Remembrance is part of modern British life, culture and heritage and our poppy is the symbol of Remembrance and hope. Remembrance Sunday is the Sunday nearest to 11th November, which is the anniversary of the end of hostilities in the First World War, in 1918 at 1100hrs.

Remembrance Sunday, which falls on 12 November in 2017, is a day for us to remember and honour those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom. Traditionally the British Embassy organises two Remembrance services in Bulgaria – one in Sofia and one in Plovdiv. The ceremony in Sofia is jointly organised by the British, French, German, and Italian embassies. Every year one of our Embassies is in charge with the main organisation of the Remembrance Day and this year is our turn to lead on this event. The ceremony in Sofia begins promptly at 10:50 am at the British Military Cemetery and then progresses to the German, Italian and French military cemeteries. As every year, poppy boxes will be available at the British Embassy, the British Council and the Anglo-American School of Sofia.

Here is some additional info about the Remembrance Day in the UK and what the British Embassy does to support it.

1. Anniversaries marked by the UK in 2017

  • This year we mark a hundred years on from the Battle of Passchendaele. Fought between July and November 1917, Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, remains one of the most notorious battles of the First World War. In three-and-a-half months of fighting, an advance of less than five miles saw an estimated 550,000 Allied and German troops killed, wounded or lost. Around 90,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers were missing; 50,000 buried without being identified, and 42,000 never recovered from the Belgian fields of Flanders that turned into an ocean of mud. The 100th anniversary of Passchendaele provides an opportunity to view WW1 in a new way and commemorate the Service and sacrifice of those who lost their lives.
  • 1917 marks 100 years since the creation of the British Army's first all-female unit.

2. Poppy Appeal. The Royal British Legion created the Poppy Appeal to help those returning from the First World War. From 2014 to 2018 the Legion is participating in a multitude of First World War centenary projects, remembering the war to end all wars and all who fought and died in it. Money raised through the Poppy Appeal goes directly to our welfare work providing through life care to anyone who is currently serving in the British Armed Forces, who has previously served, and their families.

When we donate to the Poppy Appeal we help:

  • bereaved families to Live On
  • wounded Service men and women to Live On
  • younger veterans seeking employment and housing to Live On
  • older veterans needing age-related care to Live On

The poppy is a powerful symbol. It is worn to commemorate the sacrifices of our Armed Forces and to show support to those still serving today and their loved ones.

The story of the poppy. In the spring of 1915, shortly after losing a friend in Ypres, a Canadian doctor, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was inspired by the sight of poppies growing in battle-scarred fields to write a now famous poem called 'In Flanders Fields'. After the First World War, the poppy was adopted as a symbol of Remembrance.