Monday, 22 September 2014

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

You may have seen the amazing poppy installation at The Tower of London in the press or on TV.  Well I have been to see it first hand several times and last Saturday I was lucky enough to get a volunteer place helping to plant the poppies.  It was a great experience and great to have been part of this evolving sculpture.  I will be helping again in October but I wanted to share some photos.  There is huge interest in the installation with loads of people coming to see the sight.  Each poppy represents 1 British or Colonial fatality in World War 1 - 888246 poppies will be planted with the final one being planted on 11 November 2014.

The Exhibition info plaque.  It is possible to buy the poppies and some of the proceeds will go to help 6 charities connected to the armed forces.  I have ordered mine - you can visit the website as shown on the plaque to buy your poppy -

This is my favourite bit by the entrance to the Tower

This was in August
Now in September the moat is filling up fast!

Path to the mound from where the 
Roll of Honour is read each evening
at sunset and the Last Post is played.

A view from the moat at the end of my shift.

We were allowed to walk around the whole 
installation so this is the bit by Cradle Tower.

A poppy 100% assembled 
and planted by me!

My patch.  I think I planted about 
25 poppies and spent the rest 
of the time assembling rods.

One of the ceramic poppies ready to plant.
The work area ready for the volunteers! Each 
shift has to plant 6000 poppies to be on target 
for 11 November.

A view in August.  
It is amazing how quickly work is progressing. 

The view is really quite stunning.

The idea for this sculpture/installation is 
beyond clever imho!

The poppies are planted at varying heights for effect.  This is best seen from ground level.
Here you can appreciate the numbers!
That said they are only half way 
at 450,000. 
As I left I took this photo from Tower Bridge and the 3 tongues you can see are where I was working.  I can't wait to do another shift and I am so grateful to have been part of this wonderful project.


  1. What an amazing experience - it must feel incredible to be part of our history in this way. The scale of the fatalities really hits home when you see it in this form - it's amazing. I'm very glad that we haven't forgotten the huge sacrifice made by others for us.

    Well done!

    1. Thanks PP - it certainly was a one off chance to be involved in something quite unique! SAx

  2. How exciting to have been part of the poppy experience. It is great to see an update, as I only saw the first pictures when it began. It is the most amazing piece of art, just about ever, I think.

    1. Oh I am so glad you got to see some of it IRL on your trip! I agree it is a truly amazing idea - pure genius! SAx

  3. Dear SA, So incredible, and what an honor to be able to contribute to this memorial. Many thanks for sharing, I love your blog! NN

    1. Hi NN - so glad you enjoyed this post. It was and is an honour to be involved in this project - I take a group of colleagues in 2 weeks time to do it all again! I can't wait to own my own poppy too after the sculpture is dismantled. SAx

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you Elizabeth - my pleasure to share - glad you liked it. SAx

  5. Je découvre votre blog depuis peu:j'aime beaucoup vos photos et vos articles sur les foulards etant moi même une addict Hermès! Ce mémorial est fantastique! Cordialement;VB

  6. Merci Veronique. Je suis très heureux que vous avez trouvé mon blog et que vous avez apprécié la lecture des messages. Foulards Hermès sont certainement addictif! meilleurs vœux, SAx