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Just yesterday, while in London, a French lady asked me about the significance of the poppy.

I explained that it was the equivalent of the cornflowers — blue — that the French wear for Remembrance Day there. Both were flowers in Flanders fields.

As she lives here, I suggested that she watch the Remembrance Sunday coverage on November 13 this year on BBC1, which she didn’t know about.

A two-minute silence will be observed then as it will on Friday, November 11, at 11:00 a.m., also known as Armistice Day, which ended the Great War on that day and time in 1918:

Those who served in the Great War — the First World War — have now gone to their eternal rest, but the remembrance continues, encompassing those who served in the Second World War as well as military conflicts to the present day.

Our late Queen was the first female member of the Royal Family to serve in the military. All kudos to the Queen Consort (later the Queen Mother) and to George VI for encouraging Princess Elizabeth to join the Army Auxiliary and become a mechanic during the Second World War.

The Queen’s example encourage many other men and women to join the armed forces. The Royal British Legion interviewed some active members and veterans to talk about how she inspired them to serve their country:

Wearing a poppy remembers those who died for freedom and is also a visible symbol of thanks to those who served and are alive today, as the veterans in this video explain:

As ever, the Royal British Legion assembled teams of volunteers to be part of their annual Poppy Appeal.

They collected funds from all over England (Scotland has its own Poppy Appeal, the Earl Haig Fund, named after Field Marshal Douglas Haig).

In England, Poppy Days were held in major cities, such as Bristol and Manchester …

… and Birmingham, too:

Poppy Runs took place in Nottingham, Milton Keynes and Southampton:

Not surprisingly, the largest Poppy Appeal event took place in London on November 3, mainly at railway stations but also elsewhere, affording more places where military bands could play:

Here, the Coldstream Guards played familiar melodies at Waterloo Station:

Actor Ross Kemp helped the active servicemen and veterans:

Trains and buses were also decorated with poppies:

The London goal was £1 million this year:

And, yes, the London volunteers achieved their goal. Having a wide range of merchandise helped boost donations, no doubt:

My far better half and I bought enamelled lapel pins at a London railway station last week.

Like millions of other Britons …

We will remember.


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