Photos from The Poppy Factory archive

hannah General

The Poppy Factory first opened its doors in 1922 to make Remembrance poppies and wreaths for The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal and the royal family commemorating those who died in the First World War. 

Over our almost 100-year history, the charity has employed hundreds of veterans with health conditions and their dependents, and today, we have supported over 1,000 veterans into work in their communities too. Here’s a look into our archive. 


Photo caption: A First World War veteran planting a Remembrance cross at the Empire Field of Remembrance (now Field of Remembrance) in 1931.


Photo caption: Ariel shot of The Poppy Factory and housing estate in the 1920s. The Poppy Factory’s founder, Major George Howson, also had a pub and cinema built on site to provide recreation activities for workers.


Photo caption: The Poppy Factory housing estate in the 1920s. The flats were built in Richmond behind the factory to provide accommodation to workers and their families. 


Photo caption: A little girl holding a large silk poppy. We don’t know who the girl is or the date the photo was taken, but it is possible she is the daughter of an employee who lived on The Poppy Factory housing estate.


Photo caption: Veterans making wreaths – date unknown


Photo caption: Veteran making poppy buttons – date unknown


Photo caption: Queen Elizabeth has made a number of visits to The Poppy Factory, including in 1992 when this photo was taken. Other members of the royal family to meet workers and see where poppies are made include King Edward VIII, Princess Alexandra, the Queen mother and our Patron, the Duchess of Cornwall. 


To see more beautiful archive photos, come and visit us in Richmond upon Thames. We run two daily tours which are free and last roughly two hours. Book your tour today.

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