We Will Remember Them
In November each year, we join with countless others around the world to remember and honour those who have died in the World Wars and other conflicts. A symbol that is often used to commemorate this is the red poppy.
Why do we wear a red poppy?
Much of the war-torn countryside had been transformed from beautiful landscapes to areas where very little would grow, but one hardy flower that managed to grow was the striking Flanders poppy. Inspired by John McCrae’s poem, In Flanders Fields, a campaign was launched to make the red poppy a symbol of remembrance.
The first artificial poppies were sold in the UK and distributed by the Royal British Legion (RBL) in 1921. As the RBL state: “Our red poppy is a symbol of both Remembrance and hope for a peaceful future.”
The Unknown Warrior
If you have ever visited Westminster Abbey, or seen the remembrance parade on the television, you may be familiar with the grave of the Unknown Warrior. Intended to symbolise any of the 517,773 soldiers whose bodies weren’t able to be identified, it was designed to bring comfort to the families of those without named graves.
Do you know the story behind how it came to Westminster Abbey? In honour of Remembrance Day this year, we’d like to share it with you.
On 7th November 1920, four unidentified British soldiers were exhumed from temporary battlefield cemeteries in the strictest secrecy. The soldiers who carried out the task were not told why they were doing it.
The exhumed bodies were taken by a field ambulance to GHQ at St-Pol-Sur-Ter Noise and draped with a union flag. A body was selected at random by Brigadier-General Wyatt and a Colonel Gell, and the three remaining bodies were respectfully reburied.
A coffin had been specially designed out of oak taken from Hampton Court and the soldier was placed inside. A crusaders sword and shield were placed on top with the inscription:
“A British Warrior who fell in the GREAT WAR 1914-1918 for King and Country”.
The Unknown Warrior was taken on the HMS Verdun to Dover – it was placed on the deck, covered in wreaths and surrounded by the French Honour Guard. At Dover, the Unknown Warrior was greeted by a nineteen-gun salute – an honour usually reserved for Field Marshals.
Finally, on 11th November 1920, the Unknown Warrior made his final journey to Westminster Abbey.
We will remember
Wearing the red poppy is not done to glorify war. It is worn to remember and honour the armed forces, like the Unknown Warrior, who gave their lives for their country and who helped us maintain the freedoms we are privileged to enjoy.
At HSL, our expert craftsmen and women created three special commemorative military Glenmore chairs.
“These chairs symbolise the passion, the care and the commitment that we as a business have in support of our Armed Forces. We recognise not only the conflicts they enter, defending our freedom and keeping us safe, but also all other work that they do – day in and day out. As a country, we mark it every year with Remembrance Sunday and we are proud to pay tribute here. I know when many of us saw these chairs for the first time we were, quite frankly, close to tears.”
– Guy Critchlow, CEO.
We are also proud to have signed the Armed Forces Covenant, which exists to ensure that the Armed Forces Community is supported and treated with respect and equality in the society they pledged their life to protect. We seek to support the employment of veterans and service family members, and actively participate in Armed Forces Day and encourage support of military charities’ fundraising.
Every year, on the 11th of November, we remember.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.