One year after the final poppy was planted; we take a look back at some of the memorable moments from ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’, the installation of 888,246 ceramic poppies in the moat of the Tower of London, by Paul Cummins and Tom Piper, to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.
The making of the poppies
Each of the 888,246 ceramic poppies was handmade in Derbyshire. Workers at Paul Cummins’ studio rolled, cut and shaped poppies by hand, making each one an individual and totally unique.
17 July 2014 – first poppy planted
The first ceramic poppy was planted in the moat of the Tower of London by our longest serving Yeoman Warder on 17 July. Over 20,000 volunteers would go on to plant the remaining 888,245 poppies in the following months. Each poppy represented a British or Colonial military fatality in the First World War.
5 August 2014 – official opening
The installation was officially opened by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry on 5 August. Each member of the Royal Party planted their own poppy in remembrance and met with representatives from the six military service charities who would go on to benefit from the sale of the poppies. We expect to raise just over £9m for the charities.
8 October 2014 – visit from HM The Queen
On 8 October the installation was viewed by HM The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh after they attended a service at the newly restored Chapel Royal of St Peter Ad Vincula. At the center of the installation, HM The Queen was presented with an iron wrought wreath made of poppies.
11 November 2014 – final poppy planted
On 11 November at 11.00 the final poppy was planted by a young cadet in a ceremony to commemorate Armistice Day. Following the planting, the last post was played and a two-minute silence was observed.
For more moments from the installation, watch the short video below.