Trio of remembrance ceremonies scheduled for Oakville

Trio of remembrance ceremonies scheduled for Oakville
White poppy sales soar, as MP criticises disingenuous trend
As this year's Remembrance Day marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, for the first time in history, the Royal Canadian Legion has introduced a virtual version of the iconic flower in hopes to capture the attention of young Canadians.

"I believe we have to embrace the digital age," Port Arthur Legion Branch 5 president Dell Babcock said. "I think it's a good way to involve the younger Canadians throughout the country to participate in the poppy campaign."

Stoke said they respected McCleans decision not to wear one, and said in the same statement: “As a Club we will be supporting the Royal British Legions Poppy Appeal by wearing the Poppy on our home shirt in the fixture against Middlesbrough on November 3 and on our away shirt in the fixture against Nottingham Forest on November 10.

Manchester bogus poppy products seized from wholesaler

The digital poppy, according to the deputy director at the Royal Canadian Legion, was an idea that came up a year ago when hockey commentator Don Cherry noticed the lack of pins in public.

Certain footballers choose not to wear poppies due to their national allegiances. Republic of Ireland footballer James McClean was born and raised in the city of Derry in Northern Ireland and was brought up on Creggan estate, where six of the people killed on Bloody Sunday in 1972 came from.

Video: Poppies enduring impact in Britain a century on from WWI

"The digital poppy resembles the lapel poppy and its online for people that utilize their social media all the time," said  deputy director, Danny Martin. "The legion wanted to get out there and give the people the opportunity to engage in remembrance on the digital medium they use."

In the aftermath following the First World War, the poppy flower became a unifying symbol of remembrance and commemoration of the soldiers who gave up their lives and filled the war zones of Northern Europe while representing their country between 1914 and 1918.

He said despite the 1400 legion branches in Canada, the "reach is still limited" especially in big cities as the legion does not have a branch in every community across the country.

Digital poppies can also be personalized and dedicated to family members, friends or loved ones, Martin added, which has received a lot of positive feedback.

McClean has said on previous occasions that while he does not expect everyone to understand his decision, he has asked for them to merely respect it – but has been the subject of boos from opposition clubs as well as fans of his own team.

"There's always this movement within Canada where people want to acknowledge that they are related to individuals who have sacrificed … [but] there's no real way to demonstrate that," Martin said, adding that it is illegal for anyone to wear another individual's medals.

"So this is a way to actually donate or recognize the service of somebody that has done something for Canada."

Commemorations honouring the men and women who fought and died in the war to end all war will take place across the country, involving art installations, musical performances, religious services and acts of remembrance, before Armistice Day a week on Sunday.

Haverhill and Thurlow Royal British Legion unveil a giant poppy in honour of all the 144 men from the town who died during the First World War

He said one lady bought 20 digital poppies in order to acknowledge the 20 different people she knew who had sacrificed their life.

The Tower of Londons moat will be filled with thousands of individual flames and a sound installation, at the centre of which lies a new choral work, with words from the war poet Mary Bordens Sonnets to a Soldier.

According to the president of the Port Arthur Legion, the annual poppy campaign in the northwestern Ontario city has been "pretty consistent and the donations seem to increase every year."

The digital poppy was launched on Friday, October 29 at the same time the traditional poppies were available to the public.

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Babcock said he believes that the new digital poppy will help attract younger Canadians across the country, however "time will tell how successful the effort is … as there's limited information out there about it."

It is a sad fact that there are people who actively defraud the public in order to take funds intended for the support of our Armed Forces community. We would urge everyone wishing to purchase a Remembrance poppy brooch, to do so through official channels. For example, you can buy from one of our trusted volunteers, from The Royal British Legions online Poppy Shop, or from one of our corporate partners. We want to make sure that it goes to supporting those who have made such a unique contribution to our society.

Royal British Legions outrage after poppy decorations were torn down in Yeovil

"It will certainly provide the opportunity to bring in some extra funds," Babcock said. "I think it will be a success. This is the way things are going now-a-days. People are doing things online [and] they are not doing it on paper anymore."

I encourage all Manchester residents to be vigilant and ensure that they are buying their poppies from official Royal British Legion vendors, or the charitys official websites, to ensure their generous donations reach the people who deserve them, instead of ending up in the pockets of callous scammers.

To mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, Babcock said, church bells across Thunder Bay will be rung 100 times at dusk on November 11.

Officers discovered the illegal products – including pendants, earrings and badges, some of which featured the legend Lest we forget – on sale during a routine inspection visit to the premises. An investigation to determine the source of the counterfeit goods in now ongoing.

It is a priority for CBC to create a website that is accessible to all Canadians including people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges.

The public are being asked to look out for counterfeit goods in the shape, or bearing the image of, the RBLs familiar two-petal red poppy. The RBL have registered their rights to prevent such counterfeiting.

Wear a red poppy with pride: The debate around red and white poppies

The Peace Pledge Union (PPU), who make and produce the white poppy, have seen a 30 per cent increase in the number being sold compared to this time last year.

The find comes after the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and The Royal British Legion (RBL) urged members of the British public to be extra vigilant when buying poppy merchandise for Remembrance this year.

With one week still to go until Remembrance Sunday, which will mark 100 years since the end of the First World War, the charity have overtaken last years total and sold 101,660 white poppies.

"Our officers have confiscated a haul of these bogus products and will continue their investigations, to get as many of these illegal copies off the streets as possible and prosecute those responsible.

The PPU, whose busiest year was in 2015 when they sold 110,000 of the alternative Remembrance symbols, put the money from the sales towards their educational pacifism programmes.

Thanks were also given to local firms Alan Burnett Roofing, J Bradnam & Sons, Specialized Print, We Do Signs, Buildbase, TVL Allstar Video and The Craft Basket for donating materials or equipment to enable the giant poppy to be built. Haverhill Town Council also provided support for the project.

Tanks to roll down the streets of Oshawa to mark 100 years since armistice ended First World War

The charity have had increased interest from Churches and schools, selling at least 60 white poppy school packs – more than double the number of orders that they received last year.

It was officially unveiled during a ceremony that saw speeches given by the Haverhill Royal British Legion (RBL) chairman, Bryan Mills and Haverhills mayor, Cllr Tony Brown and a blessing conducted by the Rev Cannon Ian Finn.

Conservative MP and former British Army officer Johnny Mercer, who last week described white poppies as attention seeking rubbish, said: "If people want to wear a white poppy then that is up to them.

"What I dont like is this insinuation that these campaign groups just dont like war so therefore [they] wear the white poppy because the red poppy is a celebration of war – I think its extremely disingenuous.

Every soldier I know wants peace. If you want to celebrate those aims, then you could literally pick any other symbol you liked rather than using a symbol that has been used to raised money for injured soldiers and their families for a long time."

The poppy sits at the front of St Marys Church, facing the High Street, as a poignant reminder of all those who lost their lives in the Great War, not just the men from Haverhill who are named on it.

Last week, Mr Mercer took to Twitter criticising white poppies, saying: Ignore the wearers of them. If you dont want to wear a poppy dont bother; they fought and died so you could choose. But dont deliberately try and hijack its symbolism for your own ends.

“It is a fitting and moving tribute to them that todays young generation of school children have written, in their memory, one of their names on each of the 144 poppies which form the giant poppy.”

Commenting on the increased popularity of the white poppy this year, Symon Hill, the PPUs co-ordinator, said: We are very pleased with the response. We have been taken aback by the number of orders – it has been a pleasant surprise.

Mr Hill believes that the number of white poppy orders have increased for a variety of reasons, including the "rise of the far-right".

There are people who are worried about the rise of nationalistic governments and far-right politics around the world. To counteract that, some people want to assert their compassion for others, he said.

Mr Hill also thinks that this years popularity stems from the PPU making a bigger effort to change the misunderstanding surrounding white poppies, adding: We are not trying to insult the Remembrance of the British Armed Forces.

"White poppies in no way take money away from charities supporting veterans – white poppy wearers often make donations to charities supporting veterans or other victims of war. Local groups selling white poppies often donate the funds raised to such charities.

The new figures revealing the increased popularity of the white poppy come two weeks after St Johns Ambulance announced that they are allowing their volunteers to wear it for the first time ever.

The 141-year-old first-aid organisation changed their dress code ahead of the the centenary of the First World War armistice welcoming the PPUs alternative poppy.