Today is Remembrance Day, which marks the end of the First World War when the Armistice was signed on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918.
When hundreds of bright red poppies emerged from the battlefields in the wake of the war, they appeared to symbolise the arrival of peace and freedom. For the whole country, the iconic red poppy has become a poignant reminder of the enormous sacrifices made by so many.
The power of the poppy was first recognised by Canadian World War One soldier, John McCrae, who was stunned by the red-cast landscape and went on to describe the salience of the poppies in his poem, In Flanders Fields.
“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.”
Whether pinned to our chests or adorning a memorial, the symbolic poppy is now unmissable throughout our streets every November.