Support our Work

Global Link needs your help to continue working on community history projects.

History of the White Poppy

A symbol for peace
White poppies were first introduced by the Women's Co-operative Guild in 1933

White poppies were first introduced by the Women’s Co-operative Guild in 1933

According to the Peace Pledge Union, the white poppy symbol represents ‘remembrance for all victims of war, a commitment to peace and a challenge to attempts to glamorise or celebrate war’. (1) White poppies were first produced in 1933 by the Women’s Co-operative Guild . The Guild was becoming increasingly concerned by what it saw as the growing militarisation of Remembrance events and the association of the red poppy with this.

The Co-operative Wholesale Society employed its own workers to make the poppies. The money raised from their sale went to organisations such as War Resisters’ International. Many in the anti-war movement were concerned at this time that, even though memories of the slaughter of the Great War were still fresh in people’s minds, governments were preparing for the outbreak of another war. In 1936 the Peace Pledge Union  took on the role of producing the white poppy. This continues to this day.

References/Further Reading:

(1) Peace Pledge Union, What are White Poppies?