The Poppies at the Tower of London

Poppies at the Tower

The Poppies at the Tower of London

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

888,246 ceramic poppies, one for every British military fatality in World War I.

When you first see the sea of red blooms you are overwhelmed by the vivid beauty, the extraordinary sight.

You are aware of the sheer quantity and quality of the workmanship: the poppies flood around the moat of the Tower, pouring from a window in the fortified wall. There are so, so many of them.

Then the tragic truth dawns, every single ceramic poppy represents a fallen British Soldier in World War I.

Poppies at the Tower

It takes a while for this to truly sink in, it is a sobering, poignant moment.

This spectacular art installation has been encircling the historic Tower to mark the centenary of the First World War: the poppy, a symbol of remembrance, making a dramatic and powerful statement. 
Poppies at the Tower

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

By an Unknown Soldier

The blood swept lands and seas of red,
Where angels dare to tread.
As I put my hand to reach,
As God cried a tear of pain as the angels fell,
Again and again.
As the tears of mine fell to the ground,
To sleep with the flowers of red,
As any be dead.
My children see and work through fields
of my own with corn and wheat,
Blessed by love so far from pain of my resting
Fields so far from my love.
It be time to put my hand up and end this pain
Of living hell, to see the people around me
Fall someone angel as the mist falls around,
And the rain so thick with black
thunder I hear
Over the clouds, to sleep forever and kiss
The flower of my people gone before time
To sleep and cry no more.
I put my hand up and see the land of red,
This is my time to go over,
I may not come back So sleep, kiss the boys for me.

At Traitor’s Gate – where Queen Anne Boleyn was brought into the Tower from the river – the poppies are submerged, our more recent history mingling potently with that of the past.

Each ceramic poppy has been sold, the money raised going to six service charities within the UK. They are now being removed, one by one by volunteers.

Poppies at the TowerI’m so glad we managed to see the poppies at the tower before the installation is removed. Under leaden skies we joined the crowds walking around the tower, it was a moving experience: it really is a touching and magnificent sight.

www.poppies.hrp.org.uk

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By Rachel A Davis

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