I am glad to read in the Sussex Express on November 18 that Jack Neil of the British Legion believes that the red poppy is a symbol of Remembrance, hope and peace’, but it is hard to see why he then thinks it right that white poppies be removed from the town war memorial.
For many, sadly the red poppy now seems to have been rather taken over by those more belligerent in their patriotism.
I wear both for those, like my grandfather who fought in the First World War and shared the opinion of the last survivor of that war, Harry Patch, who said I believe that the war was ‘nothing better than legalised mass murder’ and differences should be settled in other ways.
Neither of my grandfather’s who fought in that war chose to have anything to do with the British Legion. They wanted nothing more to do with anything at all military, their service medals stayed in their boxes. They earned the right to that opinion surely. My mother who lost a young brother in the Second World War, came to feel that the red poppy that she had always worn could no longer be assumed to represent peace. She would then only wear it together with a white as I do.
I do feel that Jack Neil has a mistaken understanding of the white poppy, perhaps he could explain what the white poppy represents to him. The British Legion’s own website states that ‘we see no conflict in wearing the red poppy alongside the white poppy’.
I buy the red to help those injured by war and the white in hope to contribute reduce their number in the future.
St Swithuns Terrace, Lewes