Poppies of Different Colours for Remembrance

poppyThe red poppy most usually worn around the commemoration of Armistice Day has been used since 1921. It symbolises the military personnel who have died in war.

In Flanders Fields was a poem written by Canadian WW1 surgeon Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

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.

Nowadays you may see people wearing different colours of poppies symbolising the wider effects of war.

line of poppiesWhite poppies have been worn since 1933.  They are worn to remember all victims of war, a commitment to peace and a challenge to attempts to glamorise or celebrate war. They are distributed by the Peace Pledge Union (PPU).

Black poppies are a newer addition and are worn to commemorate all those who have died due to imperialist war and its legacy: dead soldiers, dead civilians and dead conscientious objectors.

Purple poppies honour all the horses who died in serving the human madness that was World War 1.


David Stewart MSP

David Stewart MSP

Local MSP, David Stewart, Labour, earlier this year lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament, recognising the dedication and commitment of the team at the Black Isle Bronze Foundry, Nairn, on completion of their crafting of the bronze horse ‘Poppy’ which is now a memorial to all the horses, mules and donkeys killed in WW1. The memorial is located at Ascot, Berkshire and was unveiled on Friday June 8th 2018.The War Horse Memorial.

David Stewart said:

“I would just like to remind people that purple poppies can be worn to remember all the animals also killed as a result of conflict particularly in WW1. Not a lot of people will be aware that almost 8 million horses, donkeys and mules were killed in action during this war and 750,000 dogs were killed in one week in the UK alone during WW2 as the Government decreed that there was not enough food with rationing to be able to feed them.”

wreath of poppies

Reporter: Fiona Grahame


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5 replies »

  1. I knew about the horses. I didn’t know about the dogs. Dogs can be fed on scraps and what humans don’t eat/won’t eat.
    What is it, with Governments?

  2. Yes, true – pigs will eat anything, and can then be eaten. I suppose it depends on how necessary dogs are seen as being.
    To me, that is a draconian measure. Governments do have a tendency to do things like that – they have power. In times of war, they have even more power, and they, sometimes, mis-use that power. It appears to ‘go to their head’.
    I would argue that dogs are necessary – working dogs definitely so, and they probably weren’t killed. Pet dogs, matter – imagine – it’s the war, your world is falling around you, and your dog is ordered to be killed, by your own ‘leaders’.
    I admit to a knee-jerk reaction here. I love dogs, I can imagine how I would feel if that happened to me. I wouldn’t see the sense in it, even for the ‘war effort’. Things were bad enough, then your companion and friend, is ordered to be killed, when enough of your companions and friends may have already have been ‘lost’.
    Also, a knee jerk reaction to Governments adopting draconian measures, sometimes just because…they can.
    A knee-jerk reaction – I have them sometimes.
    I stand by it though – I can imagine it – at a time of confusion and loss, one constant part of your world, isn’t lost to a bomb, but to a government edict.
    Did they eat the dead dogs? I bet they didn’t – if it was that bad – that would be the logical thing to do – if logic is all that matters.
    That’s just my view. Enough aspects of life were being destroyed, without folk being ordered to lose their animal companions, too.
    The horse business…..hmm…I know they were needed, but, again – imagine a horse who has lived it’s life on a farm, doing its best for its master – suddenly in a battle. Still doing its best, but in scenes of pure madness. The horses in George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ come to mind. Ok – I’ll get into trouble for this – people choose to fight wars, animals don’t. The sooner horses came out of the equation, the better. Then it’s with us if we choose to carry through our madness, often destroying other life along the way. Desolate battlefields. All life destroyed, but then, the poppies and other flowers come back, and the land restores itself.
    I’ve nailed my colours to the mast, there. I am not an advocate of war, as a method of solving differences. I believe that some wars are necessary, to stop even worse madness, such the Second World War. Some, are because governments take advantage of an opportunity. I see Mrs. May’s ‘Festival of Britain’ as a crazy thing, but better than a war, which is often the alternative chosen as a distraction technique. In a war, lives are wasted, as well as money.
    Maybe I don’t know enough about the politics behind it, but I never understood why the First World War was started because someone shot an Arch-duke in Sarajevo.
    I read ‘Black Lamb & Grey Falcon’ by Rebecca West, thinking it might make it more clear, but it didn’t. The causes of that war still come across as a lot of muddle, causing a lot of harm.
    As to the Vietnam war………………..no idea how they got away with that one.
    Have a look at this……………….

    When I was at school, I had that poster stuck up inside my desk lid – and the teachers didn’t tell me to take it down. Good teachers.

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