Poppy Day/anniversaire de l'armistice

I’m not so sure tbh but I see where you are coming from.

1 Like

The amount is probably negligible but any manufacturing and recycling process (waste paper in this case) will have a carbon footprint.

You will note that my tongue was sticking out when I said this, maybe we should have a tongue in cheek emojii with a winking eye, to be clearer! :wink: lol

1 Like

Surely we should just be grateful people are donating


I have an enamelled poppy but it doesn’t mean I don’t donate every year-I just don’t take a poppy.


I’m very grateful to all of you that wear your poppies, enamelled or otherwise. I’m just taking my annual pop at those who put them on to appear on TV screens mid-October etc just to fend off the misery-guts who otherwise complain they’re not patriotic.

It’s an annual grouse, don’t mind me, I’ll pull up the shutters after 11//11 until next year, if I’m still around to grumble then :smiley:

1 Like

Just had a phone call from M le Président des Anciens Combattants to welcome me to the wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial on Armistice Day, so that’s done and dusted.

I see lots of poppy-wearing types in town (it’s market day) since I left a box of poppies and a packet of pins at the English Shop this morning. So I am a happy bunny! :rabbit2::hugs:


That song sums it up so perfectly for me, especially the last verse.

Some words by Rudyard Kipling to think on:

If any question why we died
Tell them, because our fathers lied

It is a good question, Nelli. My thought is that our fathers were lied to , my father saw through the lies. He told me with all sincerity that Churchill had a secret pact with Hitler to thwart Stalin’s ambitions, but reneged on it when he saw Hitler’s failure looming.

My father built bombers and served in the Home Guard. His workmates almost to a man mistrusted Winnie, who was widely seen in the 1930s-40s as the enemy of the organised working class, like all Tories everywhere always.

But the dead deserve our respect. Their deaths were not glorious, their memory is.


Bit of a generalisation there Peter

I’m witnessing to my father’s first hand testimony, so that can’t be described as generalising, it’s particularizing. He said exactly that. Several times in various contexts. My father wasn’t a rabble-rouser either. He was a skilled toolmaker who got his hands dirty working for Britain.

If come across as irked, it’s because I am. My father told the truth as he and many others saw it 1938 onwards. You may have another believed-in narrative, I believed him. And his judgement has been borne out by World history since my birth in 1938.

Most wars are based on lies told by men to justify their greed for power and their love of other people’s wealth. That’s an incontrovertible fact IMO, and most folk of my generation will agree.

Another generalisation? What’s your experience, Mary? :thinking::grinning:

1 Like

Oh so you were quoting your father from 70 years ago,the way I read it you were giving your opinion of today
I haven’t experienced a world war my first recollection of any conflict is the end of the Vietnam war. I would incline to pacifistic in my mind set ,but I think we need to learn the lessons of the past to help us in the future

I realise that, Mary. The Great War (1914-18), usually called World War 1 or “The War To End All Wars” was before my time too, although I nursed many of the men who had fought in it, soldiers and sailors, in the 1950s. Many were terribly affected, especially by poison gas in the trenches.

I started the thread because Poppy Day is coming up soon, and it’s time to remember the two World Wars, and those who died, not just combattants, but civilians all over Europe, where the war was mainly fought, and Russia, where tens of millions died fighting Hitler’s armies of invasion.

I was born a year before the onset in 1939 of World War 2, and have vivid memories of the lived experience of wartime Britain, and its aftermath.

Although the history of the war can be read about, films watched, and services held, they do not and cannot bring the lived experience of war to those who came after.

Many men fought and died in the two World Wars, and in Vietnam. Those who took part did not fight and die for an ideal of patriotism, or to act out politicians’ slogans, but to protect their own children, wives and comrades. And to try to survive to live another day.

Most believed their politicians and their generals were liars, and that the war was nothing to do with ordinary people’s lives, or concerns, or hopes. But they had no choice but to fight, and to fight well. Very very few of the Vietnam veterans of the 1970s were proud of their role. Most were ashamed of what they had to do. They fought only for their band of brothers, not for the Stars and Stripes.

The same is true of veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, and other imperialist wars. They despise those who sent them there, and hated what they had to do, to people who had done them no harm, including defenceless women and children. But they had no choice. And they wanted to survive.

If you have Netflix watch “The War in Vietnam”. Filmed on location and at the time it happened. Real history ( or as real as history gets). Remember, it’s the winning side who gets to write the history.

The stories of the millions who died, died with them. We can best honour them with our own remembered truth.


Korea gets little attention, squeezed between its precursor and successor.

1 Like

I wear an enamelled poppy broach but that doesn’t stop me putting my euros in the collecting tin. This year, for the first time I believe, anyone who cares to can follow the British flag to the War Memorial in Riberac and then onto the Marie.


@vero “Korea gets little attention”

That’s true. A number of my contemporaries got sent there while serving their time as National Service conscripts. Fortunately they all came home. I was deferred conscription because I was in nurse training, but was a cadet with the 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment, learned to handle a Lee-Enfield 303 bolt action rifle on exercises, but never fired a shot. :roll_eyes:

Ha, I trained with a .303 and then with an SA80!

1 Like

Bit late for this year, try the nearest SSAFA rep, my wife is a volunteer but not near enough to you.

How did it all go yesterday Peter ?

Thanks for asking, Mary!

It went much better than I could have imagined. The Maire and the Président des Anciens Combattants were hugely welcoming, and called us to the centre front of the ceremony at the memorial, and at the messe des morts in our parish church, which was as usual packed. There were many local children there carrying single flowers of tribute.

On the steps of the Mairie I met a tall bearded man with a chest full of medals. He was an newly arrived Englishman, who spoke no French and was at a bit of a loss about what to expect of the ceremony, so I invited him to string along with me, which he did.

We were ushered by the mayor, totally unexpectedly, to join the party of standard bearers, commandants des gendarmes, children and old soldiers in the march behind the town band to the church for the service. Then, after the mass, we gathered round the war memorial for the laying of wreaths. I invited my new ex-service friend to lay the wreath, which he was pleased and proud to do, and I stood at his side in respectful support.

We sang the Marseillaise, and there were generous speeches, and the award of further long-service medals to four very old and humbling soldiers. We then joined the Maire and his staff for the traditional verre d’amitié, quite a crush, and several glasses of a very delicious muscadet and nibbles. The Maire invited me to say a few words and I introduced my new sailor friend and said what an honour it was to stand amongst them at the commemoration of those who served, and those who died. I was very surprised I found the words in French required by the occasion, as I hadn’t expected to be so prominent in what took place.

Altogether a day to remember, and a very nice introduction to French life and conviviality for my new acquaintance, if a bit overwhelming too.


My experience also Peter. I always make a point of attending our village event at the war memorial when we are there on 11 November. I dress up for the occasion and get a very good welcome from the Maire.

1 Like