I have never been one for thinking about war, I try to be a big ostrich because I just cannot bear all the awful negative emotions that arise from thought of so much pain and loss. I think maybe I always considered the wearing of red poppy on remembrance sunday to be a too painful reminder of that. However, I am thankful that (I hope) my children will never be in a position where they are not given a choice about whether or not they join the armed forces and end up in a controversial war. I realise that choice has been earned for them by people, our own ancestors, who weren't given a choice but fought their asses off anyway and died somewhere awful. My Great Grandmother recieved the 'Dead Man's Penny' instead of her husband after World War 1, and my young Great Grandfather and his baby son (my lovely Grandad Bob) never met.
I never knew this about him until I researched my family tree and my Dad produced the bronze plaque for me to see. Also called 'the Widow's Penny' it is so heavy and cold that I can't imagine the grief my Great Grandmother must have felt as she held it.
Recently, a few of my Poppy Corsages have been bought by people who wanted to wear them specifically for the run up to Poppy Day and Remembrance Sunday itself on the 8th November. Although I never thought my brooches would be worn for this reason, now I know they are I will always associate them with remembrance and promise to be an ostrich no more!
I figure that since my customers would normally have bought a British Legion poppy pin that their donation will go unmade unless I make it on their behalf when they buy mine instead. That being so I have decided to make two brand new versions of the Poppy corsage, one large and one small and make a donation for each one sold from our online shops. The larger corsages are £8.50 and £1 donation will be made and from the £5 smaller pins I will donate 50p each.
You can make an independant donation by buying a poppy from a British Legion Seller or visit their website for other ways to give. http://www.poppy.org.uk/