British master papermaker James Cropper plc paid tribute to the victims of the Battle of the Somme by providing the paper for thousands of special bleuet flowers, which accompanied the signature red poppies at the recent centenary commemoration.
The event took place at the Thiepval Memorial in France on 1 July, 100 years on from the first day of the infamous World War One assault. It saw attendees – which included TRH The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and HRH Prince Henry of Wales – don the blue flowers alongside their red poppies, while thousands of the bleuets were scattered across the site.
Organised by the UK and French Governments, in partnership with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and The Royal British Legion, the service saluted the one million casualties sustained on both sides during the 141-day battle. The Thiepval Memorial stands in commemoration to the missing of the Somme: the 72,000 men that have no known grave.
The bleuet de France is the symbol of memory and solidarity in France for veterans, victims of war, widows and orphans and is the country’s equivalent to the British and Canadian remembrance poppy.
Phil Wild CEO at James Cropper, said: “We’ve worked with the Royal British Legion for many years now, providing the paper for the signature red poppies, and it’s a cause that’s very close to our hearts. To have played a part in such an important tribute to those we lost a century ago by developing the paper bleuets was an honour.
“It was particularly powerful to see the poppies and bleuets shower the site together as a poignant mark of respect to the brave soldiers from both Britain and France who fought for their countries.”