Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Why I wear a poppy

Malcolm Page, president, Henley branch of the Royal British Legion

Malcolm Page, president, Henley branch of the Royal British Legion

“WHEN I was small, there were many ‘flower days’, including Queen Alexandra’s Rose Day and Primrose Day, as well as the poppy. The last was enlivened by a parade to Gloucester Cathedral.

Otherwise there was not much difference until, when I was about 13 years old, on Armistice Day, the chairman of my school’s board of governors was reading out the names from the school’s roll of honour and we realised that he was giving us the names of his school chums.

Last August, I was in Belgium, at Ypres in particular. The immensity of the Commonwealth cemeteries, the preserved segments of the trenches and the displays in the museums were awesome. Not least was visiting the bunker where the Canadian medical officer, John MacCrae wrote: “If you break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders fields.”

So, please wear the poppy and do so with pride.”

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