Buy a poppy for November 11
Where to buy your poppies in France this year
WHILE the Poppy Appeal has been running for 90 years the equivalent French commemorative group – the Bleuet de France [cornflower] – has only been running since 1934.
Although it works in a different way – the care for ex-servicemen and women is the duty of the government – it still acts as a support for armed forces personnel who are fighting in both Afghanistan and Libya. The Office National des Anciens Combattants et Victimes de Guerre is attached to the defence ministry and funds raised through the Bleuets are used to provide social and recreational aid for the wounded, war invalids and their families.
The volunteer collection raises much less than the Poppy Appeal each year – this year it was just over e1m whereas the Poppy Appeal touched £36million – but the funds are raised and used for a different purpose.
This includes help with housing and care for ex-service personnel as well as for war orphans, the dependents of soldiers killed in action and victims of terrorism. Money also goes to missions to help keep alive the memory of military actions.
This year Bleuet money has helped 19,500 people and financed 460 memorial services throughout the country. In all, 58% is used for aid purposes while 25% is for events and commemorations.
When the first paper bleuet flowers – made by anciens combattants – were sold in Paris on November 11, 1934, 128,000 were sold but by 1991 the organisation was foundering and was taken into the ONACVG.
It was relaunched and fund-raising has been rising for the past six years, despite poor economic conditions, and last year the Bleuet de France opened its own internet site to sell branded products to boost funds.
Where to buy your poppy in France:
PARIS Branch. Contact Joyce Gilhooley 01 43 21 57 20 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
BORDEAUX Branch. Contact John Allsop at email@example.com.
CANNES Branch sales points:
ANTIBES: Antibes Bookshop, Rue Auberon; Geoffrey's of London, Boulevard Aquillon; Blue Bar, Rue Lacon.
CALLIAN: Coiffure David, Centre Agora.
DRAGUIGNAN: Artillery School.
CANNES: Holy Trinity Church, Rue Général Ferrié; English Bookshop, Boulevard Napoléon; Station Tavern, Rue des Serbes; Morrisons Bar, Rue d'Alliese; Association France-Grande Bretagne, Rue d'Otan.
FAYENCE: Librairie du Château; AEPF - Amicale Europe Pays de Fayence.
MOUANS-SARTOUX: Victoria Residential Home and the Grange British Association.
MOUGINS: RADA Players Group, Mougins School.
ST RAPHAEL: Anglican Church; Bridge Club.
VALBONNE: English Book Centre, Rue Alexis Julian; Brittain's Restaurant; Brittain's Food Store; Dr Ireland's surgery.
VAR: British Association. Poppies/information: David Alexander, Fayence - 04 94 84 14 75.
Andrew Buchanan, Cottignac
06 31 29 56 26.
CENTRAL BRITTANY Branch: Contact Kate Curtis at firstname.lastname@example.org
LINAZAY, POITOU-CHARENTES Branch.
LYON LIBERATION Branch.
For poppies contact email@example.com
NICE-MONACO Branch sales points
MONACO: St. Paul's Church and library; Barclays Bank; Lloyds Bank; Credit Foncier de Monaco Bank; HSBC Bank; Coutts Bank; Safra Bank; Eric Blair Insurance (Hon. British Consul); Gale Force Computing; Riviera Radio; Pulcinella Restaurant; Cosmopolit Restaurant; Slammers Pub; Stars 'n Bars Pub; Ship and Castle Pub; British Association of Monaco; Monaco Fine Arts. Capitainerie and La Combuse Pub, both Port Cap d'Ail.
NICE: Holy Trinity Church and library; Barclays Bank; BPCA Bank International Branch; Association France-Grande Bretagne; British Association of Nice; Commonwealth Club; Ma Nolan's Pub (old town and port); Wayne’s Bar and Internet Café; The Snug; Akathor Pub; Yachting Financial Solutions; Sea Design; Peter Insull Crew Agency.
BEAULIEU-sur-MER: St Michael's Church.
VENCE: St Hugh's Church.
MENTON: St John's Church.
VILLEFRANCHE: Chez Net Pub; Hôtel Vauban.
Presse Tabac, Baie des Anges.
For information: Commander Michael Healy at firstname.lastname@example.org
NORD PAS DE CALAIS sales points:
LILLE: Books et Alia, 18 Pl Mendes France.
BOLLEZELLE: Hostellerie St Louis.
ARRAS: Express Holiday Inn; Carrière Wellington; Commonwealth War graves Commission, Beaurains; Market Place in front of Beffoi. November 5 (8.00 until noon).
BOUBERS sur CANCHE: La Crèmaillière.
BOULOGNE sur MER: Gerard Barron, (Hon British Consul), 28 Rue St Jean.
CALAIS: Hôtel Meurice.
HESDIN: Hôtel La Chope, Rue d'Arras;
Market Place, in front of Tourist Office, November 10 (8.30 until noon).
HUCQUELIER: Auberge d'Hucquelier.
MONTREUIL: Wine Society (behind Hôtel Hermitage).
For information and postal service contact Anne Campbell Towler at email@example.com
ALSO The Anglican Congregations of Boulogne, Calais and Calais. For contacts see Http://anglchurch.free.fr
Poppies and Wreaths available from John Lloyd. 03 21 50 11 34.
Remembrance events and ceremonies.
ARRAS, BOULOGNE, DUNKERQUE, WIMEREUX and ETAPLES: Friday 11 - 10.30 Remembrance Services; St POL sur
TERNOISE - 12.00 Service at the memorial to the Unknown Soldier (opposite the station). Royal Legion and Souvenir Français.
HENIN-BEAUMONT: Saturday 5 - 11.00 Remembrance Service, Newfoundland Memorial Park; Sunday 6 - 11.00 Canadian Memorial, Vimy.
SOMME - Thursday 10 Sing-along supper. Info www.rblsomme.org
Friday 11 - 10.30 Thiepval Memorial, Royal British Legion Service. Hampshire Police Band and fly past; followed by Thiepval Village Service at 11.00 and Mailly-Maillet Service at 12.00.
LYON - Saturday 5 Poppy Appeal jumble sale, Les Mains Ouvertes, Lyon Part Dieu, Noon.
Sunday 6 - Commemoration at Lyons Military Cemetery, La Doua. 14.00 (42 RAF graves )
Saturday 19 - Service in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at St. Germain au Mont d'Or. 10.00. Followed by other village ceremonies and RBL/RAFA lunch; details firstname.lastname@example.org