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The International Symbol of Remembrance

Why wear a poppy?       

Evening Post, 10 November 1933, Page 6
He was walking along the street when, the clock chimed the first stroke of 11. He stopped, removed his hat and stood with head bowed. The noise of the city suddenly died down. How quiet it seemed. It reminded him of just such a time fifteen years ago, when, he had lay in that English hospital. Dimly then, he remembered hearing the peeling of the church bells, and the patient in the next cot telling him that the war was over. Often he had wondered whether he would survive to see this day, and where, and what, he would be doing. And now, after years of fighting he had been knocked out just a month too soon. Damn the war! Damn "Fritz"! Damn everything! But as he lay there and heard the groans of other wounded men, he realised that many of them were shattered in body worse than he. Then there were some of his comrades who would never return. He was at least alive. Surely, he thought, he had no cause to complain. Just then a tramcar bell clanged, and an automobile siren hooted. The city was returning to its normal business. Where was he? In Willis Street, of course. Must have been day-dreaming. As he wandered off with the support of a stick, his thoughts were that many might forgot Armistice Day, but he never would. It was on this day that his leg had been amputated.  

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Returned Services Association
New Zealand


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Returned Services & League
The Australian poppies are a "little bit more flowery" than the traditional New Zealand version.



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Royal Canadian Legion


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The American Legion


The centre reads "Poppy Apeal"
Royal British Legion 
"Remember the dead; don't forget the living."
Jersey 2003



Spain 2003
It is a large poppy 8" long, and 3.5" x3.5"


The Royal British Legion
Why poppies?
The Anzac Day Tradition
The Numbers
The ANZAC Requiem

Anzac poppies sellers in New Zealand get out all over the country on Poppy Day, usually the Friday before ANZAC Day, and distribute poppies for a donation.  "The more money we collect the more people we can help but our numbers are shrinking a little bit." Anzac Day is a time to remember the 28,674 New Zealanders - schoolmates, siblings and partners - who never returned from conflict.  Our last veterans of Gallipoli itself have passed on but their experiences and exploits, as with those of other veterans, remain alive in the informal archives of oral and written history and in family lore. Sacrifice, peace, and nationhood will continue to be remembered on April 25 for generations to come.  In every community in this nation, and wherever New Zealanders are to be found abroad, it is a day of sombre memories, a chance to acknowledge the supreme sacrifice of many men and women who did not return. The poppies are then traditionally worn on the left lapel on Anzac Day to signify remembrance of the nation's war dead. Proceeds help fund work supporting RSA welfare services for returned servicemen and women in the community. 

Timaru Herald 26/04/2011
A Timaru Herald Letter to the Editor from Geraldine woman, published on April 21, that recounted a visit she made to Gallipoli last year. "Now as we commemorate Anzac Day in New Zealand it seems we could be wearing poppies made in China because they are cheaper! The sacrifice those fine young men made, some of them still in their teens, was not cheap. Surely we should honour them with poppies made in New Zealand whatever the cost," the letter read. "Those boys that fought for our freedom almost 100 years ago deserve the very best. The least we can do is honour their memory with poppies that are made in New Zealand ... Let us like them do our duty and buy New Zealand-made poppies to honour our heroes." Christchurch-based Kilmarnock Enterprises was continuing to produce its poppies. RSA national president has said would be disappointed if branches shunned the agreement to buy poppies overseas, but admitted individual RSAs could decide for themselves.

Timaru Herald 10/07/2014
After three years of production overseas, the manufacture and production of the symbol synonymous with Anzac Day is returning to the Christchurch Memorial RSA. With local production set to resume in time for poppies to be distributed for Anzac Day in 201. "Everybody is very pleased ... they all wear their poppies with pride, especially on Anzac Day and at their comrade's funerals. I think no matter where you go their would be similar feelings." "The poppies from Flanders Fields are a symbol of what happened where all of those people died ... it's very special." Poppy sales raised about $2500 for the Waimate RSA in 2014, to provide welfare support for veterans. The organisation has about 60 members in Waimate, 33 of which are ex- servicemen. Up until 2010, poppies were assembled by a disabled persons enterprise in Christchurch, which took over the role from the defunct disabled persons re-establishment league. The RSA national executive changed contract arrangements later that year. Chinese-made poppies first appeared as part of the annual poppy appeal in 2012.

Poverty Bay Herald, 21 January 1919, Page 3
In Flanders field each poppy now
May raise its crimson head;
The world has kept its solemn vow,
And now the honored dead
That 'neath the Flanders poppies lie
Will know 'twas not in vain to die.
Peace! Ye who knew not how to yield
That rest in Flanders poppy field.


Feel free to copy the poppies.
South Canterbury, New Zealand War Memorials

Poppy day was first held in 1922. The ship carrying the poppies from France arrived in New Zealand too late for Armistice Day in November, when Poppy Day is celebrated by the rest of the world. New Zealand then held Poppy Day prior to Anzac Day It has been celebrated on that day ever since.

Timaru Herald 26/04/2011 10 am service vice at the South Canterbury Returned and Service Association hall.
South Canterbury RSA president David Wood said the association had gone through changes, but the public of New Zealand had demonstrated a wish to see it remain part of the fabric of society. "I see the RSA in the future as being a caretaker of history as well as the community focal point of all things military. In the last 90 years we've served a leading role in the care and welfare of the returned men and women of many conflicts. "This site was once the site of the Beverley War Veterans' Home. The welfare needs of the RSA are diminishing and I hope that the organisation continues to flourish in other ways. We will be the perpetual guardians of the memory of those who have sacrificed themselves in conflict no matter how much time has past. "The South Canterbury RSA is strong and knows where it is going. We're a living monument to freedom and a constant reminder that it didn't come free."

Anzac Day
The ceremony was solemn, with bagpipes, prayers, and wreaths and poppies laid, and the playing of The Last Post.

The time or remembrance was observed in the morning and then it was about what the war was fought for - families.

Extract from the address given by the Defence Force's South Canterbury representative, Staff Sergeant Paul Buckley, to the Anzac Day citizens - service at the Caroline Bay Soundshell, Timaru 25 April 2012. Nearly 100 years ago, young men from every New Zealand town joined together to answer the call to serve this country. Their courage and commitment is what we honour years on from that fateful day at Gallipoli. What we commemorate today was no military triumph but a more humbling triumph of human valour. The courage and endurance of those who did their duty at Gallipoli remains a vivid memory and source of identity, belonging and pride for every New Zealander and Australian. For each of us, April 25 will forever be a part of what it means to be a New Zealander, an Australian or a Turk. Anzac Day is truly a national day for New Zealand, a day when many individuals and families mark the day by coming to their local service to commemorate and remember those who served and those who continue to serve our country.  

For many New Zealanders ANZAC Day is a time of poppies and a remembrance service.

Knitting patterns 

5000 Poppies
By Teresa Ellum

The slip knot secure on the knitting needle
I begin adding stitches as contentment & warmth builds
Bright red wool, softly runs through my fingers
Rows added, the shape slowly appears
Thoughts run deep, whilst hands are busy
Remembering brave men, fighting for our freedom
Wool as red and thick as blood
Symbolic, as another row is completed
Sons, fathers, uncles, brothers, lovers
Many died, but not forgotten
Nearly complete a centre of black, as we mourn for them all
A few scraps of green, to show new life, the gift they gave us
The finished product. A beautiful RED POPPY made with love

The slip knot secure on the knitting needle...........

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project