An incredible four million people have now visited The Tower of London since poppies began to be planted in the moat, to commemorate the fallen in the First World War. In total there will be 888,246 poppies, each representing a solider from the UK who was killed in that bloody battle.
What I love about this is the both the beauty and the sadness of the tribute. The beauty of seeing these poppies in the autumn sun with the incredible rich history of The Tower as a backdrop, along with a stark reminder of the utter waste of human life caused by war. It’s an incredibly evocative image. Each poppy = one life.
The chap behind it all, Paul Cummings, is selling each poppy for £25 ($35) to raise £11.2million ($17million) for charity. He’s also given a lot more. He lost one finger and the use of another since he started making them. Thankfully he’s had a lot of help to create the amounts of poppies from volunteers.
The sea of scarlet red flowers are due to be sold off in a fortnight. Sadly, all poppies have now been sold but no doubt many will appear on eBay before too long if you wish to own a piece of history.
Tower of London General Lord Dannatt has been overwhelmed by the public response.
He said today: ‘We have been astounded by the overwhelming public support to the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation at the Tower of London.
‘In this significant year of the centenary, it has been heartening to see so many people engaging with the project; either by volunteering their time, buying a poppy and helping to raise millions of pounds for service charities or by visiting the poppies and remembering all of those who died in the First World War.
‘The First World War was a pivotal moment in our history, claiming the lives of over 16 million people across the globe; its consequences have shaped our modern society.
‘We wanted the Tower of London’s commemorations to serve as a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives during the First World War, whilst encouraging others to reflect on our past.’