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November / Canada150 – In Flanders Field

Flanders Field Poppies

In Flanders Fields” is a war poem written by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae during the First World War. He was inspired to write it on May 3, 1915, after presiding over the funeral of friend and fellow soldier Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, who died in the Second Battle of Ypres. According to legend, fellow soldiers retrieved the poem after McCrae, initially dissatisfied with his work, discarded it. “In Flanders Fields” was first published on December 8 of that year in the London magazine Punch.

It references the red poppies that grew over the graves of fallen soldiers which resulted in the remembrance poppy becoming one of the world’s most recognized memorial symbols for soldiers who have died in conflict.

Missing Soldier

If you look closely in the carving, you’ll see an space between the last two soldiers on the right. It looks like the vague outline of a missing soldier who never made it home.

Flanders field poppies