I am struggling to fight back the tears even as I start to write this post. Just recalling the emotions as we were standing there brings a lump to my throat, so humbling was the experience.
Entranced by the sea of poppies filling the entire moat around the Tower of London were thousands of visitors from all around the world, all of us hit hard by the vision of red and what it represents. 888,246 ceramic poppies – one for each British and Commonwealth military life lost in The First World War 100 years ago.
The artist Paul Cummins and stage designer Tom Piper, are to be presented with an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s honour’s list in recognition of their achievement – and rightly so.
Paul said his inspiration came from a line in the will written in the field by an unknown soldier who died at Flanders. Everyone around him was dead and he was surrounded by a sea of blood as he wrote “The Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, where Angels fear to tread”.
21,688 volunteers worked around the clock ‘planting’ the ceramic poppies from August 5th until Armistice Day on 11th November when the last poppy was installed.
‘Blood’ appears to pour out of the castle walls on each of its four facades.
All 888,246 poppies have been sold, a percentage of the proceeds being donated to six armed forces affiliated charities.
We were lucky enough to buy ours before they sold out in October.
The Boys have been learning about the First and Second World Wars and were so excited to visit the Poppies and the Tower of London.
They even met a serving Beefeater!
We saw the war exhibitions inside the Tower and the boys got involved in a recruitment re-enactment.
Crown jewels were top of my list – and they didn’t disappoint. No photos allowed obviously:)
At sunset, the Last Post sounded along with a Roll of Honour for some of those who lost their lives.
Such a fantastic day – emotional, exhausting too, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!