The Poppy Appeal in the Pandemic

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The Poppy Appeal has become tradition however, how this is commemorated this year will look slightly different.

After a countryside which had an integral part in WWI was thought to be ruined forever, poppies began to engulf the landscape. Since then, the poppy has carried such a poignant meaning of remembrance for those who fought in the war.

It was in 1921 when Anna Guérin, a French woman situated in the UK planned to sell poppies in London as a symbol of remembrance. She then met Earl Haig, the founder of the Royal British Legion, who she persuaded to adopt the poppy as the official symbol for the Legion. Consequently, the Legion ordered nine million poppies and on the 11th of November they were sold. Almost immediately, the poppies sold out and the first ever ‘Poppy Appeal’ raised over £106,000 to contribute towards the help of veterans in regards to housing and employment.

Fast forward to today and the Poppy Appeal had over 40,000 volunteers to distribute 40 million poppies; just showing how important the appeal is every year. However, like so many other traditions and occasions, the Poppy Appeal has had to adapt to the pandemic we are living in. Due to Covid-19, millions and millions of people across the UK are unable to leave their homes. This means that many people are not able to come and collect a poppy due to the restrictions of face to face meetings. This has had a cataclysmic effect on the appeal. However, the Royal British Legion have introduced new ways to show your support for the cause. This can be from donating poppies through the post, displaying a poppy in your window with a print-out they supply on their website, participating in a virtual poppy run as well as simply donating online.

One of the ways to donate is through LSU Rag’s virtual Poppy Appeal collection.

 

Header image by Christos Alamaniotis – Assistant Head of Design.

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