A sea of poppies at the Tower of London to mark WWI

Sea of poppies, Tower of London. Credit: Guy Corbishley/Demotix/PA Pics
Sea of poppies, Tower of London. Credit: Guy Corbishley/Demotix/PA Pics

Thousands of ceramic poppies have been planted at the Tower of London to mark the centenary of the First World War – and you can be part of this impressive art installation.

Sea of poppies, Tower of London. Credit: Guy Corbishley/Demotix/PA Pics
Sea of poppies, Tower of London. Credit: Guy Corbishley/Demotix/PA Pics

An ambitious project at the Tower of London to create a sea of over 800,000 ceramic poppies to mark the centenary of the First World War, is going strong.

The installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red will evolve over the coming months encircling the Tower’s dry moat until it is filled with 888,246 ceramic poppies, each representing a British military fatality during the war.

The installation, by artist Paul Cummins and staged by Tom Piper, will officially open on 5 August, 100 years since Britain’s first full day of war, with the last poppy planted on Armistice Day, 11 November 2014.

During this period, each evening at twilight the names of 180 serving military killed during the First World War will be read out in a roll of honour from Tower Hill terrace. This will be followed by the ‘Last Post’ bugle call played by a single bugler and anyone can nominate a name for the roll of honour.

General the Lord Dannatt, Constable of the Tower of London, said: “For this important anniversary year, we wanted the Tower of London’s commemorations to serve as a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives during the First World War, whilst encouraging others to reflect on our past.

“The First World War was a pivotal moment in our history, claiming the lives of over 16 million people across the globe; its consequences have shaped our modern society. We hope that people across Britain, Europe and the rest of the world will join us by being a part of this unique moment, which we feel reflects the magnitude of this centenary year. “

The poppies will be available to buy for £25 (+p&p) from 5 August 2014 and 10% from each poppy, plus all net proceeds will be shared equally across six service charities: Confederation of Service Charities (COBSEO), Combat Stress, Coming Home, Help for Heroes, Royal British Legion and SSAFA (formerly the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association).

Follow reactions to the project or share your own on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #TowerPoppies.

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