888,246 ceramic poppies surround the Tower of London to commemorate WWI


To commemorate the centennial of Britain’s involvement in the First World War, ceramic artist Paul Cummins and stage designer Tom Piper conceived of a staggering installation of ceramic poppies planted in the famous dry moat around the Tower of London. Titled “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red,” the final work will consist of 888,246 red ceramic flowers—each representing a British or Colonial military fatality—that flow through grounds around the tower.

Volunteers began placing the poppies several weeks ago and the process will continue through the summer until a final flower is symbolically planted on November 11th.

The poppy flower is very symbolic to me as a Canadian and the proud son of a Canadian Navy veteran. I’d love to be able to see this installation in London.

  • dr.no

    Every history book needs to be rewritten to say that

    Britain started WWI over Oil and that Germany was getting more powerful then Great Britain.

    Britain and France wage a currency and economic war before actual fighting started and the first troop were deployed in Iraq.

    Britain also reneged on Indian Freedom if indians fought in WWI. Without Brown soldiers Britain wouldn’t have won the war either.

    It is quite ridiculous that after 100 years that truth can’t be said.

    • “Every history book needs to be rewritten to say that”

      To say what?

      “It is quite ridiculous that after 100 years that truth can’t be said.”

      Perhaps but this is not the place or the story for it.

    • DanielSw

      So have you started on these history books yet? If not, go blow your rant somewhere else.

  • DanielSw

    I think this is a beautiful and tasteful commemoration. Assuming that vandalism can be prevented, these ceramic poppies should last a good while.

    This is an excerpt from the “Rememberance Day” article in Wikipedia:

    “Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day or Armistice Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognised as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,” in accordance with the Armistice, signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 5:12 and 5:20 that morning. (“At the 11th hour” refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 am.) World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919.[1]

    “The day was specifically dedicated by King George V on 7 November 1919 as a day of remembrance for members of the armed forces who were killed during World War I. This was possibly done upon the suggestion of Edward George Honey to Wellesley Tudor Pole, who established two ceremonial periods of remembrance based on events in 1917.[2]

    “The Initial or Very First Armistice Day was held at Buckingham Palace commencing with King George V hosting a “Banquet in Honour of the President of the French Republic”[3] during the evening hours of 10 November 1919. The first official Armistice Day was subsequently held on the grounds of Buckingham Palace on the morning of 11 November 1919. This would set the trend for a day of Remembrance for decades to come.

    “The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem “In Flanders Fields”. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red colour an appropriate symbol for the blood spilled in the war.”