The poet behind the poppy: Windsor Rotarians learn more about John McCrae at Remembrance Day service

The poet behind the poppy: Windsor Rotarians learn more about John McCrae at Remembrance Day service
Remembrance Day 2018: Why do some people wear a white poppy?
This Remembrance Sunday I will do my duty at our village church and read a long list of the dead of two world wars who attended the prep school my family used to run.

There are 96 names listed by surname only, for that is how they were known at the school. Anderson, Batty, Bolton ma, Bolton mi, Boyce, Brownrigg . . . it begins, just some of the carnage of Jutland, the Western Front and beyond.

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Among the World War II dead are two sets of three brothers, the Jenner-Fusts and Lanes, killed at places such as Java, Alamein, Burma, Malta. 

One small school in England lost 94 boys and two teachers in those wars. The list acquires a rhythm of its own, almost the toll of a funeral bell.

This arrangement – Heckington 100, from in Lincolnshire – commemorates the 31 men from the village who died in the First World War. St Andrews Church (pictured) has been decorated with 18,000 poppies, which are knitted, crotchet or painted. People from all parts of the community took part in the project to honour the wardead

This display to commemorate the fallen is in Ripon Park, North Yorkshire. You can send your tributes to us by emailing [email protected]

A World War One tableau on village green in Lower Peover near Knutsford in Cheshire. The figures are traditional scarecrows made of wood and straw 

Knitted poppies decorate a tree in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, where the wardead are being remembered ahead of the centenary of the First World War 

A display in Somerset depicts soldiers alongside civilians and medical staff as people remember the fallen this November 

Hayling Island in Hants remembers the dead with a project in which 18,000  poppies were crocheted and knitted to decorate St Peters Church 

A total of 13,000 poppies cascading from the roof to the ground in Keswick , Cumbria, to commemorate the fallen soldiers 

This poppy tribute was erected in Pelsall Village, West Midlands, as the nation pays tributes to those who fought and died 

Each year many of us make a small donation to the Royal British Legions (RBL) charity Poppy Appeal, which raises money for the families of military service men and women who have lost their lives fighting overseas.

The institution also puts money towards surviving veterans and those currently serving. Paper poppies are worn in remembrance of past conflicts, with this year marking the centenary of the First World Wars armistice. RBL has registered for intellectual property rights for its poppies to prevent counterfeiting.

However, one hundred years on from the Great War, RBL and the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), part of the government department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, have warned your donations could be lining the pockets of criminals.

Both organisations are now both working with the police to clamp down on the illegal sale of counterfeit merchandise such as poppy-themed scarves, jewels, pins and brooches, which are sold to unsuspecting members of the public in the mistaken belief their money is going to a good cause.

The polices intellectual property crime arm has said it is now targeting suspected sellers of counterfeit items. Last year Border Force officers at the port town of Tilbury intercepted a shipment of sham poppy merchandise worth around £150,000. Smaller quantities were also intercepted being brought in by air freight via Heathrow Airport.

The IPO confirmed that all counterfeit poppy merchandise seized so far has been imported from various destinations abroad, after the problem emerged in 2017.

Sam Gyimah, Minister of State, said people buying poppies this year needed to be vigilant and look out for the approved RBL logo to ensure their purchases are genuine and approved.

It is truly shocking that anyone would target and exploit one of Britains most cherished charities and take advantage of public support for our armed forces, he said. Together we can ensure donations go to the people they are intended for, by only supporting approved merchandise.

Claire Rowcliffe of RBL urged people to only to buy from trusted volunteers, the legions online poppy shop or from a legitimate corporate partner of the charity.

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, she said. We want to ensure that money goes to supporting those who have made such a unique contribution to our society.

If you spot someone selling fake remembrance day merchandise that bears the shape or image of the RBLs two-petal poppy, or Poppy Scotlands four-petal poppy, you can call reporting service Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.