Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Poppies in London part 2

7 August 2014
When we visited London in August we visited the Tower of London to view the display of ceramic poppies that was being assembled in the dry moat around the tower.
7 August 2014
The first poppy was planted on 17 July by Crawford Butler, the longest serving Tower of London Yeoman Warder. The installation was opened on 5 August 2014 to commemorate the beginning of World War I. The final poppy is to be placed in the moat on Remembrance Day making a total of 888,246 poppies - one poppy for each person from Britain and the Commonwealth who died during the First World War.

During the past three months the exhibition of poppies has become a focal point in London. The display was created by Paul Cummins and staged by Tom Piper. A large team of volunteers have been involved in making the poppies and assembling the display around the tower. The exhibition is entitled Blood swept lands and seas of red. A video showing how the poppies were made can be found on the Tower of London Remembers webpage. Each evening, from 11 August, at sunset the names of 180 Commonwealth soldiers were read as part of a special ceremony ending with the Last Post. The Roll of Honour archive, providing videos of each night's ceremony, can be located on the Tower of London Remembers website. At night the moat was floodlit so the poppies could still be viewed.

The dismantling of the display will begin on 12 November 2014 but parts of the display, including the weeping window and the wave, will remain until the end of November. After the exhibition ends thousands of the poppies will be part of a touring exhibition in Britain until 2018. The poppies will then be on display at the Imperial War Museum. The rest of the poppies have been sold at £25 each and will be distributed to the purchasers. The funds raised will be divided between Service welfare organisations.

Tower of London Remembers

First poppy planted in Tower of London - Royal British Legion

888,246 poppies - Designboom

Thousands of poppies to go on tour - BBC News London

The red sea - The Daily Mail 12 September 2014

Final poppy laid - BBC News London 11 November 2014

Drone view of poppies - BBC News London 

A postscript:
In 1914-1915 the Tower of London was used as a recruiting depot for the 10th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment). They called themselves The Ditchers as they had joined up in the Tower moat or ditch. Arms and munitions were also stored in the Tower. The Tower of London was also used as a prison and place of execution for 11 spies arrested in Britain.

During the Second World War the dry moat was used as a vegetable garden.

No comments:

Post a Comment