Poppy day or Remembrance Day as it is officially known, is marked in the UK to remember the armed forces that died in the line of duty. To mark one hundred years since the first full day of Britain’s involvement in the First World War the Tower of London has installed an art installation called Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, which is made up of 888,246 ceramic poppies encircling the Tower, each poppy representing a British military fatality during the war. The poppes have been added to the moat of the castle from August with more being added everyday.
As Remembrance Day was drawing near (11th Novemeber, after which the poppies would be removed and sold) I decided to go take a look. I got to the Tower early in the morning and it was already really busy with lots of people. Luckily I was able to get a view from the angles I wanted and I got some pretty good pictures, I would have loved to be able to go down to ground level and see them but that was out of bounds to the public.
The poppies together really do look like a sea of red, even more so by the poppies being placed at different heights to create waves and the idea of movement
The poppies filling the moat, surrounded the entire Tower. I found that around the back of the Tower it wasn’t as busy and also the walkways were closer to the ground and allowed to people to get a closer look
Later volunteers and members of the navy arrived to help to install some more poppies. From 12th November more volunteers will come along to help take out and clean the poppies so they can be sent to members of the public that have bought them
I think the simple idea of using poppies was very striking when all put together, it really brought home just how so many British people had died in the war. It also made me think about all those that had died around the world in the past due to wars and are still continuing to do so.
There were also other installations around London to mark remembrance day, some traditional and long lasting and others temporary and modern. The poppy wreaths are usually found around November, the engraved words I found really sad, which can be seen all year round and speaks about all those that were lost at sea. The most modern installation I came across was in Trafalger Square called ‘Every Man Remembered’, which is based on the Unknown Soldier and has poppies that blow around inside the glass
All of these are really interesting and make you think about how many lives were lost in the wars, what I think is really sad though is how little we seem to learn from history