Tower of London announces charity partners for First World War centenary collaboration
From 05 August 2014 to 11 November 2014, a major artistic installation entitled ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ will see the Tower of London’s famous dry moat filled with over 800,000 ceramic poppies to create a powerful visual commemoration for the First World War anniversary. The ceramic poppies will be available to buy for £25 each from the 05 August 2014 and the net proceeds, which we hope will be in excess of £15m if all poppies are sold, will be shared equally amongst a number of carefully selected service charities. The service charities chosen are Confederation of Service Charities (COBSEO), Combat Stress, Coming Home, Help for Heroes, Royal British Legion and SSAFA (formerly the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association).
General the Lord Dannatt, Constable of the Tower of London, said:
'Today we are announcing Historic Royal Palaces plans to mark this important centenary anniversary at the Tower of London and our collaboration with selected military service charities. The significance of the vital work that these charities provide is one we must not forget and is especially poignant as we mark the anniversary of the First World War and remember all those who lived and fought during this time.'
The installation, in collaboration with ceramic artist Paul Cummins and theatre stage designer Tom Piper, will be unveiled on 5 August 2014, one hundred years since the first full day of Britain’s involvement in the First World War.
The poppies, a symbol of remembrance in the UK, will encircle the iconic landmark, creating not only a spectacular display visible from all around the Tower, but also an inspiring setting for performance and learning activities, as well as providing a location for personal reflection. The scale of the installation intends to reflect the magnitude of such an important centenary.
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There will be 888,246 poppies installed, one for each British and Colonial fatality during the war. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission cites the upkeep of memorials for 888,246 British and Colonial soldiers killed between 4th August 1914 to 31st August 1921.
Founded in 1919, Combat Stress is the UK’s leading military charity specialising in the care of Veterans’ mental health. In 2014 Combat Stress will mark its 95th anniversary, having helped more than 100,000 Veterans to rebuild their lives. Combat Stress is currently supporting more than 5,400 ex-Service men and women – more than at any time in our long history. This includes 806 Veterans who served in Iraq and 519 who served in Afghanistan. Our youngest Veteran is just 18 years old. Demand for our services is rising: 1,700 Veterans contacted us for help in 2012-2013. On average it takes more than 13 years from Service discharge for Veterans to contact Combat Stress for help, by which time their condition is often highly complex.
We treat conditions including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety. To help Veterans rebuild their lives, we provide a range of free services.
Combat Stress, also known as the Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society, Registered Charity 206002; Registered Charity in Scotland SCO38828; Company Ltd by guarantee: 256353.
Cobseo, as the Confederation of Service Charities, brings the Armed Forces charity community together and provides a single point of contact for interaction with Government, including the Devolved Administrations, local government, the private sector and the Royal Household as well as other members of the Armed Forces community. Through this interaction Cobseo encourages charities to be more efficient and effective and thereby to deliver an enhanced level of support to their beneficiaries. For more information about Cobseo, visit their website: www.cobseo.org.uk.
Coming Home is the fundraising campaign for Haig Housing Trust, which provides housing for ex-Servicemen and their families throughout the UK. Coming Home specifically raises funds to provide specially adapted homes for Servicemen or women who have been seriously wounded or injured, giving them a stable platform from which they can begin to rebuild their lives.Registered charity number 1125556. For more information visit www.coming-home.org.uk
Help for Heroes offers comprehensive support to those who have suffered life-changing injuries and illnesses whilst serving our country. This is provided through grants to individuals, other Service charities, capital build projects and our four Recovery Centres across the UK which will offer support for life.The money raised by the hugely generous public has been used to support our wounded, but there is still so much more to do. Soldiers, sailors and airmen who are injured today will still need our support tomorrow and in the days that follow, for the rest of their lives. They are still battling and we won't let them battle alone.For more information about Help for Heroes, please visit www.helpforheroes.org.uk
The Royal British Legion stands shoulder to shoulder with all who serve. It is the nation's leading Armed Forces charity providing care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces past and present and their families. It is also the national Custodian of Remembrance and safeguards the Military Covenant between the nation and its Armed Forces. It is best known for the annual Poppy Appeal and its emblem, the red poppy. www.britishlegion.org.uk
SSAFA, formerly the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, provides lifelong support to anyone who is currently serving or has ever served in the Royal Navy, British Army or Royal Air Force and their families.SSAFA is the oldest national tri-service military charity still operating today and has been supporting service personnel and their families since 1885. In 1914 alone, SSAFA helped over one million families who were left to face destitution on the Homefront while the men went to war. Today, our professional staff and network of 7,500 volunteers help more than 50,000 people every year, ranging from World War Two veterans to the families of young servicemen and women wounded in Afghanistan. We also provide health and social care services for the Armed Forces and their families in 13 countries around the world. For more information visit www.ssafa.org.uk
Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace. We help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built. We raise all our own funds and depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, sponsors and volunteers. These palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Registered charity number 1068852. For more information visit www.hrp.org.uk