The Royal British Legion was formed in May 1921 to provide help to veterans and their families in need, to campaign authorities for improved conditions, and to champion Remembrance to honour the fallen.
It was also in 1921 that RBL President, Earl Haig, announced that he wished Armistice Day, 11 November, to be known henceforth as Remembrance Day and that it would be a ‘Poppy Day’ to raise funds for veterans’ relief.
The nation rallied to his call, wearing all 8 million of the poppies available and establishing a tradition that has lasted a century. For the first time, 1921 brought together all of the symbols and ceremonies of Remembrance – the Cenotaph, Unknown Warrior, Two Minute Silence, Remembrance Day and the Poppy.
These are still in place at the heart of British life and values.
Now, in 2021, the Friends of West Hunsbury Parks thank all those who have helped us put our Remembrance display together for the community of West Hunsbury, especially the ladies of Hunsbury Hill WI who knitted, crocheted, felted and otherwise created the poppies, sewed them on to netting and put them on stakes. Also, Colin Ingle, who has again graciously agreed to house our RBL collection box (and poppy brooches) in The Drovers Return café for those of you who wish to donate.
We hope that you will be able to use our display to help remember all those men, women, children and animals who have been killed or injured, as well as those who still live and are affected by the memories of their experiences in both World Wars and all later conflicts.
As we did last year, we have added some black poppies to represent the African, Caribbean, Indian and Asian contributions to the war efforts; some purple poppies to commemorate the animals who gave their lives or have otherwise suffered in man’s conflicts; and some white poppies, which are to help us focus on achieving peace, to the many red poppies, representing remembrance and hope.
On our plaque with the display explaining this, we have borrowed from John Maxwell Edmunds’ famous epitaph from 1918 :
When you go Home, tell them of us and say,
For your Tomorrow, we gave our Today
If you appreciate the work that has gone into our display and would like to donate to the Royal British Legion, you will find our Collection Box in the Drovers Return café. 100% of the donations received will be sent to the Royal British Legion.