Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Red field 2

Today in 1916 was the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Over 19,000 British soldiers died in just one day. I heard on the radio this morning that it was today it started but the timing is so linked to the flowering of the poppies that every year once the red fields start appearing the battle is remembered.

The red poppy is used for Remebrance day, not only because of the timing of the greatest casualty in British army history but also because apparently once the battle is over one of the first plants to grow on the ruined land is the poppy.

In Flanders fields 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 faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
— John McCrae

No comments:

There was an error in this gadget