The evolving installation by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, with setting by stage designer Tom Piper, was unveiled on 5 August 2014; one hundred years since the first full day of Britain’s involvement in the First World War.
Entitled ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’, the 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, each poppy representing a British or Colonial military fatality during the war.
The poppies will encircle the Tower, creating not only a spectacular display, but also an inspiring setting for learning activities, as well as providing a location for personal reflection. The scale of the installation reflects the magnitude of such an important centenary, creating a powerful visual commemoration.
The first poppy was planted by YS Crawford Butler, the oldest serving of the site’s Yeoman Warders (popularly known as Beefeaters) back in June.