Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the end of hostilities of WWI on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month".
The First World War officially ended with the signing of the Treaty Of Versailles on 28 June 1919.
The memorial evolved from Armistice Day - which continues to be marked on the same date. The initial Armistice Day was observed at Buckingham Palace, with King George V hosting a "Banquet" in honour of the President of the French Republic, during the evening of 10 November 1919. The first official Armistice Day was subsequently held on the grounds of Buckingham Palace the following morning.
The red remembrance poppy became the emblem due to the poem "In Flanders Fields", written by Canadian Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae in 1915. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in WWI; their brilliant red colour became a symbol for the blood spilled in the war.
Als Van has supported the Armed Forces since rentals began, (which sometimes feels like 100 years ago in itself), & offers an on-going discount on all bookings for any past or present Armed Forces Staff.
This year - Als Van had the pleasure of meeting a very dedicated lady who is raising funds for PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which affects an awful lot of our lads & lasses when they get back home "safe". Suzie Stanford has set up an auction page on Facebook to raise funds & earlier this year Als Van donated a week's stay to help support the cause.
But it doesn't stop there, as more funds need to be raised to help these very brave people recover & try to lead "normal" lives after their active service has finished:
Als Van will donate £10 for every booking received between 6-15 November to Suzie's PTSD fund
So book your 2016 break with Als Van, (bookings have now finished for 2015!), & help a VERY worthy cause at the same time!
This is a cause very close to Als Van's heart - my grandfather was Canadian & was part of the elite 7PFF Squadron during WW2.... He lost his life on June 11 1944 when his aircraft was shot down over France - a few days before his 21st birthday. He left behind his twin boys, (my Dad & his brother), whom he never even got to meet in person - they were just 2 months old. Both boys have middle names after the squad in the aircraft. The plans were - to come home "safe" & move his new little family back to his home town in Canada.
My Dad has since found his grave in France - after quite a lot of "searching" for it - located in a graveyard that just has war casualties. Thankfully - the French Government oversee these graveyards & they are constantly attended to & looked after.... (shame we can't seem to do the same in the UK).
We have just one surviving photo of him and his medals. The cross below was at Westminster Abbey last year.
So - please don't forget what these very brave people risk on a daily basis - from 1914 to 2015 - we have members of our Armed Forces risking their lives for ours.
"Never was so much owed by so many to so few"
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.