This year marks the 100 year anniversary of the outbreak of World War I and as such, there have been lots of commemorative events happening around the country, one of the most breathtaking of which is the installation that is taking place at the Tower of London, called Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. Nearly 900,000 handmade ceramic poppies have been commissioned by a British artist, each of them being “planted” around the Tower in its surrounding moat over the past few weeks, and each of the 888,246 poppies signifying a life lost. A nightly ceremony has been taking place at sunset each evening, a solemn affair reading out the names of those who have died, a single officer in red coat standing in the middle of the poppies, which have slowly filled up the moat. The last poppy will be placed on November 11th, Remembrance Day, and then they will all be slowly removed over the course of two weeks.
Jon and I were there Saturday night as the reading began, and while the crowds were large, we could still see the massive installation and take part in the solemnity of the occasion. Almost all of the poppies have been put in place now, and the scale of this artwork is staggering. The way they spill out and over the Tower itself is amazing.
I do wish we’d gone before sunset, just to walk around and really see everything by the light of day, but ah well. The days are already so short!
We left the Tower and walked across Tower Bridge, as beautiful as always, before walking back down along the river, taking in the views from the opposite side, the crowds slightly less concentrated. We walked slowly, holding hands.
For more pictures, including the other side of the Tower, and how it all looks from above, definitely go here.
To see how the poppies were made, watch this.