I AM sorry that the British Legion inaugurated its annual poppy appeal by spelling out the first line or two of John Macrae's In Flanders Fields in poppies.

Macrae's poem is essentially a sentimental pro-war recruiting piece dating from 1915, in which those who have already been killed call for others to come and be killed too: "Take up our quarrel with the foe".

Wilfred Owen, in Anthem for Doomed Youth, was much more realistic: "What Passing Bells For Those Who Die As Cattle?"

My own father, who came through what was once called the Great War, never sentimentalised it.

I don't think he ever forgave the war for depriving him of his beloved brother, my Uncle Percy, who was not so lucky.

I can't remember my father wearing a poppy or attending Remembrance Day celebrations.

Malcolm Pittock

St James Avenue