In Ryde on 6 September 1918, when all were praying that the Great War would soon be over and before Poppy Day had been thought of, a Pansy Day was held.
On Friday last, everyone was being invited to purchase a pansy in aid of the Fund to provide Huts, Clubs and Canteens for the use of the Women Wartime Workers. This is described as a “Women’s Day” and is under the auspices of the Y.W.C.A. Many enthusiastic workers are engaged, including the following ladies: Mesdames Maybury, Butt, Bevan, Christie and Pollard, and the Misses Lewis, D. Preston, J. Preston, Vincent, Gladys Shaw-Yates, Gay Shaw-Yates, Bevis, Sweetman, Sale, Brewis, Vanner, Wooll, N. Loader, Platt, Mackay, Pamela Meares, Orton, E. Coombes and Carter. The organisation and secretarial duties are in the capable hands of Miss Bloxome and Mr. John B. Coombes.
It is interesting to note that on the ‘Ships and Navies Great War Forum’ a few years ago someone posted an enquiry for more information on Pansy Day.
I have come across a brief mention of a kind of Flag Day known as Pansy Day being held to raise money for the benefit of the Royal Navy’s men. It sounds like a forerunner of Poppy Day, but whether the Pansies were made by disabled navy men I don’t know. In fact all that I do know is that on Saturday 8th June 1918 a Pansy Day was held at Holmfirth for the benefit of the Royal Navy’s men and it was reported to be a great success.
Another little report around a month later states that the women who organised the Pansy Day at Holmfirth received a letter from the Secretary of the “Mission to Seamen” thanking all concerned for the cheque.
Source: Isle of Wight Times 12 September, Page 2.
Poster image http://vads.ac.uk
Another link with 1918 and pansies can be found with the manufacture of enamel brooches.
Vintage 1918 Hallmark Silver and Enamel Pansy Brooch John Atkins & Son.
Perhaps some supporters purchased and wore these enamel brooches for Pansy Day.