Advertisement

Commemorative coins with McCrae’s likeness to mark war poem’s centenary

Poppies surround the newly unveiled statue of Lt.-Col. John McCrae to commemorate the Second Battle of Ypres and his poem 'In Flanders Fields,' during a ceremony in Ottawa on Sunday, May 3, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand.
Poppies surround the newly unveiled statue of Lt.-Col. John McCrae to commemorate the Second Battle of Ypres and his poem 'In Flanders Fields,' during a ceremony in Ottawa on Sunday, May 3, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

OTTAWA – The man who penned one of the most memorable poems in Canadian history is getting not one, but two commemorative coins.

The federal cabinet has approved the creation of commemorative toonies and two 25-cent coins depicting Lt.-Col. John McCrae writing “In Flanders Fields” to mark the poem’s 100th anniversary.

“It is one of the First World War’s most recognized poems and an integral part of Canadian culture,” the Royal Canadian Mint explains in a notice published in the Canada Gazette.

“The poem’s striking imagery has served to solidify both the poem and the poppy as enduring and powerful symbols of remembrance for all Canadians.”

The coins will feature an image of McCrae writing his poem on the battlefield after the second battle of Ypres in early May 1915, surrounded by the symbols featured in the poem – birds, crosses and poppies.

Story continues below advertisement

The word “Remember” will also be inscribed around the edge of each coin.

The Gazette posting says the 25-cent coins will be produced in coloured and non-coloured versions and will prominently feature a “natural-looking poppy.”

Public demand for the coins is expected to be high, it notes.

Spokesman Alex Reeves said the mint won’t say anything about the coins until they are officially launched, and wouldn’t specify when that would be.

The mint has already created limited-edition silver coins to commemorate the poem’s anniversary that sell on its website for more than $500 in some cases.

Sponsored content