The Start

From its establishment after the 1914 – 1918 war, The Earl Haig Fund acquired its poppies from England. In 1926, Countess Haig, wife of the Field Marshal, suggested that a factory, employing those men disabled by war, should be started to make poppies for Scotland.

The suggestion was taken up by Earl Haig’s “Appeal Organisation” and premises, in the form of an old wood-chopping factory in the grounds of Whitefoord House, were acquired.

From a humble start, in March 1926, of “two workers, a pair of scissors and a piece of paper”, numbers soon rose to twenty eight by which time, the bulk of the poppies required for Scotland had been made. And there was a waiting list of 117 men who wished to be employed by the factory.

A committee of management under the chairmanship of Colonel William Robertson VC came into being and the project began to expand.

During the run up to the end of the decade, the demand for poppies and wreaths was met while, in 1928, the introduction of “stuffed toys and jigsaw puzzles” heralded an expansion of activity into a wide range of hand-crafted goods.

Wreaths were made with locally grown laurel leaves, wax poppy seeds and moss which was gathered by Girl Guides.