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A Unique Poppy Thief

One of our members passed this news item along and asked that we share it.


Pigeon Creates Beautiful Nest After Secretly Stockpiling Poppies from War Memorial

pigeon with poppy in its beak

Poppies have become a lasting symbol of the endurance and perseverance of wounded soldiers, especially since they’ve been seen growing on battlefields after World War I. They’re particularly prominent on Remembrance Day, which honors those who have died in the line of duty and is celebrated across the UK and Commonwealth states. Observed since the end of World War I (as early as 1919), associations have sold cotton or silk poppies to raise money for veterans. In Australia, one animal decided to pay their respects by using poppies in a decidedly different way.

Since early October, the staff at the Australian War Memorial had noticed that poppies were disappearing from the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier. It caused some confusion until the staff looked up. There they saw that a pigeon has been carefully crafting a nest on the ledge of a stained glass window. The fact that the pigeon was the poppy thief was actually a pleasant surprise given the role that these birds had during times of war.

To continue reading, click here.


Other coverage of this “thief” included:

News: Remembering the Battle of the Atlantic

Remembering the Battle of the Atlantic

By Steph Crosier, Kingston Whig-Standard

Bill Fitsell, at his home in Kingston on Saturday, reads the diary he wrote while serving in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. (Steph Crosier/The Whig-Standard)

Bill Fitsell, at his home in Kingston on Saturday, reads the diary he wrote while serving in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. (Steph Crosier/The Whig-Standard).

KINGSTON – On June 5, 1944, Bill Fitsell was in Wales with the crew of HMCS Outremont when he wrote in his diary that he could tell something was coming.

The following day — D-Day — Fitsell wrote “At sea. INVASION started. Outremont on patrol. Exercised action stations in the afternoon. Listened to news all day.”

For a 75-year-old paper diary that crossed the Atlantic Ocean with Fitsell four times during the war, it is in decent shape. It’s a little tattered, a little worn on the edges, but Fitsell knows its importance some day to his family when he is gone and keeps it in a zip-lock bag.

Fitsell said his mother bought him the diary and he wrote in it religiously as a way to always remember.

“Sometimes you can’t keep it all, a diary is a good way to remember even the small things,” Fitsell.

On May 7, Fitsell will be remembering the Second World War further at the Anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic parade alongside HMCS Cataraqui.

To continue reading, visit the Kingston Whig-Standard website at http://www.thewhig.com/2017/04/23/remembering-the-battle-of-the-atlantic