Poppy Day

Poppy Day

Poppy Day is the major fund raising event of the South African Legion of Military Veterans and takes place on either the Saturday prior to Remembrance Day or on the previous Saturday, ie the first Saturday of November.

Flanders_Field_McCrae_500

IN FLANDERS FIELDS by Lt Col John McCrae

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.

Lt Col John McCrae unfortunately did not survive the war, on January 28, 1918, while still commanding No. 3 Canadian General Hospital at Boulogne, McCrae died of pneumonia. He was buried the following day in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission section of Wimereux Cemetery, with full military honours.

Currently Poppy Day only takes place in a number of centres, ie Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth.