Campbeltown will remember in poppy’s centenary year

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This year, which marks the 100th anniversary of the Remembrance poppy, the Campbeltown branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland (RBLS) is encouraging people to help support military families and veterans.

In 1921, Field Marshal Earl Haig noticed some French widows inspired by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae’s iconic poem In Flanders Fields selling silk poppies to raise funds for disabled ex-servicemen.

The poppy, which is central to the poem, was one of the few plants that survived in the churned up battlefields of Flanders, growing by the thousands amidst chaos and destruction.

Lt Col John McCrae was a Canadian army doctor, working as a field hospital surgeon.

He wrote In Flanders Field in 1915 after the funeral and burial of a friend who was killed in the Second Battle of Ypres.

First published in Punch on December 8 1915, it quickly became one of the most popular poems of the war.

As a result of its popularity, parts of the poem were used in propaganda efforts, appeals to recruit soldiers and in raising money selling war bonds.

McCrae died of pneumonia on January 28, 1918, while still commanding No. 3 Canadian General Hospital at Boulogne.

His poem has had a huge impact, influencing the way those who died in conflict are remembered and his memory lives on today.

Poppyscotland, a member of the Royal British Legion group of charities, provides support for current and former members of the armed forces as well as their families through the sale of poppies.

Members of RBLS Campbeltown branch will be collecting for the Poppy Appeal in both Tesco and the Co-op supermarkets on November 6 and 7.

‘Every donation helps support programmes and resources for military families and veterans,’ said George Rahman, RBLS Campbeltown chairman. ‘Please show your support as every donation helps.’

Due to the uncertainty over Covid-19, there will be no large-scale event at Campbeltown War Memorial this year.

RBLS Campbeltown will hold a two-minute silence at the memorial at 11am on Sunday November 14.

Anyone wishing to lay an official wreath at the memorial is asked to let Mr Rahman know by emailing georgerahman1@sky.com and muster at the memorial by 10.45am at the latest.

Michael Russell MSP and Patrick Stewart, the Lord-Lieutenant of Argyll and Bute, were among those who laid wreaths at Campbeltown War Memorial.
There will be no large-scale event but wreaths will be laid at the foot of Campbeltown War Memorial on Remembrance Day.