On this day, May 3rd 1915, during World War I, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae a Canadian poet, physician, artist and soldier, wrote the now famous war memorial poem “In Flanders Fields”. It is in commemoration of the 1915 battle of Ypres. For 17 days, McCrae tended those injured in the battle. He wrote the poem after the death of a close friend, it was first published in Punch magazine and led to the adoption of the poppy as the Flower of Remembrance for the British and Commonwealth war dead. He died of pneumonia at the age of 45 years in January 1918.
He was perhaps, one of the lesser well known War Poets, however this piece conveys the horrific truth that the rows of graves in Flanders Fields belong to men who only days before were young, and alive; and the reference to the red poppies that grew over the graves, resulted in the poppy becoming one of the most recognised symbols of remembrance for those who died in the war.