Out and About: Poppies at the Tower

For a while now Fi and I have both been harking on about doing more of the tourist things in and around London. We’ve both become guilty of ignoring the places closes to us. Silly I know, as we are both incredibly lucky to live where we do, so we really should make the most of it.

So when my Mum and Aunt (who has been visiting from Australia) mentioned that they’d like to see the Poppies at the Tower of London, the pair of us jumped at the chance to join them.

For anyone who hasn’t heard about the poppies at the Tower,there has been an ongoing installation; Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London since August 5th to mark the one hundred years that have passed since the first full day of Britain’s involvement in World War 1. Since August ceramic poppies have been added daily to the moat. By the time Remembrance Day arrives, on 11th November, all 888,246 ceramic poppies will be in place. That’s one poppy for every British military fatality during the First World War. Yes that’s 888,246 deaths.

Standing at the Tower and looking down into the moat is utterly mesmerising. There is just a sea of red, which looks beautiful. But at the same time there’s such a sense of loss, the fact that each flower represents a life lost is certainly a powerful reminder of the tragedy of the situation. Sometimes number are too intangible, so to have a visual reminder of the numbers of people who sacrificed their lives for our future is a good thing. As we can truly see the sacrifice and fully appreciate what was done for us. Even if it is also upsetting and sobering site and realisation.

These pictures are from October, so I can only imagine what the installation will look like on the 11th November.

Laura xx

18 Comments

Gracey

Wow…that is amazing…I had not heard of this….but I can imagine it’s how I felt standing at the Vietnam Memorial in DC..with all those names on that wall….this is beautiful in all it’s sorrow….

thisandthatblog

It is pretty special. And yes, I think it’s probably the same thing. Seeing a visual reminder of the numbers of people is heartbreaking and beautiful all at the same time.
Laura xx

thisandthatblog

It’s simply stunning. I wish it was every year, but no it’s a one off to coincide with the 100 years since the start of British involvement in WW1. After remembrance day they will be un-planting the poppies and sending them out to people who have bought them – I think the money is going to armed forces charities.
Laura xx

Laura @ Laughter is Catching

I went to see them last weekend and they are looking so gorgeous. Its great for them to do something so big to commemorate, and we ordered one of the china poppies for my gran for christmas. such a good idea to sell them all off.

thisandthatblog

How lovely that you’ve ordered one. I tried to order some, but they were all sold out. Which is good to see, but still a shame that I missed out. Laura xx

Rosie @Eco-Gites of Lenault

My sister in law went to see the poppies last weekend and said they were so poignant. No-one should lose their life through warfare and for so many to have died in WW1 and all others wars is too sad for words.

thisandthatblog

Yes, It is too sad for words. You’re sister in law is right, the poppies are so poignant. Laura xx

Rosie @Eco-Gites of Lenault

I also heard a dreadfully sad statistic on the radio yesterday: figures now released show that 12% of the widows of WW1 soldiers killed in action were themselves dead with a year. They may not have fallen victim to a bullet, bomb or gas but it was the battlefield that still killed them and I doubt their numbers will ever be counted or remembered.

thisandthatblog

That’s so sad. You’re right, it’s easy to forget the people that were left behind.

thisandthatblog

Sobering is the perfect way to describe it. Whoever came up with the idea did good.
Laura xx

Gwen - TheFoodieHistorian

I’ve loved seeing the photos of the poppies as they change over time. Such a beautiful memorial.

I know what you mean about being guilty of ignoring the places that are close by – I did that too when I lived in London and it makes me sad how little I appreciated it. I’m determined to cross as many places as possible off my Edinburgh list in the next year or two!

thisandthatblog

It really is an amazing memorial, they’ve done an amazing job.
Good luck with crossing everything off your Edinburgh list, at least it’s a fun task! I need to do more London things too. Thanks for stopping by. xxx

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