Poppy Day

They shall not grow old as we who are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

I first posted this under "Cold Comfort" - but I think it may be good as a new thread.......

We have such easy lives these days, in comparrison to those that grew up in the war years. It's so easy to just gloss over it all..........stop and think about families that lost sons, daughters and husbands..........

These days, if someone dies young, say of cancer......its a tragedy....as it surley is.

But in those early days of the 1900s families lost so many loved ones......I am at an age now that I can visualise the horror of what went on in those wars.

There are a lot of young folk on this site that will be playing at cenataphs this sunday - please all of you, just stop a while and think of the horror of what went on............imagine yourself as being one of those that you are remembering now............

The Cornet King

Active Member
Well said.

It is also important not just to remember the British troops, but the troops from all nations including the defeated countries.
At the end of the day, over 10 million men (most of them young men, who had nothing to do with the start of the war) died just because of a row over one countries independance far away.

The atrocities of that war are hard to imagine and we must remember them all.

Just take a moment to pause at 11 o clock and remember...
I agree totally.

The poppy is used I suppose to symbolise a drop of blood. It's all nations, whatever side they were fighting for (they all had wives, daughters, sons and husbands)

Whatever war also - its going on now as we speak


Active Member
CaharleyFarley said:
The poppy is used I suppose to symbolise a drop of blood. It's all nations, whatever side they were fighting for (they all had wives, daughters, sons and husbands)

yes, and to symbolise the poppy fields which normally look so beautiful, but must have been like hell on earth for the men in the trenches


Supporting Member
CaharleyFarley said:
The poppy is used I suppose to symbolise a drop of blood. It's all nations, whatever side they were fighting for (they all had wives, daughters, sons and husbands)
thiught you mite find this interesting:
Why was the poppy chosen as the symbol of remembrance for Canada's war dead?
The poppy, an international symbol for those who died in war, also had international origins.

A writer first made the connection between the poppy and battlefield deaths during the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th century, remarking that fields that were barren before battle exploded with the blood-red flowers after the fighting ended.

Prior to the First World War few poppies grew in Flanders. During the tremendous bombardments of that war the chalk soils became rich in lime from rubble, allowing 'popaver rhoeas' to thrive. When the war ended the lime was quickly absorbed, and the poppy began to disappear again.

Lieut-Col. John McCrae, the Canadian doctor who wrote the poem IN FLANDERS FIELDS, made the same connection 100 years later, during the First World War, and the scarlet poppy quickly became the symbol for soldiers who died in battle.

Three years later an American, Moina Michael, was working in a New York City YMCA canteen when she started wearing a poppy in memory of the millions who died on the battlefield. During a 1920 visit to the United States a French woman, Madame Guerin, learned of the custom. On her return to France she decided to use handmade poppies to raise money for the destitute children in war-torn areas of the country. In November 1921, the first poppies were distributed in Canada.
(taken from the British Legion web site)
Yeah I remember that poem

"In Flanders Fields in Northern France
They're all doing a brand new dance..........."

We had to study it in English and I recall interpreting it to mean that once, the dance in the field was poppies swaying but the brand new dance was in fact the soldiers, leaping around and falling to their death. That's how I interpreted it anyway.

This post is a good idea - my son has known about the meaning of the rememberance parade since he was 3 "it's to remember the dead mummy" but this year he's now 5 and not only knows the meaning but is starting to develop an understanding "all of those soldiers had a fight and some died so that we could have a nice life".
I have been the biggest culprit - moaning about getting up early on a Sunday to do the Armistise thing.

My wife died 2001 lung cancer - but she died with my arms around her and a morphine syringe driver fitted.

Those poor war dead, some died alone, cold, dirty...........someones son.

I just want to put a bit of meaning into Sundays events.


Supporting Member
I know i posted this in another thread, but i thought id post the whole thing on this too, hope know one minds, it just seems to fit in here

The complete Ode by Laurence Binyon (1869 ­ 1943)

With proud thanksgiving, A mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill, Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables at home;
They have no lot in our labour of the daytime;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are, and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the uttermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the night.

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches on the Heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end they remain.


Supporting Member
I thought this thread was going to be someone after deps, or discussion on taking part in the parades marches etc - I wasn't expecting to get a lump in my throat. Well said all you guys, you've made me feel very humble.


Some very thaughtful and meaningful words spoken.
Many bands will be out on Sunday Morning leading their local Remeberance Sunday parade.
I'm sure there will be more than one or two bands who may be a couple of players short, so if any bands are in this position please let us all know. Every band wants to put on a good show for such an important event and this is where we can help one another.
Sorry if this seems like a blatant plug but Rememberance Sunday is the sort of thing we should all try and contibute to in some shape or form. Wether its putting a quid in a colllection box or helping out a struggling band who dont want to let their town or village down.
I'm sure any help would be gratefully received.

Roger Thorne

Active Member
For the last three years the Wem Band have performed a 'Shropshire Remembers' concert the night before Armistice Day in the local Church.

Towards the end of the concert the Narrator reads the following script while the band quietly plays the music from the film 'Shindlers List'. After a short silence the band then plays the Last Post and Evening Hymn. It is one of the most emotional moments I have ever experienced in a Band Concert and always makes me shed a tear.

To our younger members the statistics are unbelievable, and the story is true.


The final surrender of all forces under German command covered not only the western front, which had commanded most attention in Britain, but also the eastern front where the Soviet forces powered through Poland and into Germany.

It was the Red Army who finally discovered the true horror of Hitler’s war when it liberated a Nazi “death camp” for Jews at Auschwitz. Allied leaders had known for some time that the Jews were being persecuted and murdered on a massive scale, but the reality seen at Auschwitz and later at Belson when it was liberated by British troops, shocked even the most hardened of soldiers.

Auschwitz was originally a concentration camp for Polish political prisoners, but was greatly expanded in 1941 with the addition of a much larger camp at nearby Birkenau. In all, Auschwitz and its sub-camps held 400,000 registered prisoners including 250,000 Jews, 137,000 Poles, 21,000 Gypsies, 12,000 Soviet POWs and 25,000 others (including British POW’s). In this largest and worst of all the Nazi concentration camps 210,000 prisoners died of starvation and abuse.

But Auschwitz became more than a concentration camp. In the spring of 1942 gas chambers were built and mass transports of Jews began to arrive. Some of the new arrivals were inducted into the camp as registered prisoners, but the great majority were stripped, shaved and immediately gassed. These gassing operations were greatly expanded in the spring of 1943 with the construction of four purpose-built gas chambers and crematorium complexes. Each crematorium could handle 2,000 victims daily. In a group of barracks nearby, personal belongings were sorted for transportation to the Reich. The victims' hair was used to stuff mattresses; gold teeth were melted down and the gold deposited to an SS bank account.

In all, about 900,000 men, women and children were gassed without ever being registered as prisoners, almost all of them Jews. This brought the total death toll of the Auschwitz complex to approximately 1.1 million.

The fate of POW’s held by the Japanese was notorious. Prisoners were worked to death on such projects as the Thai-Burma railway. The death tolls were grim. 22,000 Australians and New Zealanders went into Japanese camps, nearly 8,000 died.

Of 50,000 British Prisoners held by the Japanese – over 14,000 died.
More that 16,000 Allied POW’s and at least 80,000 Asian labourers died on the ‘Death Railway’ - one death for every railway sleeper laid.

During the six years of fighting, some 24 million service personnel were killed.

Even more civilians - perhaps more than 40 million - died in fighting on the ground or in bombing raids, in forced labour or extermination camps, of starvation and disease, or executed as hostages or partisans.

The lives lost will never be recaptured, and those who grieve, will never forget.


Well-Known Member
{Sorry, posted this on another thread, then realised it would have been better on this one]

Whilst on the subject of Remembrance Sunday, (I know there's another thread somewhere, but.....)
I would like to publicly pay tribute to my principal cornet at The Egham Band, Stewart Gaudion, for his exemplary performance of the "Last Post & Reveille" in Egham this morning. (I am 99.9% certain he won't read this, so I am not creeping!) - Outside, in the cold, no warm-up, brass-monkey weather, yet still delivered it note-perfect. Brought a lump to my throat, not least because I knew I couldn't have done it that well.

My best wishes to all the poor unfortunate souls who got lumbered with it this morning. Having done it myself on a number of occasions, I know how difficult it can be. No matter how humble the circumstances, it's still an awesome responsibility, because it means so much to the old boys from the British Legion.



satchmo shaz

Active Member
hear hear and well done guys, today was the first time my son (aged 20) played the last post (and he was ill!) My other son (aged eighteen) didnt go to work having told them beforehand of course that it was remembrance sunday and he would be out with our band.

So when people talk about the youth of today........ remember they are not all bad. My band were a credit to themselves today as were all the other bands who turned out on a cold November morning to remember why they have got freedom!

we must never forget


Supporting Member
GJG said:
My best wishes to all the poor unfortunate souls who got lumbered with it this morning. Having done it myself on a number of occasions, I know how difficult it can be. No matter how humble the circumstances, it's still an awesome responsibility, because it means so much to the old boys from the British Legion.


I feel sure that your post was written with great pride, and i dont mean to be direspectfull.

May i just say, as one of the many "buglers" on parade this morning, that i felt it a great honour to play the last post. I dont consider myself lumbered with the duties that i performed, either today standing to attention at the cenotaph, of our town, or last night at a festival of remeberancein Wem.

This is something i have always felt very strongly about, And have always thought it a privalage to do.




Active Member
I have been doing Armistice parades for nearly 20 years and, yes, in the past, I have been guilty of thinking, "hey, its Sunday morning, there's a frost on the ground, what the heck am I doing stood here". But then you look at the chaps in the parade with their uniforms and their hero's medals, and your answer comes immediately. We're here to thank these hero's, those on the parade and those who lost their lives fighting for their country. In our Armistice service, the names of all those who lost their lives in both the 1st and 2nd world wars and well as those in more recent conflicts were read out just before the silence. It gave the service a real personal touch and made you realise just how many people, even from one small village, there were even 5 from just one family, died for us. The Vicar also read several poems which had been written by the local primary school children. I was amazed at the depth of feeling in them from those so young, they were really touching. During the past week, I have told my children, more than once, that they are lucky and privilidged to live in a time and place where the sounds of explosions and rapid fire cause you shrieks of delight (I am referring of course to the fireworks!!) where as in another time and another place these very same sounds would cause fear and panic.

This might not have been very eloquent, but I just wanted to share some of my thoughts on the day.


Active Member
Dinie said:
where as in another time and another place these very same sounds would cause fear and panic.

this may sound a bit sad, but at the height of the fireworks, i shut my eyes and imagined that i was in a trench, or at least was hearing the sounds from one, it was the scariest feeling i have ever had (in fact fireworks are used as weapons by some idiots near my house). But the point is, I am quite happy to undergo a few hours of cold to commemorate what happened in both world wars. In fact doing the march today put me on my back unable to move (I have an existing back injury), but I don't care. Remembrance Sunday is the only job I've done every year since I started playing


Can I join the list of MD's wishing to thank my Principle Cornet player Alan Perryman for a very stirring Last Post yesterday. He has played it for several years now but the number of good comments yesterday were very justified. Well done mate!


Staff member
I count it a real privilege to be part of the band to lead the Remembrance Sunday march at Hadleigh. It isn't one of the largest by any means, but being still more or less a village seems to make it all more personal. Our current Commanding Officer (minister) at the Corps always makes it into a special day, reading the Roll of Honour of all those from the village who had given their lives during the two wars, and our evening meeting commenced with the march "Under two flags", closing with "Sunset".

Being a small place, you are all the more conscious of the falling numbers, and one or two of the British Legion branches in our area have closed recently due to the loss of members. A couple of years ago our band was asked to play for the final parade of the Burma Star organisation in the Southend area, including the laying up of thir standard in the church, and it was extremely moving.

It is vital that we do continue to remember the selfless acts of those who have gone before, whilst recognising that there were those on all sides who died without necessarily being devoted to their nation's ideology and expansive ambitions - at one place where we were, we had a lady in the corps who had come from Germany, marrying someone she met when he was a POW in the First World War: when the Second World War broke out, she had a son in the RAF and a nephew in the Luftwaffe, and said she often wondered whether their paths had crossed as they carried out their missions.

GJG: will you pass on my greetings to Stewart when you see him - the years of practice in the Welsh Guards have obviously stood him in good stead!

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