From then, each month now has a designated charity aim, with January's 'dryathalon' all the way to 'Stoptober'. Alongside these, people will be engaging in so-called fun runs and comedy nights across the country. What's wrong with that? It's all for a good cause, they say as they proffer their jangling buckets.
Remembrance Sunday was a time to reflect for veterans on lost comrades in arms, for family and friends to recall loved ones to mind and for all to honour the service past and present of armed forces throughout the Commonwealth. Gradually humanists are being allowed to take part in services, though this is still far from the norm.
It is that time of year again where every poppy pinned to a lapel is joined by a newspaper column, blog or tweet on why no one should be wearing a poppy. To wear or not to wear a poppy is a debate raging everywhere, and unfortunately this controversy is dominating the discourse on commemoration and precluding the wider national debate we should be having on the subject.
The worthy practice of donating first-hand, with its inherent 'nothing in return' aspect, has been replaced with the more morally ambiguous purchasing of an mp3. When you put pennies in the Chelsea Pensioner's box and collect your poppy, you are forced, however momentarily, to individually reflect on the meaning of the paper token you've acquired.
This week the University of London Union released a statement telling its 120,000 student members that there would be no official presence at the ceremonies of remembrance from ULU. Individual members of the union's staff and sabbatical officers will be free to attend in a personal capacity, but not as representatives of the union itself.
I'm sure many soldiers had opposition to the arguments politicians were making when they were being shot to pieces in horrible battlefields. But that's not what Remembrance Day is about; it's a neutral showing of respect for those who have died in conflicts, whether or not the conflicts themselves were agreed with.
The sight of politicians, the royal family and various other members of the nation's ruling class laying wreaths at the cenotaph to commemorate the deaths and slaughter of the untold thousands of working class men, used as cannon fodder to maintain the class privileges which they and theirs enjoy, is truly an act of sickening hypocrisy to behold.
Opium poppy extracts and their chemical derivatives were and still are invaluable in relieving the suffering of the wounded. It is therefore safe to say that both the opium poppy and the red poppy, or least the artificial variety, have been employed to bring immense relief to members of the armed forces, albeit in totally different ways.