In the very early days of November 1923, an article in the Gazette was appealing for ladies to help with ‘Poppy Day’ in Tiverton which was to take place on Saturday 10th November. Ladies were asked to help with the sale of poppies in aid of ‘Earl Haig’s appeal for ex-servicemen’. The article also outlined the events for Armistice Day on the 11th. Later in the month, the results of the collection were revealed and the amount that each lady collected is listed. The total raised on the day, with contributions from local organisations, was ‘over £80’ which today would be equivalent to almost £6,000

The first ‘Poppy Day’ was held in 1921, so it was still a new event in 1923. The poppy emblem was inspired by a poem written by a Canadian doctor on the front line in 1915:
‘In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow, Between the crosses row on row’.

In 1921, the first poppies were made in France but very soon a factory, staffed by disabled servicemen, was set up in London and they produced 30 million poppies for the Appeal in 1922. These sold out very quickly and in the following years very few poppies made it to Scotland. In 1926 another factory opened near Edinburgh and produced a poppy with four petals with no leaf. This is distinct from the London poppy with only two petals and leaves. The difference remains today.
In 2005, during repairs, this collecting tin was found in the roof of Halberton Village Hall. The poppies were sold for many years by Earl Haig’s Fund within the British Legion becoming known as the ‘Poppy Appeal’ in 1994.
A battered looking old tin with a ripped paper covering. You can make out some of the writing which shows it is a collection tin for 'Earl Haig's Appeal' from 1941

The Museum holds the banner of the Women’s Section of the Royal British Legion, the Standard is in St Peter’s Church. Our archives also house the Minutes of the section which was active in the town from 1926 until 2016 when it closed, with just 14 members.

A blue banner with gold coloured fringe, laid out on a table. There is a union jack flag in the top left hand corner and a gold strip across the middle with the words 'The ROyal Britisih Legion Women's Section Tiverton Branch' embroidered in blue. In the top right hand corner there is a gold coloured diamond shape with '85 years' embordered in blue.

Banner of the Tiverton Branch of the Women’s Section, Royal British Legion