The Tower of London Marks the Anniversary of WWI with Poppies

Poppies at the Tower of London (Pic: Nick Ansell/PA Wire via AP Images)

Poppies at the Tower of London (Pic: Nick Ansell/PA Wire via AP Images)

A beautiful installation is to be officially unveiled at the Tower of London tomorrow (August 5) to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red is an artwork by Paul Cummins for which he created hundreds of thousands of ceramic poppies—the British ceremonial flower of remembrance for war veterans—and arranged them in the Tower’s moat.

There will be 888,246 poppies in total, pouring down the walls of the Tower and filling the moat, each one representing a British military fatality during the four year conflict. The flowers will be planted by veterans, celebrities and other public figures between now and November 11, which is Remembrance Day in the U.K.

Here’s Yeoman Serjeant Bob Loughlin, among the blooms:

(Pic: Nick Ansell/PA Wire via AP Images)

(Pic: Nick Ansell/PA Wire via AP Images)

Note: The Yeomen, popularly called Beefeaters, are the ceremonial guardians of the Tower, and although their role is largely decorative these days, they are recruited from retired army personnel, non-commissioned senior officers with over 22 years of service.

See more:
10 Lingering Effects of World War I on Britain
Scottish Love Note Found in WWI Kilt
Over There: ‘War Horse’ and World War I

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.

He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.

Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic

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