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Poppies for Remembrance

21 Comments

A few weeks ago I went to see the poppies at the Tower of London.  I thought today would be the most appropriate day to write a post about it.

Our walk from the station to the Tower took us along the bank of the river Thames heading towards Tower Bridge.  Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge and opens about 1000 times a year to let river traffic pass.

Tower Bridge 4

We could see the Tower of London on the opposite bank.

When we arrived at the Tower, this is the sight that met us.

poppies6

poppies5

The installation is entitled ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’, and is the inspiration of ceramic artist Paul Cummins.  There are 888,246 individually hand made ceramic poppies ‘planted’ in the moat around the Tower.  Each poppy represents a life lost by a member of the British armed forces during the First World War.

It was an amazing sight; very moving and thought provoking.  We didn’t stay until dusk, but if we had we would have seen the ceremony of the Roll of Honour, when the last post is played and then 180 names are read out – names of people who were killed in the war.

The last poppy is going to be planted today then the original plan was that the whole thing would be dismantled from tomorrow.  However, there has been such a lot of public interest that The Tower of London has decided that some of the installation will remain in place until the end of the month and then will tour the country, allowing more people to see it.   The rest of the poppies will be removed and sent to the hundreds of thousands of members of the public who have bought them in aid of several armed forces charities.

It’s such a shame that the poppies are going to be removed so quickly, but I am really thankful that I was able to get there to see them.

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21 thoughts on “Poppies for Remembrance

  1. What an extraordinary sight!

  2. Moving picture of the sea of red.
    I read ysdy that 22 million pounds will be going to the chosen charities. Wonderful to hear that so much will get through to where it should. Though I have heard some people say that the majority of the money is going to the Tower. What a shame they’re so misinformed.

    • I agree – it is a shame that not everyone understands just how much money will go to the charities. Of course, some of the money from the sale of the poppies will go to the administration of the display, for the materials, and for the cleaning and packaging of the poppies when they are sent to their new owners, but what does go to the charities is going to make a huge difference to them.

  3. What a marvelous display of remembrance and gratitude!

  4. A really fabulous tribute to the fallen. Your photos are gorgeous. I’m so glad you were able to get there, Elaine.

  5. I’ve seen this on the news, but would love to see it in person. Just looking at your photos brings tears to my eyes. I have always found Remembrance Day to be very moving. I went to France a few years ago and found my mother’s cousin’s grave, he was only 21, I cried over his WW1 grave and felt really silly! But I’m so glad I went there, perhaps the first member of the family to do so.

  6. Aren’t they incredible? I could hug Paul Cummins! Such a brilliant idea and I know that it’s sad that they will go, but the money raised has been fabulous. We’ll just have to look back at posts like yours to remember them, Elaine. At least you have original photos. I would love to have seen them. 🙂

  7. French TV went to town on this – I think they were most impressed.. I tried to go there with Little My in August, but we got held up by a milkshake at Fortum and Masons. That’s my excuse. If I’d gone there I probably would have cried my eyes out.

  8. I would love to have seen this. It’s been featured on the news here several times. It must be truly a glorious sight. What a fitting tribute.

    When we were at the top of Tower Bridge it opened, which meant we had a birds eye view of the passing of the vessel which went through. That was a fabulous experience.

  9. I’m sorry I didn’t get to see it – the photos look very striking.

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