The first donations
for artificial poppies were given in Britain on 11th November 1921,
inspired by John McCrae's 1915 poem 'In Flanders' Fields'.
Some of the bloodiest fighting of World War One took place in the
Flanders and Picardy regions of Northern France. In the aftermath of
the war’s total devastation the only thing which would grow on the land
was the poppy. McCrae, a doctor serving there with the Canadian Armed
Forces, wrote these verses about what he saw: