Tower of London Remembers

Ceramic poppies progressively filled the Tower’s famous moat between July and November 2014

Ceramic poppies progressively filled the Tower’s famous moat between July and November 2014

About the installation

The major art installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London, marked one hundred years since the first full day of Britain's involvement in the First World War.

Created by artists Paul Cummins and Tom Piper, 888,246 ceramic poppies were used in the installation.

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

The major art installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London, marked one hundred years since the first full day of Britain's involvement in the First World War. Created by artists Paul Cummins and Tom Piper, 888,246 ceramic poppies progressively filled the Tower's famous moat between 17 July and 11 November 2014. Each poppy represented a British military fatality during the war.

The poppies encircled the iconic landmark, creating not only a spectacular display visible from all around the Tower but also a location for personal reflection. The scale of the installation was intended to reflect the magnitude of such an important centenary and create a powerful visual commemoration.

Each day in the moat at sunset, names of 180 Commonwealth troops killed during the war were read out as part of a Roll of Honour, followed by the Last Post. Members of the public nominated names for the Roll of Honour using a weekly ‘first come, first served’ nomination system to be read the following week in this nightly ceremony.

Where did the poppies go?

All of the poppies that made up the installation were sold, raising millions of pounds which were shared equally amongst six service charities.

Dedications

View the dedications made as part of the Tower of London Remembers project.

These were made in honour of a loved one who may have previously served in the military or is currently serving in the military.

Watch the animation

After 100 years, stories of the First World War are fading from memory. How can we keep them alive?

Browse more history and stories

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