What is a Poppy Service and who can have one?

With ANZAC Day and the commemoration of 100 years of ANZAC this year, I thought it was a good idea to talk a bit about how we commemorate the life of our Veterans, specifically about a Poppy Service. Before you settle in to read about Poppy Services, why not take a minute to watch our video with Lukas Woolley, an Australian Soldier who talks about his experience and why ANZAC Day is so important to us all.


The red poppy has become a symbol of war remembrance the world over. People in many countries wear the poppy to remember those who died in war or who still serve. The red or Flanders poppy has been linked with battlefield deaths since the time of the Great War (1914–18). The plant was one of the first to grow and bloom in the mud and soil of Flanders. The connection was made, most famously, by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae in his poem ‘In Flanders fields’.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

The significance of the Poppy is one that is strong across all walks of life in Australia and it is considered an honour for our brave men and women who have sacrificed for our freedoms.

A Poppy Service is a simple addition to a Funeral Service and usually encompasses the persons military service record, the reciting of The Ode, the sounding of The Last Post and Rouse, along with the provision of poppies for family, friends and mourners to place on the coffin. The Poppy Service is conducted by a Member of an RSL Sub Branch and is part of a Funeral Service.

A Poppy Service allows us to support the person in a final act of bravery, it means that we are with them at one of the most significant parts of their life and that they are not alone during this time.  It allows us to commemorate the significant sacrifice they made during their life by serving that Australian Defence Force.  We honour them gallantly, and we acknowledge their service, their sacrifice, and their life in a way that respects their military life.

A Poppy Service is available to any person who has served in the Australian Defence Force. They do not have to be a member of the RSL currently or previously. Poppy Services are provided as part of a Funeral Service free of charge. They are one of the ways that the RSL honour servicemen and women for their contribution and support their family through this difficult time.

Every funeral is an honour for us, and serving our Veterans is something that we take very seriously and we respect the traditions that are in place to honour and commemorate their lives.

If you would like some more information on Poppy Services or any other funeral information, why not get in touch with us on 1300 043 522, comment on our blog or send us an email at [email protected]

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