Monday, November 09, 2015

Flanders Field

 Flanders Field - SOLD
oil on panel

The poppy is the recognized symbol of remembrance for war dead in Canada, the countries of the British Commonwealth, and the United States. November 11th known as Remembrance Day in Canada is a holiday, honouring the more than 100,000 Canadians who died in war.  On that day, and many other days, I think of those soldiers who have served, those who have sacrificed and those who have died so that we have the freedom we experience today.

For the last few years I haved painted a poppy to honour those who have gone before, including my great uncle, killed in World War I, the most brutal of wars. He died aged 22 and his body was never found.

  Gordon Clarence Bastow
1894 - 1916

This year, the poppy is called "Flanders Field".  The original poem was written by a Canadian military doctor Major John McCrae.  As the brigade doctor, John McCrae was asked to conduct the burial service for a killed comrade because the chaplain had been called away somewhere else on duty that evening. It is believed that later that evening, after the burial, John began the draft for his now famous poem “In Flanders Fields”.

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.


theartistsday said...

I do wonder why Remembrance Day is not a holiday here in the UK.

Jeanette Jobson said...

I'm not sure why Mary. Perhaps something else was conflicting?

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

possibly because most people remember/honor it on Remembrance Sunday? no idea

Gary L. Everest said...

Hi Jeanette,
What a beautiful and touching post. I've always loved that poem and it was nice of you to include it.
The poppy painting is so dynamic, colorful and meaningful. No wonder it sold. Will we ever stop war?
Have a great day tomorrow.

Jeanette Jobson said...

Jen, that may well be true.

Jeanette Jobson said...

Gary, yes, always an emotional poem for me. Glad you enjoy it too.

The poppy paintings always sell. Its the only flower that I really tackle, as otherwise painting flowers isn't of much interest to me.

There are lots of ceremonies on November 11 and my father, and now my mother, is buried in the Field of Honour, a national War Veterans cemetery section and they put poppies on all the graves of veterans. My father was a stauch Legion member and would take part in the parades of veterans to the War Memorial as long as his health would allow.

Julie Ford Oliver said...

I enjoyed this post for more than just your beautiful painting. I remember at school we would be given a poppy to take home for Remembrance Day in England.. I think we called it Poppy Day too, but my memory is foggy on the facts, but not on the silk flower. I can remember the color and feel of them very well.
My father survived WW11. One of the lucky ones. I am sorry you lost your great uncle. You are correct, it was a brutal war

Jeanette Jobson said...

Funny what stays in our memory isn't it Julie? The poppy seems to stay with me too and wearing it was non negotiable in our house as so many relatives had been in WWI & II, my father also.

You'd think the world would have learned something from those conflicts, wouldn't you?