Remembrance Day Poems

The poem In Flanders Fields, by Canadian Dr John McCrae, was the reason that poppies are now the symbol of Remembrance Day, so it is fitting that we read and study poetry for 11th November with children each year, starting from a young age with perhaps just a verse or two. We have brought together some of the best and most poignant Remembrance Day poems here. You can read each one online, or download a printable version, below.

What Poem is Read on Remembrance Day?

In Flanders Field, For the Fallen and We Shall Keep the Faith are three poems traditionally associated with Remembrance Day.

Perhaps the most commonly read is this excerpt from Laurence Binyon's "For the Fallen".

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."

The first verse of "In Flanders Fields" by Dr John McCrae

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 Shall Keep the Faith by American Moina Michael is less well known now, but Moina resolved to "keep the faith" by wearing a poppy every year and is therefore credited with the original idea behind Poppy Day.

Our Remembrance Day Poetry Resources

In addition to the three poems mentioned above, we've included extra poems written during or after the First World War - both well known and less known - with which to explore war poetry further. Read them online here or enjoy our printable versions which are available in colour or black and white.

Anthem For Doomed Youth

Anthem For Doomed Youth

Wilfred Owen is the best known of the First World War poets, and this poem - together with Dulce et Decorum est - are particularly well known.

They Shall Not Grow Old

For the Fallen

One verse of the poem "For the Fallen" by Laurence Binyon is now often used at Remembrance Day services. Read the whole poem here, online, or scroll down for a printable version of both the whole poem and of just the verse which begins "They shall not grow old"..

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields

The poem "In Flanders Fields" by Dr John McCrae, written in 1915, is the reason that we use poppies to remember those that have died in wars. Read below or scroll down for our printable version.

Men Who March Away

Men Who March Away

Thomas Hardy wrote this poem at the outbreak of the First World War, in 1914. He was 74 years old so would not be experiencing the horrors of the war, which he felt was "just" and necessary.

The Lament of the Demobilised

The Lament of the Demobilised

The author of The Lament of the Demobilised, Vera Brittain, is best known for her memoirs, Testament of Youth. Vera worked as a nurse during World War I and the poem tells of her experiences when she came back.

The Soldier

The Soldier

Rupert Brooke's poem, The Soldier, was written at the beginning of the First World War, in 1914, and he died a year after writing it. Read it here or download a printable version, in colour or black and white, below.

There Will Come Soft Rains

There Will Come Soft Rains

This poem by the American poet Sara Teasdale was first published in 1918. It reminds us that the natural world carries on regardless of war - at the same time reassuring and rather chilling!

We Shall Keep the Faith

We Shall Keep the Faith

This poem was writted by Moina Mitchell in 1918 and inspired by "In Flanders Field" by Dr John McRae. Read it below or scroll down for our printable version.

The History Behind "In Flanders Field"

In 1915, a Canadian doctor, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was at the battlefields of Ypres in Flanders, Belgium. He was grieving for one of his friends, who had just died. But he noticed that, despite the devastation of the war, the wild poppies in the fields survived and thrived, and quickly wrote his poem.

In Flanders Fields was published in Punch magazine and was loved by many. An American, Moina Mitchell, read the poem and wrote her own ("We Shall Keep The Faith") in reply, deciding to wear an artificial poppy every year in remembrance and raising money from the sale of silk poppies for American soldiers returning from the war. And that is how the tradition of Poppy Day was born.


Listen to Remembrance Day Poems

Please note that these videos have not been produced by Activity Village and although we have checked them before adding them to this page, we cannot accept responsibility for their content. Children should always be supervised on video-sharing websites.


Write Your Own Remembrance Day Poetry

Use our Remembrance Day acrostic poem printables or our story paper to display a neat version of your children's own Remembrance Day poems.

Remembrance Day Worksheets
Remembrance Day Worksheets

More Remembrance Day Activities

Explore our Remembrance Day printables section for posters of Remembrance Day quotes, printable Poppy Day wreaths, and more.

Remembrance Day Printables
Remembrance Day Printables

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