In Flanders Field…..



The red Flanders’ poppy was first described as a flower of remembrance by Colonel John McCrae (1872-1918), who was Professor of Medicine at McGill University of Canada before World War One. Colonel McCrae had served as a gunner in the Boer War, but went to France in World War One as a medical Officer with the first Canadian Contingent. At the second battle of Ypres in 1915, when in charge of a small first-aid post, he wrote in pencil on a page torn from his despatch book:




In Flanders field the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below. 

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

By Major John McCrae, May 1915

Lest we forget.



11 responses

  1. Thanks for that bit of history and Colonel McCrae’s poignant poem. I’m still looking forward to a world of peace, when war itself is a distant memory and people wonder why we ever engaged in that insanity. (I know, I’m dreaming…)

  2. Thank you for sharing that poem, G.

  3. Very beautiful. And very appropriate.

  4. Its sad to think that so many people forget what today is suppose to be all about. What these men and women sacrificed and continue to do so, for all of us. Maybe its different in the US but here in Canada its just seems like another day, for shopping etc…

  5. email friend Elaine

    It was wonderful reading your site today. I always say a few extra prayers today — my mothers father (my grandfather) was the lst British funeral of the lst world war. He died from shrapnel, they had nothing to treat it with then. It is nice to read that some people do respect the people who were in the war (any war) and that the day is set aside for remembering them.

  6. A wonderful post for this day of reflection.

  7. Beautiful post… thank you….

  8. I love the story of McCrae and the poppies in Flanders. Poppy seeds (red corn or Flanders poppy) can remain dormant for years when the soil is undisturbed. When the soil is disturbed by tilling, farming, or say, bombing and shelling, the seeds sprout and poppies grow in great abundance. That’s why so many poppies grew in Flanders’ fields.

  9. Hi Michelle, YOur comment brought the song, “Imagine” by John Lennon to mind..Imagine all the people, living life in peace….It is something never to give up on. We do have an impact in our day to day lives, albeit seemingly small, but we can create peace and generate kindness and peace towards others. It all helps and in a way, I think it also honors those who died in trying to preserve world peace and still are.

    Hi Beth, Thank you.

    Hi Ann, I agree. I wanted to do something to mark the day in my own small way.

    Hi Joe, Yes, it certainly seemed like that, here today, didn’t ?

    Hi Elaine, That is so sad and so poignant. This must be a very hard day for you as it is for so many people who lost loved ones in the war.

    Hi Dawn, Thank you.

    Hi Diana, And thank you too.

    Hi Caroline, That is so interesting. I actually wondered how the poppies in Flanders Field appear to remain so abundant and wild. Thanks for explaining this.

    Huggs and Peace to all of you, G

  10. soldiers go where angels fear to tread
    where the humans toil full of dread
    where the angels stand hand in hand
    crying for the soldier when they land

    The angels cry row upon row
    as the graves with their mothers and children grow

    Just thought I’d pass on a piece of my poetry, but war is a waste of time except to governments and those who profit, they are the ones who are gleefully counting their money row upon row.

    Catch you later.

  11. That poem is so wonderful…in school we are singing the poem but as the song…and it is great…the words are so wonderful….i love the poem and i love the song…

Thanks so much for your comments!

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