The Blood Swept Land and Sea of Red

Published: Friday 7th Nov 2014

Written by: Carol Attwell

I was fortunate enough to visit the Tower of London to see this most moving installation of nearly 900,000 ceramic poppies that have been planted in the moat at the Tower of London. Each one represents someone from the British Empire who died in the awful conflict 100 years ago known as "The War to End All Wars".  Tragically, as we know, it didn't have that effect.  The poppies spill out of the tower into the moat and every evening at sunset, a roll of honour is read out by a Beefeater, followed by a bugler playing the Last Post. I visited on the 11th October when the name of my Great Uncle, Second Lieutenant William Noble of the East Kent Regiment - known as The Buffs - was read out.

 He died aged 26 in 1916 and my father was named after him so he has never been forgotten though his life was cut so short. It was deeply poignant to be there at that moment to hear his name and watch the sun going down and the poppies shimmering in the floodlights that came on as darkness fell. This spectacle has drawn millions to view it and will be dismantled after Remembrance Day on the 11th November after the final poppy is planted.  By selling each poppy for £25, about 11 million pounds has been raised for a number of charities that support servicemen and their families. 

Carol Attwell
Carol Attwell


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