Those who regularly attend meetings there said: “Why do we wear white poppies on Remembrance Day? We wear them to remember all the victims of war, to challenge militarism, and to build a culture of peace, remembering that, today, 90% of these victims are civilians.
“The custom of wearing white poppies was started in 1934 by the Peace Pledge Union, whose aim is to work against the causes of war, finding other solutions to international problems.
“Many people suffered from refusing to bear arms, being imprisoned, and even killed, for their beliefs. Locally, “The Richmond 16” were imprisoned in Richmond Castle for refusing to bear arms. Many Quakers and other Conscientious Objectors served as ambulance-drivers and stretcher-bearers in both world wars, and the movement continues to work actively for peace around the world.
“Today, the right to refuse to bear arms in enshrined in the Declaration of Human Rights, and on the 24th October, fifty nations signed up to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adding them to landmines, cluster bombs, and gas, as illegal under international law.”
White poppy sales can be purchased from the Peace Pledge Union https://shop.ppu.org.uk