Here in New Zealand, April 25th is recognized as Anzac Day, (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) when services are held nationwide, to remember the servicemen and women who were overseas, who gave their lives, and the ones who returned to tell their stories. The Red Poppy is a symbol of remembrance , and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote of the poppy in his second to last poem “ In Flanders Fields”.
John McCrae was born in Guelph, Ontario, on November 30th, 1872, and trained as an artillery man at the Royal Military College of Canada, at Kingston, Ontario. He was a resident master of English and Mathematics at the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph in 1894. He then returned to the University of Toronto and completed his B.A. He later returned to study medicine on a scholarship.
McCrae was appointed as Medical Officer and Major of the 1st Brigade CFA (Canadian Field Artillery). He treated wounded during the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915, from a hastily dug, 8 foot by 8 foot bunker dug in the back of the dyke along the Yser Canal about 2 miles north of Ypres. McCrae's friend and former militia pal, Lt. Alexis Helmer, was killed in the battle, and his burial inspired the poem, “In Flanders Fields”
Quotation of the day
Greetings from Jean