Armistice Day

Today marks the 97th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice which stopped the fighting in the First World War.

Poppies at the Tower of London, 2014.

Poppies at the Tower of London, 2014.

Armistice Day was first commemorated in 1919 and in 1921 the poppy was adopted by the Royal British Legion as the symbol of their fundraising campaign.

The poppy was chosen in the UK as the symbol of remembrance due to the proliferation of the flower on the Western Front battle fields and also thanks to the poem “In Flanders Fields” written by the Canadian surgeon John McCrae. the poem first appeared (anonymously) in Punch Magazine in December 1915. It was only after McCrae’s death in 1918 that the poem appeared in a book of his collected works.

“In Flanders Fields,” by McCrae, John (1872-1918). First World War Poetry Digital Archive, accessed November 3, 2015, http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/collections/item/1643.

“In Flanders Fields,” by McCrae, John (1872-1918). First World War Poetry Digital Archive, accessed November 3, 2015, http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/collections/item/1643.

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