A REFLECTION ON DESIGN

Following the release of our Remembrance Day jersey we thought we would take some time to talk through the concept of the design. It seems an apt way to discuss the jersey and reflect about what it means to us and, hopefully, to you too.

As everyone will no doubt know 2018 is the centenary of the signing of the Armistice of 1918. This is where the Allies and the German Empire agreed for hostilities to cease at the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th Month. The first Armistice Day was observed in 1919 and is a tradition which was begun by King George V. The design needed to capture this landmark Armistice, as well as a 100 year old tradition of remembrance. Not least of all because there has only been one year in the last one hundred when a member of the British armed forces HAS NOT been killed during a conflict. Just let the enormity of that sink in.

The best place to start is probably the main design which has a stylised picture of Spitfires flying over poppy fields. This is not an unusual image, in fact there are many similar, and it is used to show the remembrance of those who died in both world wars through iconic imagery. We decided very early on that this jersey should encapsulate 100 years of remembrance and not solely focus on the 1st World War. We also wanted it to mean many different things to many different people. Remembrance can be a very personal thing, for some these are not just white crosses and graves, these are fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, husbands, wives, girlfriends and boyfriends.

As we have already alluded to, Remembrance Day is a day to remember ALL British service personnel who have been killed in combat. We wanted to capture this in an image that would transmit that message and instil reflection for the sacrifice they gave for us. We decided that the poppies of Flanders and the Spitfire would encapsulate the loss suffered by our nation yet not overwhelm the jersey. That doesn't mean we should forget other conflicts such as Oman, Falklands, Balkans, Northern Ireland, Gulf 1, Gulf 2, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Borneo and Korea. Quite the opposite, when we all stand together, shoulder to shoulder on Sunday 11th November we will remember, and this jersey is our way to help do that.

Within the numbers there is a bugler representing the sounding of the last post and also reveille. Again these are iconic acts used to begin and end the period of silence. They represent sunset and sunrise, or death and resurrection.

On each arm there is part of a war poem originating from the battles fought in Flanders around Ypres. It is called "In Flanders Fields" by Capt. John McCrae. An American academic added her own verses to it and was inspired to buy, sell and wear the poppy as symbol of remembrance. In a barren landscape, where war had raged, the poppy immediately grew between the graves of the dead. It is a perfect reminder.

The Exhortation and the Kohima are, again, synonymous with Remembrance Day and are from WW1 and WW2 respectively. The former is part of a war poem and the latter an inscription on the Kohima memorial in North East India.

Lest We Forget is a phrase used to emphasise the danger of failing to remember, it is about remembering the sacrifice that the fallen gave in defence of freedoms. The selfless act of service and commitment to defend at all costs. It also a plea to continue to remember and to not forget their sacrifice, no matter how many years pass. We have placed the phrase where our players name should be, but that could be any name, and it is our way of saying; please, don't forget.

Amongst the staff of this organisation there are people who have served , knowing the price they may pay. We all also know friends, relatives and colleagues who paid that high price in the defence of others. We will be there, at the game, standing proud, shoulder to shoulder with everyone else. Come and join us to remember those who cannot.