Many of us understand the importance of Remembrance Day and wear a poppy in honour of those that gave their lives in conflict around the world, but do you know how the poppies are made?
Artificial poppies for the first poppy appeal in 1921 were imported from France by Madame Anna Guérin, but in 1922 the Disabled Society, a charity established in 1920 by Major George Howson MC and Major Jack Cohen, received a grant of £2,000 from the British Legion to employ disabled ex service personnel to make remembrance poppies in England.
They set up in an fomer collar factory on the Old Kent Road in London and soon the factory was employing 50 disabled veterans. The factory made a million poppies within two months!
Soon outgrowing its original space, the factory relocated to a disused brewery in Richmond. The Poppy Factory is now operated by the Royal British Legion through a separate company, The Royal British Legion Poppy Factory Ltd, and employs approximately 40 full-time workers, most of whom are disabled, who make the poppies throughout the year in preparation for the period around Remembrance Sunday. In addition, the charity employs approximately 90 home workers who live within 10 miles of the factory. Total production is approximately 36 million poppies each year!
For more information on the Poppy Factory and how they support injured or sick ex-service personnel, you can visit their website at www.poppyfactory.org.uk
You can support them in their work by making a donation at: www.justgiving.com/rblpoppyfactory/donate or of course, by buying one of their skillfully made poppies!