About Us

Rona and Graham Parker with daughter Joanna Legg

Rembrella is a small, family-run company set up in 1998 with the launch of The Poppy Umbrella. The family behind Rembrella is solely responsible for the manufacture and distribution of The Poppy Umbrella.

The company is managed by Graham and Rona Parker from Salisbury, Wiltshire, and their daughter Joanna Legg in Bracknell, Berkshire.

The Poppy Umbrella is mainly supplied to a number of ex-Service charities, military heritage organizations and centres of Remembrance for sale in their gift shops. These include The Royal British Legion online Poppy Shop, the Royal Hospital Chelsea Museum Shop and the National Memorial Arboretum gift shop. Proceeds made by these and other similar organizations from sales of Poppy Umbrellas are put towards their work in the welfare, care and memory of serving and former Servicemen and women.

As an ex-military family, having served for a total of 45 years with the British Army, we are proud that our unique Poppy Umbrella is helping such organisations with their good work.

Lieutenant Colonel (Retd.) Graham Parker, OBE

Graham's uncle Corporal Thomas Parker

On completion of 32 years' service with the British Army Graham served a further 13 years on the British Army Liaison Staff in Belgium.

Following research into family members who served in the Great War of 1914-1918 Graham founded “Flanders Tours” in 1988. For 12 years the family operated weekend study tours to the Western Front. Whilst living in Belgium in the 1980s and 1990s Graham was invited to serve on the Committee for Special Events in Ypres and was involved with numerous commemorative First World War events in Ypres and in France. The photograph is of Graham's uncle, Corporal Tom Parker, 2 Bn Royal Welsh Fusliers, killed in action on 6 November 1916.

Graham's comprehensive knowledge of the subject and his deep respect for those involved in the First World War has influenced many travellers to follow in the footsteps of their ancestors. Graham is a Vice President of The Western Front Association and an honorary member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides.

Graham is a Rotarian with the Salisbury Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow.

Idea for the Poppy Umbrella

Lt Col Graham Parker OBE (Retired) in Ypres, Belgium, with The Poppy Umbrella.

The idea for The Poppy Umbrella came to Graham on Armistice Day 11th November 1995 as he was leading The Poppy Parade past the famous Cloth Hall in Ypres-Ieper, Belgium. Rain began to fall and the street was soon lined with multi-coloured umbrellas. 1995 was the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the Ypres battles of 1915, and it was also 80 years since the Canadian doctor and artilleryman Lt Col John McCrae had written the poem “In Flanders Fields”. The sight of coloured umbrellas lining the streets of Ypres and the image of red poppies from McCrae's poem combined in that moment to give Graham inspiration for The Poppy Umbrella.

Rona Parker

Rona assists Joanna with Rembrella's administration.

Rona's father was one of five brothers who served in the First World War, along with six of his cousins. Two of his brothers and three cousins were casualties and are buried in France.

Joanna Legg, BA (Hons)

Joanna graduated with a BA Honours degree in German Studies from the University of Warwick in 1982. She was employed for three years in the Publicity Department at the Imperial War Museum in London. In the 1980s and 90s Joanna worked with a number of organisations as an administrator and organiser. She also administered the family's WW1 battlefield tour company “Flanders Tours” and assisted as a guide.

Joanna shares her father's passion for the study of the First World War and the Western Front. From 1995 she began research into the German Army to portray the battles from “the other side of the wire”. For several years she presented the German story at Western Front Association meetings and on the battlefields of the Somme, Ypres, Loos, Vimy and the Vosges.

As a Director of Rembrella Ltd. Joanna is the only paid employee (part-time), administering the production of the umbrellas, sales, despatch and the day to day running of the company. She is responsible for the rembrella.co.uk website and the family's highly acclaimed WW1 website at greatwar.co.uk.

David Legg

David Legg

David, Joanna's husband, has 40 years' experience as a software engineer. David is responsible for the development of the websites at rembrella.co.uk and greatwar.co.uk.

www.greatwar.co.uk

Tyne Cot British and Commonwealth Cemetery on the battlefields of the Ypres Salient, Belgium.

Visit our highly acclaimed WW1 website to see lots of fascinating information about visiting the First World War battlefields on the Western Front in France and Belgium. We have run the website in our spare time for 20 years; it is a labour of love and very rewarding to help people discover more about the First World War. The website is illustrated with many photographs and gives locations and details about cemeteries, memorials, museums and commemorative sites. Our family has twenty ancestors who served in the Great War of 1914-18. www.greatwar.co.uk offers helpful information for family historians wanting to find out about researching a relative who fought in the Great War of 1914-1918.

Website: www.greatwar.co.uk

Rembrella Ltd. Company Details

The website at www.rembrella.co.uk is managed by Rembrella Limited.

Postal address: Rembrella Limited, 12 Oak Ash Green, Wilton, Salisbury SP2 0RR, England

Telephone: 01344 - 989 802 (international +44 - 1344 - 989 802)

Email: info@rembrella.co.uk

Registered office: Rembrella Limited, St. Mary's House, Netherhampton, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP2 8PU, England

VAT Number: GB 494 4809 05

Company No. 06072644