Tuesday, 11 November 2008

I Wear My Poppy With Pride!

Today is Remembrance Day and we remember all who have given their lives in the two great wars and all the conflicts since then and we think of all those service personnel who are serving in places of conflict today!

Even before I joined the Army I was involved with Remembrance Day. My Grandad (my Mum's Dad) was killed in WWII at Anzio in Italy. He was only 30 and my Grandma was left without a husband and my Mum and Auntie were left without a Dad, my Mum was only 3!! My Grandma became a founder of the Women's Section of the local Royal British Legion and every year leading up to November 11th she took delivery of boxes of poppies, leaves in one box, petals in another and stalks and the black centre in two more. We sat for hours assembling the poppies so they would be ready to sell. I remeber a couple of years I accompanied my Grandma as she stood in our local town selling them. I always seemed to be off school the following week with a terrible cold!!

My Grandad's Grave in Anzio Beachead Cemetery, Italy

We attended the Remembrance Service on Sunday at the cenotaph in our local park. It was a truly miserable day and the heavens opened and we got drenched, but it was just a small sacrifice on our behalf, compared to the sacrifices of those we were remembering.

I felt particularly proud this year because on Saturday I received my Veterans Badge. I'd only ordered it a few days previously, along with one for Alan, my husband. I'd been meaning to do it for so long, but kept forgetting. At one time the only recipients of the badge were the veterans of the two wars, but a few years ago it was decided that anyone who had served in HM Forces was entitled to wear the badge, but would have to apply. Anyone who leaves the services now is handed a badge on discharge. We both wore our badges alongside our poppies, and in Alan's case, next to his Falkland's Medal too - it was a nice feeling!

My poppy was a little different this year. I had purchased a pattern from a shop called Button and Skein, who were selling them to raise funds for the Royal British Legion. The RBL had helped them to set up their new shop and they wanted to show their appreciation and give a little bit back. The pattern was in actual fact 3 patterns for a knitted, crocheted or material poppy. I had intended to do a knitted poppy, but unfortunately mine didn't look anything like a flower, never mind a poppy. So, I taught myself how to crochet and after a few attempts I had a result. I made three poppies this year, one for my Grandma, one for my Mum and a last minute (Sunday morning!) one for myself. I have already been asked if I can do some more for next year and I've decided I will make some and sell them with the proceeds going to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

So that's why I wear my Poppy with Pride!
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.


Kerrie Slade said...

Very moving post Alison. I absolutely love your crocheted poppy and I think your plan for next year is excellent!

Anonymous said...

Feel very emotional reading this post. So, so moving.Your poppy is beautiful and very eye=catching.

Tilly said...

Hi Alison, thanks for doing this post. It's so sad to hear of so many people dying so young. I think my gt uncle was in his late 20's and left a wife and young son. Your crochet poppy is lovely. I know how to crochet but for the life of me I cannot follow a pattern at all! A lovely idea to sell them for the British Legion.

Tina said...

I have just read this post...it is so emotional. Can I place my order for a poppie now? I always year a poppy with pride.

Nia said...

A very special post Alison, thank you so much for this. And the poppy works so well, a lovely idea.

Kiamyka said...

Hi Alison
I must have missed this when you posted - a lovely post it is too :-) I would love one of your poppies this year. Ps when are you blogging again hint hint !!
xx chris