Lest We Forget

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red'

This is the title of what's rapidly becoming the UK's most popular art installation ever.

The work, created by 37-year-old artist Paul Cummins, has been on display at the Tower of London since the beginning of August, and will start to be dismantled today.

2014 marks 100 years since the first full day of Britain's involvement in the First World War.

Cummins has handcrafted the 888,246 ceramic poppies which have progressively been filling the Tower's moat since the summer. Each poppy represents a British or Colonial military fatality during the war. As you can see, the moat is pretty much full now.

I visited last week. The scale of the installation is incredible ~ it's a very moving visual commemoration which really puts into perspective the magnitude of lives lost to the War.

All the poppies have now been sold, the money raised to be shared between six service charities.

The artist recently revealed that his hand was injured in an industrial roller as he made one of the flowers ~ it left him without a middle finger and the use of his index finger. Now that's dedication.

Both my grandfathers fought in and survived the Second World War, so I buy a poppy every year and wear it with pride to remember them and those who weren't so lucky. Had things been different, I might not be here today. Lest we forget.


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