Coloured Coin – 100th Anniversary of In Flanders Fields

Posted By: Royal Canadian Mint

This product is :  
Made in Canada

Price:   $519.95

Where to Buy Online: Royal Canadian Mint

Product Description:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
 Between the crosses, row on row,
 That mark our place; and in the sky
 The larks, still bravely singing, fly
 Scarce heard amid the guns below.

 - In Flanders Fields, John McCrae (1872-1918)


The year 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the poem In Flanders Fields, which was written by Canadian physician Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae amid the horrors of the Second Battle of Ypres in May 1915. Through his hauntingly poignant poem, McCrae succeeded in giving a voice to the 60,000 Canadians who would lose their lives in the First World War, and ignited an international effort to keep their legacy alive. To mark this anniversary, this fine silver coin is a solemn remembrance of those who bravely served their country abroad in a time of war–lest we forget.


 Commemorates John McCrae’s famous poem. Order today!


Special features:
•   FEATURES THE EFFIGY OF KING GEORGE V: The obverse features the effigy of King George V by
Sir E. B. MacKennal.
•   A poignant commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Canadian John McCrae’s famous poem, which is often quoted or recited during annual remembrance ceremonies in many countries.
•   The poem served as the inspiration behind the adoption of the poppy as a widely recognised memorial symbol, making this coin a fitting tribute to the brave Canadians who served their country in times of war–not only in the First World War, but in other conflicts that followed.
•   Crafted from 99.99% pure silver, with a limited mintage of just 1,500 coins worldwide.
•   Selective colouring beautifully recreates the vibrant poppies that surround the uniformed soldiers, bringing this touching scene to life and further enhancing the design’s finely detailed engraving.
•   A striking collectible for commemorators, and a prestigious addition to any Canadian military- or history-themed collection.
•   A symbolic gift for those in the military, or as a tribute to loved ones who were lost at war.
•   Your coin is GST/HST exempt.


 About the Design:
Designed by Canadian artist Tony Bianco, your coin masterfully combines vibrant colour with finely detailed engraving to create a stirring scene of remembrance at a soldier’s grave. There is an unusual stillness in the air as two Canadian soldiers take the time to quietly remember a fallen friend and colleague, who lies buried far from home in a field that is resplendent with the red poppies described in John McCrae’s poem, In Flanders Fields. With his head bent down and hat removed, one solemn soldier stands to the left of the stone grave; on the right side of the image, the second soldier kneels before the cross on one leg, his head bent down in quiet reflection. These two soldiers are among the many who will help carry the legacy left behind by the fallen; it is they who will “take up our quarrel with the foe” and who will carry out the call to action described in the lines “to you from failing hands we throw / The torch; be yours to hold it high.” In the background, McCrae’s handwritten first line of his famous poem is inscribed in both English and in French: “In Flanders fields the poppies blow” and “Au champ d’honneur, les coquelicots.”


Did you know…
•   Originally, the first line read “In Flanders fields the poppies grow” but the editor of Punch requested McCrae’s permission to change it to “the poppies blow” in order to differentiate it from the very last line of the poem.
•   The poem’s popularity and its reference to the blooms growing over the soldiers’ graves helped inspire a widespread movement to adopt the poppy as a memorial symbol–a practice still observed in Canada, France, the United States, Britain and other Commonwealth nations.
•   Often quoted, In Flanders Fields was used to help sell Canadian war bonds, providing a boost in a campaign that raised $400 million–far more than the target of $150 million.
•   More than 600,000 men and women from across Canada served as soldiers, nurses and chaplains during the First World War from 1914 to 1918; of those, 60,000 perished during the conflict.


 Born in Guelph, Ont., John McCrae (1872-1918) was a compassionate doctor, a respected professor, and a veteran of the South African War. Enlisting soon after First World War was declared, McCrae was assigned second-in-command of the 1st Brigade of the Canadian Field Artillery, where his medical training made him invaluable as the brigade surgeon.
 While the First Canadian Division valiantly fought in the Ypres salient, a friend’s death inspired McCrae to write his famous poem. On the morning of May 2, 1915, 22-year-old Lieutenant Alexis Helmer of Ottawa, Ont., was killed by enemy artillery fire upon emerging from his dugout. In the absence of a chaplain, McCrae himself presided over the funeral service as Helmer’s remains were deposited in a makeshift grave marked by a simple wooden cross. While accounts vary, it is generally believed that McCrae wrote his famous poem the next day on the back step of an ambulance, in sight of Helmer’s grave and near the fields that were filling with the casualties of war.


 McCrae set aside the poem–the second last he would write–only to take it up again after leaving Ypres for Boulogne. A finished copy was submitted to The Spectator in London but was rejected for publication; thankfully, a journalist brought back a copy to England’s Punch magazine, which printed it anonymously on December 8, 1915. With its theme of remembrance and the powerful visual of bright red poppies growing amid the devastation of war, the poem became widely seen as the embodiment of how soldiers viewed this war; the author of this popular poem soon became known.
 A hundred years later, McCrae’s own legacy and his poem live on. While McCrae would succumb to illness and exhaustion in January 1918, his written words continue to give a voice to the fallen–one that time would not forget. After the war, it inspired the movement to recognize the poppy as the official symbol of remembrance after the war–a tradition that has continued, in the weeks leading up to Remembrance Day (Nov. 11) each year, when Canadians don this bright red symbol to honour the legacy of the more than 600,000 Canadians who served in the First World War, and the 60,000 of them who lost their lives.


 Your coin is encapsulated and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded maroon clamshell with a custom beauty box.


 Order your coin today!

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