Friday, 11 November 2011


My grandfather was not tall, but had a fat tummy. When I was a toddler, apparently I said that if he ate any more he would pop, and the name stuck. Everyone called him Poppy after that.

Poppy was called up to fight in the Second World War. In 1940 he left home at the age of 22 to join the Hampshire Regiment. In recent years, he told us about the day he left home. You have to remember that memories of "The Great War" were still fresh in people's minds. Many had lost fathers & uncles in the trenches. The young men who were called up to fight in the 1940s were not expected to return home. Indeed, Poppy's parents gave away most of his belongings while he was away.

He told us that the first day, he went off on a train and arrived at a camp to spend the first night. They were put into an army hut and all they had were a number of wooden "beds" to sleep on. It was cold and they had no blankets, but luckily Poppy had a good coat and lay down and covered himself in that. During the night, he heard many of the boys crying.

Poppy was a very intelligent man and was transferred to REME where he worked on R.A.D.A.R., which was at that time top secret. Helping the anti-aircraft guns hunt down enemy aircraft, his hearing was damaged so that he spent his later years profoundly deaf, but he never claimed a penny. He lived most of his life feeling guilty that he had survived when so many of his colleagues had not. It is important to remember these stories and tell them. War is stupid and futile and must be avoided when at all possible.

There are lots more tales from my relatives. Most didn't talk about their experiences for years, but a few stories came out towards the end of their lives. Two of my great uncles fought in the far East, one in Burma. My other grandfather fought in Africa. Both my parents were born after the second world war, so lucky for me both my grandfathers survived or I wouldn't be here today. Poppy died last year at the age of 92.  He was a quiet, dignified man who worked hard all his life. I'll always remember him. This card is for Poppy.

"for Poppy"

The picture is by Monet. This poem was written by my Mum when Poppy died and she kindly gave me permission to reproduce it here.


Maybe at this time of year
You will remember me
When longed for Sun
Breaks suddenly
Across the fields you’ll see
My crimson petals dancing
And you will think of me
Watch the red poppies
You will remember me

© Valerie Anne Lloyd 2010

Cute Card Thursday - Reds for Remembrance
Simon Says Stamp - Photo Inspiration (Poppy Field)
Celebrate the Occasion - Veteran's Day


  1. OMGoodness - that poem made me cry.!!! :-( This is a lovely piece and thank you for sharing the story about Poppy. Hugz xxxx

  2. Wow Maddy, what a lovely story. Your granda Poppy sounds like he was a wonderful man. The card is really beautiful and using my favourite artists painting too. Ive been watching a lot of the documentaries on the 2nd world war and different accounts given by the soldiers. Its heartbreaking to see how after all this time, they get so emotional about it and feel guilty about surviving it. I was lucky to volunteer at Newry Museum for a while and was involved in a wonderful project dealing with how Northern Ireland was affected by the war. I transcribed the wonderful stories told by men and women of that time. And by the time I had finished I was lucky to have one tissue left without tears on it! I love your Mammy's poem, its really touching. Lee xx

  3. Beautiful card and very touching memories of your Grandfather, it is important that we share and remember these facts! Your Mum's poem is very beautiful too!
    Many thanks for joining in the Cute Card Thursday Challenge this week!
    have a great weekend! Debxx

  4. Whart a lovely poem. I love Monet's aret and this is a classic example. Thank you for shring with us at CTO.


  5. This card is extremely beautiful, poppies are my favourite flower and I loved reading your story of Poppy! Love Jayne. x x

  6. Gorgeous card, love the colors, thanks for joining CTO!

  7. What a beautiful poem,I loved your story too it is amazing the memories people have about the war years.
    Your card is gorgeous. (A new follower) xxx

  8. Beautiful card and poem,what wonderful memories you have.. Chrissieann xx

  9. Oh my goodness Izzwizz!! This has got to be the BEST Veteran's Day card I've ever seen!! You did Poppy well and I'm sure that your country is happy to have had such a man serve for the freedom of your country! Your mom's poem is truly beautiful!

    I love the poppies you created with the ribbon!! STUNNING card! Now a new follower and would love for you to visit me at

    Thanks so much for celebrating Veteran's Day with us this week!

    Tracey - CTO DT member

  10. Tearful story, but a beautiful remembrance and the poem is delightful.
    Your card is gorgeous I love the colors and the picture.
    Thank you for joining us this week at Celebrate the occasion.
    DIANA L.

  11. Wonderful card.
    Thanks for joining in at the SimonSaysChallenge this week.


  12. Beautiful story with such a lovely card! Thanks for sharing with us this week @ CTO :)

  13. I love Monet. The poem is really beautiful too. Thanks for sharing this : )

    Thanks so much for entering the Simon Says Stamp Challenge!!!

    For More Chances to Win:
    *Like Simon Says Stamp on Facebook!
    *Follow Simon Says Stamp on Twitter!

  14. Beautiful card and tribute to your grandfather!!
    Thank you for sharing that wonderful story!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks for joining us at CTO!


Thanks for leaving a comment, it's nice to know I'm not just talking to myself :)