Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it. And in many ways it is my journal of everyday life. If you click on the Index you can see my posts under various topic headings.
I am a Freelance Journalist and Photographer based in Bunbury, Western Australia. My published work specialises in Western Australian travel articles and stories about inspiring everyday people. My passion is photography, writing, travel, wildflower and food photography.
Most recently I have been enjoying exploring other art genres, including Eco-printing with Australian leaves onto cloth and paper.
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Sunday, 11 November 2018

Remembrance Day 11 November and the Red Poppy

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

   by John McCrae, May 1915

Poppies in Malta
At the chiming of the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, November, we pause for one minutes silence to remember those who have died in conflicts. It is Remembrance Day (also known as Armistice Day), an important date on the Australian calendar.  The 11th of November 1918 was the day that the fighting ended on the Western Front in Europe signalling the end of World War 1. 

Following the war the allied nations chose this day and time for the commemoration of their war dead and so we observe this each year to remember those who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts.  You can read more here - Commemoration Remembrance Day - Australian War Memorial


From its association with poppies flowering on the First World War battlefields of Belgium, France and Gallipoli, the red poppy has become associated with remembering the loss of life and the destruction.  

"In soldiers’ folklore, the vivid red of the poppy came from the blood of their fallen comrades which had soaked the ground. The poppy flower grew rapidly and in large numbers across the graves of thousands of soldiers, leading it to become a symbol of sacrifice and loss."

In the photo above you can see one of two remembrance walls at the Australian War Memorial in our capital city Canberra, where are recorded on bronze panels the names of over 102,000 Australians who have died in conflicts. On one of these two walls you can find the name of your family member and place a poppy beside their name, as we did when we visited. This is the closest we can come to the burial place of my great uncle who died in WW1 and my husband's uncle in WW2, so it was a moving experience to be able to do this. 

This year a display of 62,000 handcrafted red poppies are being displayed in the Australian War Memorial's grounds symbolically representing Australian lives lost in the First World War.  You might like to view this short video about 62,000 poppies symbolising  62,000 lives lost.....

 In other places around Australia too, community groups have made their own poppy displays, on this year 2018, 100 years since the ending of World War 1. 

In Western Australia the Returned Service's League, also have a 62,000 poppy project to be displayed in the ground's surrounding the State War Memorial in Perth. Many thanks to  RSLWA on Facebook for sharing this image.

But I wonder, as conflicts continue around the world, have we learnt anything from the death and maiming of so many thousands, soldiers and innocents, and those that came home broken in body and spirit. 

 When we were in Spain, Malta and Italy in May this year we saw lots of poppies, in fields and along roadsides.
More often than not we were zooming by in the tour bus, and there was no stopping to take photos. But on a couple of occasions we saw them where I could take photos.  Below here are poppies near the The Colosseum in Rome, and in Pompei. 

On Sunday 11 November, I will be thinking of my Great Uncle Norman who died in the first few days of the Gallipoli campaign. He was only 19.  I never knew him, but the memory of him, and the loss of his young life, always brings me to tears at times like Remembrance Day and Anzac Day.

 In Western Australia where I live, the Department of Communities has contracted Perth company Impact Communications to conduct a cascading poppy lightshow. 
Places where it has been displayed are:  Exmouth's Vlamingh Head Lighthouse, Geraldton Museum, Kalgoorlie Town Hall, Albany Town Hall, Bunbury's St Patrick's Cathedral, Fremantle's WA Maritime Museum, finishing with Perth's St George's Cathedral on Sunday evening. 
 Below you can see the display at St Patrick's Cathedral in Bunbury. It really was beautiful.

 A river of hand-made poppies flowing over rocks at Peppermnt Lane Lodge in the Ferguson Valley where we held a small ceremony on Sunday at 11am. 

Please click on the links to read the story behind the poem In Flanders Fields and The red remembrance poppy
The Australian War Memorial and 62,000 poppies.  

Thank you so much for stopping by.  Do you have a day like Remembrance Day in your country? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in your comments. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.  

You might also like:  
25th April - Anzac Day - when we remember them
Anzac Day - 25th April
On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month - Armistice
I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
Life in Reflection

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  1. Jill - during my times living in the UK, I have always observed that folks outside the US tend to pay more attention to November 11. The wearing of poppies on your lapel, placing wreaths at memorials in town centers, and the like. More recently, I have seen some people in the US wearing poppies - and there are some towns that have events to acknowledge what we refer to as Veterans Day. I agree with your concern about learning our lessons from the past ...

    1. I see your Veterans Day is also on the 11 November. Surely today countries can resolve their differences without turning to war and violence.

  2. How lovely Jill and what a beautiful way of remembering our fallen heroes that fought so valiantly for our country. I too had a great uncle that died on the first day of Gallipoli at the tender age of 18. I have visited his plaque at Lone Pine in Gallipoli and it was a poignant moment where I openly cried about the unfairness of it all. I love the significance of the poppy and I wear my own handknitted one every Armistice's Day and also on Anzac Day. #TeamLovinLife

    1. My sister visited Lone Pine and found our great-uncles name. I cry every Anzac & Remembrance Day, so I know I would if I ever am able to visit Gallipoli. Such a terrible waste of young lives.

  3. The image of red poppies growing over the WWI battlefields has always been one of both sadness and hope to me. Hope in that life grows where once death. Sadness in that so many people died in the belief that it was the war to end all wars. In the United States, Armistice's Day was turned into Veterans Day in the 1950s.

    1. Yes, the poppies can represent hope too. I always feel that when I watch the ocean waves on a beach front.

  4. Always so moving to remember our fallen heroes on Armistice Day. I love your compilation of poppy photos from around the world. I hope this day continues into history and the memories of those who gave their lives forever live on through future generations. So sad that it was the War to End All Wars, and yet clearly it wasn't. Just makes me so sad when I think of the futility of war, of aggression and people just not able to get along. Just give peace a chance world leaders I say.

    1. I loved seeing the poppies growing in Europe, like weeds! So beautiful! It is up to us all to help the younger generation remember and understand what the day is for, not only for those who fell in WW1.

  5. Your photos are very beautiful and meaningful. Let's honour the people who died in conflicts caused by human craziness. No more wars!

  6. Here the veterans will sell paper poppies to raise money for the veterans in need. Never knew the meaning before.

  7. Hello, wonderful post and tribute for our heroes. The poppies and memorials are beautiful. Happy Monday, enjoy your day! Have a great new week!

  8. ...those fields of poppies are impressive.

  9. Remembrance Day and Red Poppies are not well known in Japan, probably because Japan was not involved in WWI directly. In Japan, The Memorial Day for WWII has much more significance. In each country, there is such kind of memorial day and monuments. Have we learned from the past mistakes? I’m frustrated with the unlearned lessons going around. How so wonderful when the people of future harvest what we have sown the seeds of peace! Is it a wishful thinking?


  10. Thank you for your service Norman. Such lovely images! I have a cousin who died at Dessert storm and this week a good friebnd just lost her Brother-in-law over in the Middle East leaving behind a wife and 6 children. So sad.

  11. Very interesting & touching reading with beautiful photos. In Finland we don’t celebrate this Remembrance Day. The World War I did not concern us so much, instead we had our short civil war in the spring 1918. Our Commemoration Day of Fallen Soldiers is celebrated in May in honor of those who got killed in the civil war and later in connection with our Winter War, Continuation War, Lapland War and also UN peacekeeping missions.

  12. Jill, Love the memorial garden display. A work of love and remembrance. Thanks for sharing. Have a great week. Sylvia D.

  13. Jesh - All Seasons13 November 2018 at 08:19

    Hello Jill,
    Lovely tribute to the soldiers who fight for our freedom, and the sad reality that many come back broken in body or spirit. Where I live, am surrounded by veterans, so we hear their stories.
    About the poppies in Flanders, (Vlaanderen) is close to where I spent most of my childhood. Beautiful captures of the red poppies and thank you for bringing this to All Seasons!
    Have a lovely spring week! Jesh/Junieper

  14. It is common here in the States to see veterans giving paper poppies and hoping for donations for veterans causes. we used to call it Armistice Day, now it is Veteran's Day to honor those who fought in later wars.

  15. What beautiful shots and a lovely tribute.

  16. An incredible, sobering, tribute! You posted..."have we learnt anything from the death and maiming of so many thousands, soldiers and innocents, and those that came home broken in body and spirit."

    I too wonder.

  17. Beautiful, honorable post. Thankful to those who have served past and present for their bravery.

  18. Yes, we commemorate Remembrance Day here in Canada. There were services at all the cenotaphs and in some churches. Poppies are worn by most people. It's a sober time to remember the great sacrifices of those who died and who served, and to take heed to never let it happen again.

  19. This is quite the post. In America we celebrate Veterans Day on November 11.

  20. I think our Veterans Day celebrations fall short of the rest of the world's Remembrance Day efforts and celebrations. Sadly I suspect there are a number of Americans who couldn't tell you why we have a special day set aside to remember. I loved, loved, loved this post!!

    1. I feel that about our Western Australia Day. I think the meaning has fallen by the wayside, but Remembrance Day and Anzac Day seem to be very important days on our calendar. Thanks for visiting Jackie. Great to hear from you.

  21. A lovely tribute to those who made sacrifices for those they didn't know.

  22. Your great uncle and all others who gave their lives for freedom must never be forgotten. (But I wish the world could learn from history.). The poppies, in nature and in art, are beautiful reminders.


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