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Not Just A Paper Flower.

This red paper poppy
I wear with much pride
this token, this mark,
this blood red emblem,
not just a paper poppy
well not in my eyes…

As we turn our thoughts back
during this month of November
we stand with glistening eyes
for those brave gallant soldiers,
many who never came back.
This red paper flower is
all that can show, respect and
admiration to those that did go,
to lonely mist filled beaches and foreign fields,
sailed stormy seas and flew bomb filled air.
Those who stood fast together
with much to bear.

Comrades in battle,
courageous but fearful,
the stories do tell,
of so many who perished
in the horror of war,
this nightmare of violence
where so many fell,
this bravery in brotherhood,
tainted and evil,
this wasted crush of earth…
Remember…not just a paper flower!

Praise to the Army, Home Guard,
Navy and Airforce.
As futurity we’ll never forget,
those dark days of war…
Not just a paper flower, well not for me,
How lucky we are,
as we drink our sweet tea!
How lucky we are for the liberty of life.
Not just a paper flower!
These wars of destruction and strife.

Remember them well, keep in your heart,
this offering of self that they gave in their part.
This gift of autonomy so safely saved,
these great comrades of war
who fought on, day after day.
These brave soldiers of war, Ladies and Men,
who stood fast together
our sovereignty to save,
who marched on for freedom,
our kingdom to defend.
Oh no, not just a paper flower.

They held on forever
so did they dare,
to dream of hearth and home,
of their  loved ones who
they were protecting being there.
This right of liberty so costly paid,
with fervency of pride they gave all
during dark days,
from oppressive evil, our birthrights were saved.

Through Germany and France they marched,
across the desert of El Alamein.
in Palestine to name a few…
for the Italian campaign of Monte Cassino,
we will remember them too!

Not just a paper flower, well not for me,
Not just a paper flower,
This state of being free…

In memory of:
My Father – Brindley Robert Pickering – Germany, France, and Poland.
My Uncle – Thomas Edward Pickering – Monte Cassino in Italy.
My Uncle – John Llewelyn Rawlings. – Egypt, Germany and Palestine.
My Uncle – Albert Stanley Pain. – El Alamein,Egypt. And India.
My Uncle – Robert Applegate Hodgson. The Skies over Europe
My Grandfather. Christopher John Rawlings – ARP Warden ,The City of London.

My Uncle Robert Applegate Hodgson was stationed in Iceland for a time and also with coastal command, patrolling Scapa Flow.He also help drop supplies to the Orkneys and Shetlands. Later involved with towing gliders to Arnheim. He mentioned Berlin and being horrified by what he saw and said “poor devils they had it worse than us”His squadron was sent to Malta but he came down with pneumonia, a lucky escape indeed, he was sent to a beautiful manor house for recuperation. His squadron were shot down and either perished or were captured . Later he became a squadron leader towards the end of the war. His family had all of his relics- a sealed pack with a cyanide pill in! Also altered photos in case he was captured. Just a little of their bravery.