Today is a Special day of remembrance in Australia – ANZAC Day (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) marking a particularly horrific day in 1915 when people from the two lands first fought together as one combined force under their own command in defence of the Motherland (Britain) for King and Country. Prior to that Australians went to war as members of the British Army. On the 25th of April 1915 we joined with other nations in World War 1 to attack a Turkish beach intending to help protect the British navy as they sailed toward Constantinople (Istanbul). It did not begin, let alone end, very well for the Allies. Thousands were killed on both sides, little to no effect was made for their sacrifice and months after the first landings at Gallipoli the Allies withdrew having failed in their objective but it is remembered today as the beginnings of my nation’s Armed services’ independence from Britain – a keynote in our National Identity, albeit an extremely sad and very costly one. I’d like to say it was our last such event but that would not be true.
The poppy is associated with remembrance and is worn by many on the 11/11 to commemorate the end of the Great War, World War 1. In France, on the Fields of Flanders, masses of these plants grew and people thought their bright red colour was on account of all the soldiers blood that was spilled on those fields – hence the choice of buttonhole flower.
They are a very simply constructed flower, usually having just the four petals of one colour (typically red) around a core bud that holds the seeds when the flower has died off. Often there can be found a black cross around the centre bud which further adds to the concept of remembrance of those who fought and died.
I love the flowers that now spring up all over my garden every Spring and which have managed to mutate from the original red form into a myriad of varieties and colours.
(Click on Pic to enlarge).
When i first planted poppy seeds the flowers had no cross in the centre, then next year a black cross appeared in some, next year some of those had a white tip to them and most recently i have found one with a pure white cross?? All had the original red coloured petals but some plants developed petal colours from pink to white!
The old flower bud to the right was a red one but has 14 ‘hours’?