News / Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Poppies at the Tower of London
Poppies in the moat of the Tower of London in remembrance of the fallen of the Great War

Published: 7th August 2014.
Photographer: Sgt Steve Blake RLC (Phot). Images ?MOD Crown Copyright 2014


A sea of blood-red ceramic poppies flows out of the Tower of London and into the dry moat ? one flower to represent each British and Colonial fatality during the First World War.

Entitled ?Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red? the gigantic and evolving art installation is being created in the Tower?s famous dry moat. It will continue to grow throughout the summer until the moat is filled with 888,246 ceramic poppies, one for each British and Colonial fatality during the war.?

At the official launch of this major art installation the Band of the Welsh Guards gave a gala performance and the Honourable Artillery Company fired their minute guns at the Tower of London to honour the fallen in the First World War.

Band of the Welsh Guards at the Tower of London
Band of the Welsh Guards gave a gala performance

The Band of the Welsh Guards played 'Hymn to the Fallen' and songs from the First World War before performing a joint piece of music written specifically for the event, ?The Man We Never Knew? by Edward-Rhys Harry, with the London Welsh Male Voice Choir.?

At twilight, the minute guns of the Honourable Artillery Company, the City of London?s Army Reserve Regiment, fired a 21-Gun Salute to mark the start of British military involvement in the Great War.

21 Gun Salute fired at the Tower of London
Honourable Artillery Company, fired a 21-Gun Salute to Honour the fallen in the Great War

As the guns fired, the names of 180 serving members of the armed forces, killed during the First World War, were read out in a roll of honour.?

Names of 180 fallen read out during the Gun Salute
Names were read from a Roll of Honour of some of those made the ultimate sacrifice in the First World War