Field, not Opium; Red not Lilac

First published: 13th November 2010

Anna Tse should note ("Red poppy an insult to hosts" Letters, 13th November) that the Remembrance Day poppy worn by British Prime Minister David Cameron was a red field poppy, opium poppies are lilac or purple, with a fringe to the petals. The field poppy was the only living thing in the mud of Flanders, where so many died in the First World War. Therefore the field poppy is worn as a mark of respect to war dead, particular since the First World War, which ended on 11th November 1918.

Most British public figures wear Remembrance Day poppies around 11th November, up to Remembrance Sunday, the second Sunday in November, as can be easily seen on BBC World. For the British Prime Minister to appear in public so close to 11th November without a poppy would be as unlikely as President Hu Jintao failing to observe 1st October.

Perhaps the world would be a more peaceful place if more people observed and recognised the living things around us.