11.11.14

Poppy banner

Daybreak, 100 years after the end of World War One. I went to the Tower of London, expecting few people to be there. But the area was packed with people.

They had come to glimpse at a spectacle which has captured imaginations. The moat of this famous landmark has been gradually filled with a sea of ceramic poppies – 888,246 to be precise. Each represents a British military fatality during the 1914-18 conflict.

On this chilly early morning, viewers were taking in the sight and almost universally taking snapshots. More than five million visitors later, this has been photographed from practically every angle. I found myself drawn to the people gazing at the mass of scarlet and the occasional tributes to fallen veterans.

As the removal of the poppies begins, I wonder whether visitors came to glimpse a landmark art installation or really did treat it as an act of remembrance. Either way, this has made a deep and lasting impact.

Click first image to view this selection

Gallery entrance

30 thoughts on “11.11.14

  1. A beautiful summary of a great art installation. Every once in a while, something captures the public’s imagination and this work did just that. The poppies themselves have been photographed countless time over the last few months, but you’ve managed to get a couple of new perspectives on the Tower; the sepia shot of the couple and the old photo stand out for me. :)

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  2. Did not manage a walk down there to see as would have had to get up at dawn to avoid the crowds but you did it so much better anyway! Every one a winner though the crosses in the wall are a great juxtapositioned shot

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  3. A powerful set, Mike. I watched the televised events from the Tower on 11/11. I’m up in London again this week and think I might just go over again and see how many poppies are left – that will be my third visit.

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  4. I’ve seen so many photos of this amazing tribute … you took some wonderful shots.

    The display is so impressive in photos … I can only imagine what it must have been like to see it in person. I’m glad you were able to make it to see the Remembrance display. Thanks for sharing your photos.

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    • John, many thanks for your comment which is very humbling. The poppies – now long gone – were inspiring, as were the large number of people who turned out to see them. I’m glad to have some photographs to mark this event.

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