCrae's famous lines

'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.'

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the First World War ended. Civilians wanted to remember the people who had given their lives for peace and freedom.

An American War Secretary, Moina Michael, inspired by John McCrae's poem, began selling poppies to friends to raise money for the ex-Service community.

And so the tradition began. In 1922, Major George Howson, a young infantry officer, formed the Disabled Society, to help disabled ex-Service personnel from the First World War. Howson suggested to the Legion that members of the Disabled Society could make poppies and the Poppy Factory was subsequently founded in Richmond in 1922.

The original poppy was designed so that workers with a disability could easily assemble it and this principle remains today.


Ulster Star