During the bombardments of the First World War poppy's would thrive in the lime enriched soils from rubble. In 1915 John McCrae, a doctor serving with the Canadian Armed Force's, was so deeply moved by what he saw that he wrote "In Flanders Fields". The poppy came to represent the sacrifice made by his comrades.
In 1918 Moina Michael, an American working in a New York City YMCA wrote a poem in reply named "We Shall Keep The Faith" in which includes the line "We wear in honour of our dead". After a visit to the USA a French woman, Madame Guerin, learned of the custom. On her return to France she decided to use handmade poppies to raise money for the destitute children in war-torn areas of the country
It was adopted by The Royal British Legion after its formation in 1921 as the symbol for their Poppy Appeal, in aid of those serving in the British Armed Forces.
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