Always Remember, Never Forget

August 5, 2014

By Tab Byrum

This week in England they are remembering the 100th anniversary of World War I and the United Kingdom’s entrance into the war on August 5, 1914.  Commemoration events are being held all over the island nation, but one that really caught my eye as well as the rest of the world is the artistic installation taking place at The Tower of London.

Preparation At Westminster Abbey Ahead Of WW1 Centenary Service

Entitled “Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red”, the artistic endeavor is turning the former moat that surrounds The Tower of London blood red.  The ceramic poppies are being placed within the moat throughout the summer with the last poppy to be installed on November 11, which is Armistice Day in the UK, the symbolic ending to WWI.  By the time the last poppy is placed there will be 888,246 poppies in the moat, one poppy to represent each British or Colonial soldier killed during the war.  When finished the poppies will surround The Tower of London and provide a powerful visual cue as to how many people died during “The Great War”.

The poppys are the creation of acclaimed ceramic artist Paul Cummins and the set-up was created by stage designer Tom Piper.  After November,  when the installation is finished,  each of the poppies will be for sale with proceeds being split among six charities that help soldiers and veterans.


I found this to be a beautiful and tragic design subject,  join me as we take in these powerful images of
“Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red”.





Blood red poppies seem to spill over the bridge as volunteers place the ceramic flowers in the dry moat




A close-up view of the poppy design


One of the iconic ravens from The Tower of London flies past the ever growing poppy field


A Yeoman Warden of the tower walks among the flowers

poppies_13Image courtesy of

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry visited the tower on Tuesday for the official unveiling of the art installation


A powerful image as the blood red flowers spill into the moat, one for each British and Commonwealth member soldier killed during World War I

Unless otherwise noted all images are courtesy of Getty Images

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