100th Year Anniversary

Welcome to Colleen’s Corner. This is a column meant for fun and some information About myself: I am Colleen Fielding, a Freelance Photographer you often see me on the side of the road  or in various places taking photos of different things animals, birds, places, people etc.  l have lived in Lumby just over 8 years,you have seen my photos in the newspaper (Lumby Valley Times) and once in awhile in the Vernon Morning Star, and the Lumby Art Gallery. Photography is my passion. Disclaimer:  The information on some of my photos that I write about a lot of times come from the Internet or books I research them, hopefully the facts are as close to the truth as I can come.

June 28 1914, the beginning of WW1 this was called the “War to End All Wars”

So much death and devastation, by the end of 1914 over 1 million soldiers from various countries had been killed on the European battlefields.

1915: Saw the Allies(Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Japan, United States)  try to break up the stalemate by entering Turkey, as Turkey had joined forces with Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire) in 1914.

1916: Early on in this year the Allies had retreated due to very heavy bloodshed. During this time Germany and Britain had large amounts of offensives along the Western Front with neither side being able to have a victory. The East was where Germany was successful. 

1917: In the beginning of this year saw the Russian Revolution, which Germany overtook. Near the end of 1917 the Bolsheviks had seized all the power in Russia, and made negotiations with Germany for Peace.  

1918: The American Troops and their resources had grown larger and stronger on the Western Front which helped to tip the scale for the Allies. 5:00 am, Germany had  lacked manpower or supplies left knowing that an invasion was near decided it was time to end things. 

Just outside of Compiegne France while in a railway car, on the 11th day, the 11th month, the 11th hour Germany signed an Armistice (both sides agree to stop fighting with no surrender.)

By the time WW1 ended there were approximately 9 million soldiers that had died, 21 million wounded, and about 5 million civilians that had died from exposure, starvation, and disease.

Lady Moina Michael volunteered at the National YMCA  during the war bringing comfort to the  soldiers  waiting for deployment she saw every day, and encouraging families to “adopt the soldiers”. Lady Moina would set up campaigns for people to write to the soldiers that were overseas. While she was volunteering a soldier had left a copy of Ladies Home Journal on her desk, this magazine had a page earmarked with the now famous poem written by Lt. Col. John Mc Crae’s In Flanders Field, the poem talked about how devastating the war was, and how many lives had been lost. Lady Moina read the poem, bringing tears to her eyes, in the poem which touched her heart : “To you from failing hands we throw the Torch; be yours to hold high. If ye break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders Fields.”

2 days before Armistice Day on November 9 1918, Lady Moina wrote a reply to Lt. Col. McCrae’s poem: “we shall keep the faith” and decided to always wear a Red Poppy as a sign of remembrance and an emblem of ” keeping the faith of all who died”. Along with her own poem,  “And now the torch and Poppy Red. We wear it in honor of our dead. Fear not that ye have died for naught; We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought in Flanders Fields.”

 Lady Moina planted Red Poppies all over Georgia USA. Other countries were quick to follow suit. 

1920: Lady Anna Guerin, known as “The French Poppy Lady ” was attending the National American Legion Convention being the representative of the YMCA for France, was greatly inspired by Lady Moina’s idea of having the Red Poppy as a memorial flower, and thought this could help the needy. Anna suggested that artificial Poppies could be made and sold to raise money to help the children who were orphaned and other people that had been suffering because of the effects of the war. 

July 5th 1921  Anna visited Canada,  went to The Great War Veterans Association, and asked them to adopt the Red Poppy as the flower of Remembrance to help in the aid of fundraising.

1921:The Red Poppies have been worn for Remembrance Day in different countries: Canada, Australia, and the UK.

1922: New Zealand starts to wear the Red Poppy.

In 1925 War Veterans unified other groups which formed the Canadian Legion.  

1948: The US Postal Service released a  red stamp worth 3 cents with an image of Lady Moian Michael, the title on this stamp was “Founder Of Memorial Poppy.”

In honor of our Veterans please buy a Poppy, the Poppy campaign will continue until November 11.

Poppies can be worn everyday on the left lapel on your clothing as close to your heart as possible until  the end of the ceremonies. You can place your Poppy on a wreath, or at the base of the Cenotaph. 

During the year if there are commemorative events like anniversaries of significant battles, a certain memorial service, or other services the poppy may once again be worn. I(f you are to wear a Poppy outside of the Poppy Campaign please get advice from the RCL on the use of Poppies for these events.)

The Poppy Campaign is a very important program with the Royal Canadian Legion. With the monies raised from the donations towards the Poppy Fund it enables the Legions to help Veterans in financial distress, help with getting much needed medical equipment, medical research, home services, long term care, and so much more.

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