ID: ML2012_011_P10 / Wenda Lord

TitleProud of our tradition
AbstractMy family are very proud of our Poppy tradition, and thought you might be interested in our history.

The "powers that be" in East Mersea in 1933 were looking for someone to take the poppies from door to door. The only person to show an interest was a 13 year old girl called Peggie Marriage. There was some concern that she was so young, but the then rector - Rev Dunne said If she is big enough, she is old enough".

When war broke out and Peggie joined the A T S, her mother, Maud took on the task.

During the war, Maud took the poppies into the local pub and met a naval officer whose Motor Torpedo Boat was moored in the Pyefleet waiting for D Day. Peggie was home on leave and went to the pub and met the officer - they were married the following August, and eventually returned to live in East Mersea.
Maud and Peggie continued to carry the poppy boxes from door to door in East Mersea.

Linden and Peggie had 3 children and the two girls - Gene and Wenda continued with the poppies. Gene joined the WRAC and then married a soldier. She carried poppy boxes wherever she was, and Wenda stayed in East Mersea.

Wenda's daughter, Margaret also carries a box, and her two sons Jamie (8) and Tyler (6).accompany them.. This year will be the 80th time a member of this family has taken poppies round the village of East Mersea.

For the last 12 years, Gene's husband, Tony, has been the District Poppy Organizer for Mersea and District, and Gene, Wenda, her husband, Ralph,and Margaret are part of the committee.

The photograph above is of Linden and Peggie on their wedding day in August 1944. Maud is next to Peggie with her husband, Frank, behind her. Also in the photo are Linden's mother, his brother and Peggie's friend Joan Ewens, also in the A T S.

This article was published in Mersea Life, November 2012.

AuthorWenda Lord
PublishedNovember 2012
SourceMersea Museum