Today, 5 August 2014, artist Paul Cummins’ iconic installation of over 800,000 poppies was officially unveiled at the Tower of London by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry; one hundred years since the first full day of Britain’s involvement in the First World War.
As a symbol of remembrance in the UK, the poppies will encircle the iconic landmark, creating not only a spectacular display visible from all around the Tower, but also an inspiring setting for learning activities, as well as providing a location for personal reflection. The scale of the installation intends to reflect the magnitude of such an important centenary, creating a powerful visual commemoration. Entitled ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ the installation is being created in the Tower’s famous dry moat and will continue to grow throughout the summer until the moat is filled with 888,246 ceramic poppies, each poppy representing a British military fatality during the war. The poppies will be installed by a team of over 8,000 volunteers from across the UK and the last poppy will be planted on Armistice Day, 11 November 2014.
***Please note, all poppies have now been sold***
Poppies were on sale for £25 + p&p. All net proceeds plus a guaranteed 10% from every poppy sold will be shared equally amongst six service charities. The charities chosen are Confederation of Service Charities (COBSEO), Combat Stress, Coming Home, Help for Heroes, Royal British Legion and SSAFA (formerly the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association).
General the Lord Dannatt, Constable of the Tower of London, said:
“For this important anniversary year, we wanted the Tower of London’s commemorations to serve as a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives during the First World War, whilst encouraging others to reflect on our past.
Lord Dannatt said he hoped the poppies would go "right across the land, right across the world" after their sale.
He said: "The money raised will be important because it can go to help the wounded, injured and sick of our current generation, so I think the previous generation will be very pleased that their sacrifice has produce this.
"It's a wonderful coming together over the 100 years."
For more information about the installation and how you can get involved, visit: http://poppies.hrp.org.uk/ or watch a clip here.
Each night the public will be able to witness from Tower Hill terrace the names of 180 serving military killed during the First World War being read out in a roll of honour.