Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Do poppies bloom in Flanders fields in November?
As a girl growing up in England I remember Armistice Day being called Poppy Day.
In Australia we call it Remembrance Day but the poppy is still the iconic symbol of remembrance.
Last night I spoke to my 99 year old Mum on the phone and she told me that her brother had died in the trenches on Armistice Day - I believe he was 18 years old and had just gone to war.
My mother's memory of the time is that her mother's hair turned white virtually overnight when she received the news of her son's death.
When I was driving south last week I took a picture of some poppies growing wild in a field (in November) - but I now live in Tasmania in the southern hemisphere.
Surely there are no poppies in the fields of Flanders in Europe in November?
Pic: A poppy in my garden in Western Australia (2006)
POST SCRIPT: (Inserted Nov. 2010)
Since writing this post, I discovered that my mother's memories were not quite correct but that her brother was 21 when he was killed in action and the date of his death was 19th November, 1915. Sadly, my mother passed away a few months ago so this year Remembrance Day will be all the more poignant.
Pic: Grave of my Uncle, T. W. Ettershank, who died in the Great War.
My sincere thanks to my friend from Belgium who visited the New Irish Farm War Cemetery and placed the poppy memorial (6 Nov 2010).