The tradition of planting a Field of Remembrance started in 1928 when The Poppy Factory took a group of disabled veterans, a tray of poppies and a collecting tin to the grounds of St Margaret’s church, The Westminster.
The men gathered around an original wooden cross that had been planted there, taken from the battlefield grave of an unknown British soldier. Some of the men began to push poppies into the ground, curious passers-by stopped to ask questions and before long they began buying and planting poppies of their own – creating the very first Field of Remembrance.
The Field continued in this way until 1931, when one of The Poppy Factory team came up with the idea of selling small wooden crosses with a poppy at the centre of each – the little Remembrance cross that is still planted to this day.
As the national custodian of Remembrance, safeguarding the memory of those who fought and died in conflict, The Royal British Legion ensures that Remembrance continues to be part of modern British life, culture and heritage. Whilst the Legion will always remember those who fought and fell, the Legion also provides an essential lifeline of support to today’s serving men and women, veterans, and their families.
The Legion depend on public donations to fund their vital welfare work on which thousands of serving and ex-Service people rely. From their 16 Pop In Centres, telephone contact centre and online support services to their pilot services to tackle social isolation, the Legion is there to care for today’s Armed Forces community but there is so much more the Legion still want to do.
The Royal British Legion aims to develop a long-term care strategy to help more veterans stay independent for as long as possible, to open two new care homes to ensure that we are adequately caring for our ageing veteran population and to reach 50,000 people every year through their advocacy and financial support services. The Legion also continue to campaign for injured veterans to keep their compensation when accessing social care and for the Armed Forces community to feature in the 2021 Census. None of what the Legion does for our brave veterans and their families today would be possible without the support of people like you.
With 2018 marking 100 years since the end of the First World War it is our aim that we in Hartlepool plant our own field of remembrance for the fallen. Though likely not exhaustive Hartlepool’s Poppy Appeal have identified a compressive list of 1749 Hartlepudlian casualties from the Great work put together by local Historian Bert Wilson and it is our intention and hope to plant a single cross named for each across the lawns of the Cenotaph’s Victory Square, along with a single unnamed cross for all those whose names and identities have been lost in time – our own unknown soldiers.
Hartlepool is well known for our commitment, support and dedication to our Armed Forces with impressive year on year donations to our local poppy appeals but with this year marking the centenary of the end of The Great War, we’re hoping you’ll go a little further.
The Royal British Legion suggests a donation of £2.50 be made for each cross placing the suggested donation for our Field of Remembrance at around £4500, we may be being ambitious but we’re hoping the people of Hartlepool can dig deep once again for our fallen heroes, our struggling veterans and those serving to protect us today.
Please consider making a donation – search the list below for an ancestor and contribute to their dedicated cross, search your address and perhaps purchase a cross for a brave man or woman who once lived in your home, or make a larger donation and help to cover the cost for those fallen who perhaps never had a family or whose family are perhaps not around today to mark their sacrifice.
EVERY CROSS HONOURS THOSE WE WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER
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Fundraising team: Hartlepool Poppy Appeal (2)
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