Tower of London to mark First World War Centenary with more than 800,000 ceramic poppies

Posted on on 14 March 2014
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The Tower of London has announced that it will mark the Centenary of the outbreak of the First World War with an art installation and programme of events.

Working with ceramic artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper, 888,246* ceramic poppies - one for each British and colonial fatality suffered during the conflict - will be unveiled on the 5th August 2014.

The poppies will encircle the Tower, with aim of creating "an inspiring setting for performance and educational events and a space for personal reflection", as well as a "powerful visual commemoration".

                                                             The Tower of London

During the First World War, the Tower’s moat was used to swear in over 1,600 men who had enlisted at the recruitment station in the City of London by the end of August 1914.

These men formed the 10th Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers - the so called ‘stock brokers battalion’ - which fought for the duration of the war.

Michael Day, Chief Executive Historic Royal Palaces, said that it was important to mark a conflict which claimed millions of lives across the globe and which had consequences that "have shaped our modern society".

"It is important for us to ensure that those who lived, fought and served during this time are remembered and we hope that the Tower of London’s involvement during this Centenary anniversary will serve as a fitting marker to those who lost their lives, whilst encouraging others to reflect on our past”. 

A series of events will accompany the art installation, which will remain at the Tower until the 11th November 2014.

*Note: Figures do not include fatalities suffered by Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Undivided India.

Source: Tower of London

Images courtesy of the Tower of London

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary News