Contrary to popular opinion, my dad never fought in the war, apart from in the playgrounds of South London.
As a child at the outbreak, he was evacuated to Dorset, where he still saw “muck and bullets” but only because he was on a farm and there was a shotgun.
But after just six weeks, he got homesick and returned to live with his mum in bomb-targeted London. What the hell was he thinking?
After the war, he went on to do National Service in the RAF and became an active member of The Royal British Legion, regularly selling poppies for Remembrance Day.
I love the traditional poppy but I have issues with its cheap flimsy paper/plastic design.
Every year I buy one, every year, I diligently pin it onto my coat and every year it mysteriously falls off and blows away before I get home.
No matter how many pins I attach to secure it, I arrive home with a coat resembling a pin cushion and me looking like an Entry Level punk rocker.
But it’s not just me with this problem. I regularly see pensioners asking others to clumsily pin poppies onto their clothing for them because of their arthritic or dexterity issues.
And, because of the poor, flimsy design, they fall out, fly away and have to annoyingly be re-bought.
It’s also a little-known fact, that, ironically, more people have been injured whilst trying to attach a poppy to their clothing, mainly through pin-pricks, than were wounded during both World Wars put together.
It’s sad that such a great product still has such poor design flaws.
The solution to both these problems would be to issue every poppy with two Elastoplast. The first to cover your finger after you’ve pricked yourself when attaching the poppy and the second so as you can discard the offending pin completely and use the plaster to securely stick the poppy onto your clothes.
My own poppy appeal is that someone will finally design a better, more user-friendly poppy.