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Poppies at the Tower of London

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 11:42 am
by 34053
With Remembrance Day approaching, now would be a good time to mention this amazing and very moving sight of a 'carpet' of 888,246 ceramic poppies (one for each British and Commonwealth military fatality of WW1) in the moat around the Tower of London. Each poppy has been 'planted' by Volunteers over the past few months, with the final one going in on 11th November (Armistice Day). Each poppy has been for sale to the public, to benefit six Service Charities (All have now been sold).

Literally thousands of people have been going to London every day to see this remarkable sight, which is called 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red'. Mama Wedgy and I went there on Thursday last week to see it for ourselves. Truly amazing.

Please use the following link for more information:

http://poppies.hrp.org.uk/about-the-installation

PW

Re: Poppies at the Tower of London

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:05 pm
by Spitfire
Went to see them last Sunday and we were totally gobsmacked at the sight ...

Very emotional ...

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We went to the website and purchased a poppy in honour of my Grandfather who was on the Somme in the 1st WW and was wounded twice - he told stories that were toe curling about the conditions he fought in and the horrific things he saw and endured - huge respect to them all ...

Re: Poppies at the Tower of London

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:11 pm
by 34053
Lovely photos David. Thank you for posting them. You were so fortunate in being able to buy one of the poppies. You got it just in time before they were all 'spoken for'.

PW

Re: Poppies at the Tower of London

PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:21 am
by Spitfire
Yes not bad for an iphone :p I never bother with a camera anymore ;)

Yes we were lucky - I think it was ony 24 hours after we got it that they sold out ... we have received an email saying this ...

Where are the poppies now?
Right now, the poppies are in the Tower’s moat forming part of the spectacular display. Each poppy will have weathered in the sun, wind and rain creating a unique piece of art that was once a part of this important First World War centenary installation and funds raised from their sale are on the way to our charity partners.

What happens to the poppies next?
The final poppy will be planted on 11 November 2014, after which Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red will close and we will begin the huge task of removing all 888,246 poppies from the moat. The poppies will then be cleaned, individually packaged and sent to you along with an exclusive commemorative booklet.

Look forward to that ... something to pass on in memory of my Grandad ... my wife's class of junior children are learning about the 1st WW at the moment because of the centenary and today I sent in my Grandad's 'Pip Squeak & Wilfred' medal set so she can show them something tangible from that time ...
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Re: Poppies at the Tower of London

PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 4:15 pm
by 34053
Thank you for Posting that David. Your special poppy will really be something to cherish and pass on for later generations to be reminded of the sacrifices made in WW1.

I think that it is right for school children to be taught about this War. Two of our Grandsons are learning about this at school at the moment. I have traced a Great Uncle who was in the Royal Navy from 1913 until he was killed in March 1917 when his ship hit a mine. He was only 21 years old. Unfortunately, his body was never found. Recorded as: 'Killed or died as a direct result of enemy action'. However, his name is included upon The Chatham Naval Memorial. He must have lied about his age (as so many of these young men did) when he joined up. He could only have been 17, but gave his birth year as 1895 (when it was actually 1896). Brave men indeed.

We will remember them.

PW

Re: Poppies at the Tower of London

PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 4:25 pm
by Spitfire
My Granddad's brother Jim was killed near the end of the war and using the War graves Commission we found him in Pozieres in France - when the kids were young we went there and photographed his name on the wall plaque for my Granddad and he was so chuffed we had 'found' his brother. There is 'no known grave' so we suspect he was blown up - but we didn't tell him that ;)

Whist there is a very active war graves commission they will never be forgotten ...

http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1578838/CLAY,%20JAMES

Pozieres cemetery was on the edge of a tiny village and it was stunningly immaculate in all aspects.There was a metal safe in which were a bound register of every single name in that cemetery and a bound book for us to write comments - quite an emotional experience.

Re: Poppies at the Tower of London

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 11:21 am
by 34053
The CWGC website is brilliant for tracing people. Also, the 'Commemorative Certificate' is a lovely thing to be able to download and print. I have done this for my Great Uncle. My only regret is that I have no photographs. I remember, as a very young child, my Nan having a large picture of him (her brother) hanging on her wall. Would there, perhaps, be a photo of him included in his Royal Navy Records? That's the only thing I can think of. Any other suggestions?

PW

Re: Poppies at the Tower of London

PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:53 pm
by 34053
As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, the last of the 888,246 ceramic poppies will be 'planted,' in the Tower of London moat, on 11th November (Armistice Day). The plan was then to start removing them (for cleaning, etc. before sending them to all those fortunate people who were able to but one) the following day.
However, there is a campaign going on to try and keep them 'in situ' for a longer period. This seems unlikely, in view of all the organising that has taken place to get all the Volunteers together to carry out the removal of these poppies. We shall have to wait and see what happens next.

PW

Re: Poppies at the Tower of London

PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:56 pm
by Spitfire
34053 wrote:However, there is a campaign going on to try and keep them 'in situ' for a longer period. This seems unlikely, in view of all the organising that has taken place to get all the Volunteers together to carry out the removal of these poppies. We shall have to wait and see what happens next.

PW


And they'll have to pay me rent to keep the poppy I've bought and paid for a bit longer :D :p

Re: Poppies at the Tower of London

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:43 pm
by 34053
It's now official:-
Due to public demand, part of the 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' ceramic poppy Memorial will remain in place until the end of November. The sections involved are:

The Weeping Window, which is made up of thousands of poppies cascading out of one of the Tower’s windows and The Wave, which rises over the causeway used by visitors to enter the Tower of London. These sections will then go on 'a Tour of sites across the UK until 2018' (I wonder how they are going to do that???) before finally going on permanent display at the Imperial War Museums in London and Manchester.

The remaining poppies will be removed as planned, from 12th November, by a Team of 8,000 Volunteers.

It would appear, therefore, that the 'saved' sections were not part of the sale to the public.

We will remember them.

PW

Re: Poppies at the Tower of London

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 3:45 pm
by 34053
Well, the final ceramic poppy (No. 888,246) was planted at the Tower of London today, by an Army Cadet, to mark the completion of this amazing work. You will be able to see a report upon the Ceremony on the National News this evening (ITV are broadcasting live, from the Tower of London, at 6pm).

PW

Re: Poppies at the Tower of London

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:05 pm
by 10680
I managed to go twice. Once during the day when it was busy enough but on second visit arrived just in time for twilight reading of names. Very moving. It was absolutely packed. Not a spare inch apart from emergency exit maintained by stewards. Lots of PCSOs to maintain safe crossing of roads. I tend to agree that it shouldn't stay. I have assumed that the set pieces are not the poppies that have been sold.