Poppies for every religion
For more than 90 years the poppy has been the symbolic image used to remember those who have lost their lives in battle, and the purchase of one of these little emblems can go a long way in supporting soldiers and their families.
Since 1922, the paper replicates have been created and sold to raise money for the Royal British Legion which helps soldiers, from every battle since the First World War, and their families cope with life after war.
The money raised is vital in supporting families with everything from recovery and post-stress disorders, to legal cases and pensions, and young widows to elderly veterans.
As mentioned in a previous issue of the Asian Express, wooden stakes, with poppies attached, have been sold recently to be placed in the ground as a sign of remembrance and now there is an array of designs available to commemorate the war efforts of different faiths.
A wooden cross (Christianity), crescent (Islam), star (Judaism) and Sikh Khanda are all available for purchase from the Royal British Legion stores and offer different faiths the chance to pay respect to fallen soldiers from their respected religions.
A group of Sikhs from Leeds have been selling the Khanda stakes at local Gurdwaras to raise funds for the nationwide appeal.
One man who will be wearing his poppy with pride this year is Mohammed Saddique. His father, Goolam Hussein Bawa fought with the Merchant Navy from just 19-years-old in 1903.
After serving in the First World War, the serviceman then took his post during the Second World War and was bestowed the Atlantic Star for his service in the critical Battle of Atlantic.
Unfortunately, Goolam did not live to enjoy the freedoms for which he fought, dying during service in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1949.
Mohammed Saddique, from Roundhay, will be wearing his poppy to remember those like his father who have served the country so nobly in the past.
“He never cared about the long hours and money – he just wanted to serve in the Merchant Navy.
“I’m so proud of what he did, because it’s people like him that opened the way for me and everyone else to come to the UK and live here and be proud to be British.
“He was willing to give his life for Britain and he wasn’t even British. This is the message we need to give our children and youth of today, because this country has given us an awful lot.”