Poppy Planting at the Gravesite of John Bartram

Shakespeare, the service dog of Committee Member Judy Reese, stands guard at the entrance to the Darby Friends Burial Grounds in wait of the poppy planting on June 4th.

The first break into the soil in preparation
for the poppy planting at the grave site
of American botanist John Bartram.
Established on land given by John Blunston in 1687, the Darby Friends Burial Ground is located on a small hill at 12thj and Main Streets in Darby, It is claimed to be the oldest burial ground in Pennsylvania in continuous use. Small, simple markers serve as gravestones.

Between 1730 and 1795 no markers were allowed, thereby the count of burials is difficult. Blunston and noted American botanist John Bartram, a friend of Ben Franklin, are buried here along with one Revolutionary War veteran and 29 Civil War veterans.

As stated by Lansdowne resident Ryan Berley, a member of the World War One Delco Centennial Committee and co-owner of the Franklin Fountain in Philadelphia, “In planting Flanders Poppies, we honor the servicemen and women of World War One.  Service took many forms during the great war.  Of military service, most certainly.  But also in volunteer aid organizations such as the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, the YMCA and the Knights of Columbus, to name a few.   Or in the newly formed Friends Service Committee, where conscientious objector Quakers went ‘over there’ to France, drove ambulances, offered medical aid and helped displaced widows and children find food and shelter in the context of war.  We are grateful to all of those who served others, in so many ways.’

Group of Centennial Committee Members planting, prepping the soil and watering poppies placed at the grave site of John Bartram.