Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Thames (NZ): Poppies for Hauraki WWI soldiers

Many towns and groups in New Zealand (and overseas), are busy making poppies as part of the WW100 commemorations.

One example being 5000 Poppies NZ: As part of the 2015 Anzac Commemoration, the 5000 Poppies Project (NZ) will be creating a wall of more than 5000 poppies as a stunning visual tribute to New Zealand servicemen and women.  The 5000+ poppies will be displayed at the Air force Museum in Christchurch from February - July 2015.

The Treasury at Thames, is also asking for contributions of handcrafted poppies that can be used to commemorate the men from the greater Thames area who died in or as a consequence of their World War One service. There are a wide variety of patterns available on the internet.

Background on the poppy:
In the Thames Star 27 August 1918 it was noted that wildflowers grew on the battlefields. Thames men were sending poppies and anemenes (sic) back home to their families. Later, for sentimental reasons many towns wanted to plant poppies from Europe - many were reminded that thy were actually considered a noxious weed.

The red poppy has become a symbol of war remembrance the world over. People in many countries wear the poppy to remember those who died in war or who still serve. In many countries, the poppy is worn around Armistice Day (11 November), but in New Zealand it is most commonly seen around Anzac Day, 25 April. Source: NZ History

The first Poppy Day was held 25 April 1922, having originally been planned for Armistice Day 1921.
The Returned Soldiers’ Association planned to hold its first Poppy Day appeal around the time of Armistice Day 1921 as other countries were doing. The ship carrying the poppies from France arrived in New Zealand too late for the scheme to be properly publicised. The association decided to wait until the next Anzac Day, 1922. Source: NZ History
The money raised being used towards helping unemployed WWI soldiers.
 
1923 Auckland Poppy Day
Source: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19230503-48-5

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