An introduction by the late Earl Haig
This introduction was written by the second Earl Haig in 2000 when the history of the factory was brought up to date. Sadly he passed away in July 2009 aged 91. His son is the third Earl.
This brief history of the Poppy Factory includes all relevant details but I would add some more personal anecdotes.
During my early years, I well remember our visits to the Factory for Christmas parties as well as the men coming to Bemersyde for my sister Victoria’s wedding in 1929 and to my twenty-first birthday celebrations in 1939.
Their courage and comradeship was deeply inspiring.
After the war, when I took my mother’s place as President, my first act on return from POW camps in 1945 was to exhibit some of my portraits of fellow prisoners. HM The Queen and the two Princesses visited the exhibition and all profits were given to the Factory.
While I was President, in the early 1960s, the necessary involvement of the Earl Haig Fund in the finances of the Factory arose and it became appropriate for one person to preside over the affairs of both. It was then that the move from the Canongate to Warriston took place under the guidance of Captain (RN) Hodge GC.
My memories of the many people who have given their time and energy to the Factory go back over seventy years. I would make special mention of the support given by the women’s section of the British Legion. My wife is proud to have the honour of being Patron today and, on her behalf and of myself, I offer congratulations and good wishes for the future of the Factory which my mother helped to found.
The Earl Haig