Loading...
Eternal Sleep 2017-06-29T13:41:06+00:00

I believe that grief is internal while mourning is public.

Poet, soldier and doctor, John McCrae ministered to thousands of casualties in a vast Canadian General Hospital in France. Exhausted, he succumbed to pneumonia in 1918. He was buried near the hospital where he had worked unselfishly to save the lives of many soldiers.

McCrae wrote these now famous words after the death of a close friend: “We shall not sleep though poppies grow, In Flanders fields…” It was an act of private grief that was made public, appearing in print for the first time in 1915 in Punch magazine. His poem lives on, helping to make the poppy an enduring symbol of remembrance.

– Viveka Melki

Press on the pictures below to show content:

Optical crystal

“In the aftermath of battle two medics care for the wounded, while above poppies float
and fade into the night sky.”
– Mark Raynes Roberts

Olfactory memory

“The enigmatic odour of death. Iron, bitter, heavy, that incense cannot mask. Silence
is invasive.”
– Alexandra Bachand

John McCrae (1872-1918)

“John McCrae is the one combatant of the First World War who requires little presentation. His authorship of the 1915 poem “In Flanders Fields” made him famous during his own lifetime. His evocation of the war is one of the most widely known and recited poems in the English language.”
– Alexander Reford

Read more

Cantlie’s Letter

Conservation
See the letter