In pictures: The Poppy Factory
A team of people, most of them disabled, work all year at The Royal British Legion Poppy Factory in Richmond, to make poppies and wreaths for the Poppy Appeal.
In total the team make around 34 million poppies, 5 million remembrance petals, 750,000 remembrance crosses and nearly 100,000 wreaths.
The poppies are traditionally worn in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the Great Wars. Remembrance Sunday falls on the second Sunday in November every year.
Gillian Lindsay, a worker at the factory, assembles poppies with only one hand, as she has done for over 20 years.
The first poppy factory was set up in 1922, with age-old techniques still used by the workers. The factory moved to its current location, an old brewery in Petersham Road, Richmond in 1925.
Machines cut the paper but the poppies are still assembled by hand. Wooden blocks, designed for use with one hand, which date from when the factory first opened, are still used by some.
The only modification to this simple but effective tool was to make the head flat in order to accommodate the introduction of a leaf to the poppy.
The idea for the Remembrance Poppy came from Moina Bell Michael, an American teacher, who was inspired to sell poppies for charity, by Colonel John McRae’s poem “In Flanders Field”.
In 1921 Madame Guerin, a French woman, followed suit. She persuaded Earl Haig to adopt the poppy for the British Legion. It has been the symbol of Remembrance ever since.
The factory, founded by Major George Howson founded in 1922, continues to make poppies and wreaths for England, Ireland and Wales.