Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red - ivanhurstphotography

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red was a work of installation art placed in the moat of the Tower of London, England, between July and November 2014, commemorating the centenary of the outbreak of World War I. It consisted of 888,246 ceramic red poppies, each intended to represent one British or Colonial serviceman killed in the War. The artist was Paul Cummins, with setting by stage designer Tom Piper.[2] The work's title was taken from the first line of a poem by an unknown World War I soldier.

Read more about the installation here.

We visited the Shard, on the other side of the Thames whilst the display was being installed in August 2014.

There was a service held at the Tower of London on remembrance day, 11 November 2014.

The day after, we visited as the volunteers started to dismantle the ceramic poppies ready for selling to the public for charity.

Members of the public had been able to pre-order the ceramic poppies for £25 each, with a share of the proceeds (estimated at more than £15 million) going to six service charities: COBSEO, Combat Stress, Coming Home, Help for Heroes, the Royal British Legion and SSAFA.

Tower of London poppies

The sea of flowers was arranged to resemble a pool of blood which appeared to be pouring out of a bastion window (the "Weeping Window").

The path seen in photo 12, through the sea of blood led to a small clear area or podium.

At around sunset each day between 1 September and 10 November, the names of 180 World War I service personnel, nominated by members of the public to appear on a Roll of Honour, were read aloud by a Yeoman Warder, followed by the Last Post bugle call. It was I think shown on TV at least once.


The poppies leaping over the bridge across the moat suggest to me something of the whistle blows and the troops go over the top to their fate.