Tower of London bleeds red to commemorate war dead


August 8, 2014

Blood swept lands and seas of red, at the Tower of London (Photo: Adam Williams/Gizmag)

Blood swept lands and seas of red, at the Tower of London (Photo: Adam Williams/Gizmag)

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The Tower of London is currently home to a poignant art installation titled Blood swept lands and seas of red that will eventually feature 888,246 handmade ceramic poppies within its dry moat – or one for each British and Colonial fatality during the First World War.

The first poppy was placed by long-serving Tower of London Yeoman Warder YS Crawford Butler on July 7 and the installation was officially opened on August 5 – 100 years to the day since Britain entered the First World War. Members of the public can view the poppy installation for free from Tower Hill or the moat paths.

Each evening until November 11, a roll of honor is read out that lists 180 serving military personnel killed during the First World War, which is then followed by the Last Post bugle call.

The poppies are the work of ceramic artist Paul Cummins and are arranged by stage designer Tom Piper. To ensure enough poppies are created in the short time available, Cummins' team is working in round-the-clock shifts, and volunteers plant poppies into the Tower of London's moat daily.

The ceramic poppies are available for purchase for £25 (around US$42) each, with all profits evenly split between six service charities. Following the placement of the last poppy on Armistice Day, November 11, Blood swept lands and seas of red will be dismantled, and the poppies sent to their new owners.

Source: Historic Royal Palaces

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams
1 Comment

Super memorial any planned for mainland EU for Brit & Colony troops in WW2 or in Australia alone Now is time for tours of WW1 battlesites alone. & to fly over in W1 planes.

Stephen Russell
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