Blood swept lands and seas of red, poppies at the Tower of London

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Blood swept lands and seas of red.

This year marks the 100 year anniversary of the beginning if the Great War, the war to end all wars, the war that would become known as World War 1. During the four terrible years between  1914 and 1918 more than 15 million men and women lost their lives as a direct result of the conflict, making it one of the deadliest wars in all of human history.

Such have been the visitor numbers, maps have been produced.

Blood swept lands and seas of red is an art installation and memorial to the British and Colonial military fatalities by artist Paul Cummins, with setting by stage designer Tom Piper , a sea of red ceramic poppies appears to pour from a window and pool as a lake of blood around the Tower of London, almost overwhelming it.

The first poppy was planted on 17 July 2014, and the work was unveiled on 5 August (the centenary of Britain’s entry into the war). It is planned to remain on display until 11 November 2014 (Armistice Day). The final poppy, number 888,246 will be planted today, November 9th, on Remembrance Sunday. One bloom for each life lost.

Huge crowds gather each day, all with their own reasons for attending.

The work’s title is taken from the first line of a poem by an unknown World War I soldier, which begins: The blood swept lands and seas of red, where angels dare to tread,

The poppies have been dedicated to servicemen and women and been available to purchase as part of a fund raising campaign.


Our visit was both moving and inspiring. To see so starkly the losses in quantifiable terms was staggering. Yet to see so many people, the older generations but especially the very young, observing a moment of reflection and saying a silent thank you.


The wave, part of the instalation set to travel the nation after its removal from The Tower.


No quiet corner escapes
Traitors Gate, awash with poppies
The sea of red continues


Lest we forget.

  • Lady Sky


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