Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day or Armistice Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,” in accordance with the Armistice, signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 5:12 and 5:20 that morning. (“At the 11th hour” refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 a.m.) World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919.
The day was specifically dedicated by King George V on 7 November 1919 as a day of remembrance for members of the armed forces who were killed during World War I. This was possibly done upon the suggestion of Edward George Honey to Wellesley Tudor Pole, who established two ceremonial periods of remembrance based on events in 1917.
The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem “In Flanders Fields”. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red colour an appropriate symbol for the blood spilled in the war.
The remembrance poppy is especially prominent in the UK in the weeks leading up to Remembrance Sunday. They are sold by The Royal British Legion for its “Poppy Appeal” and it is seen as befitting for public figures to wear one, which some have berated as “poppy fascism”. The poppy is especially controversial in Northern Ireland and most Irish nationalists and Irish Catholics refuse to wear one due to the actions of the British Army during The Troubles. There has also been controversy over their introduction to the world of sport.
The artwork for this pattern was created by ToxicCandiez of Deviant Art, who very kindly gave me permission to turn it into a cross stitch pattern to use for fundraising for the Royal British Legion’s Red Poppy Appeal. This pattern also comes with backstitch lettering saying the more traditional “Lest we forget”.