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Royal Navy Poppy Rules

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Wearing Poppies for Remembrance Day is a tradition in Canada. I was wondering how poppies are worn in other countries and I found the following rules for wearing poppies in the Royal Navy. I was not aware of Royal Marines having to wear them on their caps! Feel free to share any poppy trivia you have. 

Poppies.  Poppies may be worn to commemorate the National period of Remembrance from the time they become available until the day after Remembrance (Armistice) Day.  Only official Royal British Legion poppies are to be worn in uniform. Poppies are not worn by those on parade at the National Cenotaph Parade in London. Poppies are to be worn:

(1) Officers and all ranks – with greatcoats on the left lapel if lapel down or pinned to the left breast if lapel is buttoned up.

(2) Officers, WO and SRs – on the left lapel buttonhole of No 1 uniforms.

(3) Officers and all ranks – Secured to the left breast of the blue wool jersey.

(4) Officers and all ranks – secured to the left breast pocket of short sleeve shirts or the tie when wearing long sleeve shirts, when in No 3s.

(5) Officers and all ranks - secured to the left breast of RNPCS shirts at the outboard end and slightly above the name tape.

(6) Junior Ratings – all ratings below Petty officer dressed as seamen, all Royal Marines and QARNNS to wear the poppy on the left side of the cap or hat, and with berets beneath the beret badge.

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This year marks a century since the haunting poem “In Flanders Fields” made the poppy flower a potent symbol of lives lost in World War I and conflicts since then. This Memorial Day, Americans ought to seize on momentum created by Great Britain’s recent war memorial, one that captured global attention by filling the Tower of London’s moat with ceramic versions of this blood-red flower, to re-energize the tradition of wearing a poppy as a tribute to the fallen.

Americans over a certain age remember Memorial Days spent at the cemetery, a tradition that continues but that unfortunately has lost ground to shopping or celebrating summer’s beginning at the cabin. Marking this solemn occasion in years past also included donning a silk or paper poppy handed out by the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) or American Legion post. Or, putting one of these blossoms on the tombstones of those who served.

Today, VFW and American Legion posts continue their decades-old tradition of distributing artificial poppies for Memorial Day while collecting donations. This is typically one of these organizations’ biggest yearly fundraisers, with proceeds directed to local veterans or their families who have fallen on hard times.


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