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'Seas of Red' at the Tower of London


Gardengirl

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I thought some of you might not have seen or heard about the

'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' poppy installation at the Tower

of London; a few photos we took on

Tuesday of this stunning work are here:

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/87690367@N04/sets/72157648633552628/

The work will be completed on 11th November, after which it will be dismantled, and after the poppies have been cleaned they will be sent to the people who bought them. I bought one, but when I later thought I'd buy some for other members of our family, found they had all been sold.

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[quote user="Quillan"]Mrs Q has bought a dozen of those poppies. Half the money goes to The Tower of London to help maintain it and the other half to one of the military charities or something like that. In truth I was not paying attention when she told me.[/quote]

This from some time ago shows how its financed .

http://www.whistleblower.co.uk/Success-60/Tower+Of+London+Poppies+Investigation.aspx
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Cendrillon, the final poppies will be put in place on 11th November, then it will be dismantled over the following two weeks and, as for the installation, by volunteers.

If you do plan to visit, I'd suggest as early in the morning as possible, or late in the day, after the main half term finishes. It was hugely crowded on Tuesday when we were there, although it was all very pleasant and friendly, with people from many countries from what we could hear. I'm told that a good and very touching time to be there is at 16.55, when names of service people who died in WW1 are read out, followed by the Last Post.

Tower Hill underground station was just awful when we arrived, felt very scary, and it was closed while we were there due to overcrowding, and the exit gates were then all opened to get people through more quickly. Today Tower Hill station was closed at 09.15 and later there were warnings to use other stations and to walk from those.

About funding for the poppy installation, some of us, maybe many, knew it had been funded by unknown people before we sent our orders off - I'm sure many huge inspirational events are funded in that way, otherwise the display couldn't have been put on. It's long been known that forces charities would receive a proportion of the money, but they seem happy to be on the receiving end of whatever they will receive, plus the vast amount of publicity that the event is receiving.

Maybe I'll be thought naive by more cynical people, but what a pity only a negative view can be seen by some. If nothing else, it has brought home to many people that 888,246 isn't just a big number amongst other big numbers, but seeing all those individual poppies helps me really appreciate that all those deaths were of individuals, causing grief in all those families. How very sad and terrible war is.

I have little idea how other countries are commemorating WW1, but to me, and many others who saw it, the 'Seas of Red' installation is something to be proud of. Something else to add to the long list of recent events that have been put on so successfully in our country.
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Thanks GG for all your information.

I had a great uncle who lost his life towards the end of the 1914-1918 war. I have been to France and visited his grave.

I thought about buying a ceramic poppy but now they have all been sold I do wonder what I would do have done with it and where I could keep it. So the sell-out has probably done me a favour.

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[quote user="gardengirl "]Maybe I'll be thought naive by more cynical people, but what a pity only a negative view can be seen by some. If nothing else, it has brought home to many people that 888,246 isn't just a big number amongst other big numbers, but seeing all those individual poppies helps me really appreciate that all those deaths were of individuals, causing grief in all those families. How very sad and terrible war is.

I have little idea how other countries are commemorating WW1, but to me, and many others who saw it, the 'Seas of Red' installation is something to be proud of. Something else to add to the long list of recent events that have been put on so successfully in our country.[/quote]

Nicely said, GG. [:)]

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[quote user="richard51"]And it would be even faster if more effort was made directly to those areas. [/quote]

No. The thing with a war where there are lots of casualties is the need to treat quickly, effectively and sometimes innovatively, often in inadequate surroundings. The volume of people needing treatment (fortunately) wouldn't be delivered in a civilian situation - outside of bomb blasts, plane crashes, etc. It is clearly not a justification for war (and I'm don't suppose Teapot intended it to be) but it is an ensuing benefit.

http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/broughttolife/themes/war.aspx

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I work in London - very close to where the display is.  What I find particularly sad is that last week half a dozen young people spent the day dressed (or mostly undressed!) in pink at the entrance / exit of the tube station  to collect for breast cancer.  Commuters and tourists alike pushed past them with very few contributing.  This week (11/11) people were queuing to donate.  It seems jingoism isn't dead and that honouring war takes a higher priority over caring for the sick.

As an aside, the numbers of WWI dead cited by GG give some context to the immense number of civilian deaths in Iraq: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-24547256 - ISIS are a direct consequence of the disastrous Iraq war.

Mrs R51

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There's doubtless some truth in what you say.

However, this thread was started in order to let some on here know about what's been going on at the Tower.

Its about WW1. It just seems to me that it should be taken as nothing more or less than that. The introduction of any other (admittedly futile) conflicts since, seems somewhat disrespectful.
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[quote user="Cendrillon"]"However, this thread was started in order to let some on here know about what's been going on at the Tower."

Quite right Gardian.

Now that the half-term rush is over I shall make the effort and go to the tower this week to see the poppies.

[/quote]

Despite richard51's slightly downbeat posts that is exactly what has happened (including a different perspective) but it seem the issue is not about what's happened at the tower. What you really wanted was a come and look at the pretty poppies thread.  A lot more people died than there are poppies so it's only symbolic but we should remember them.

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"What you really wanted was a come and look at the pretty poppies

thread 
(
your words and certainly not mine!)

A lot more people died than there are poppies so it's only

symbolic but we should remember them."

......................................................................................and that is why I will be going.

To quote Gardengirl "Maybe I'll be thought naive by more cynical people, but what a pity only a negative view can be seen by some."

From the many pictures I've seen this installation at the tower looks amazing. I for one would like to see it before it's all dismantled.

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[quote user="Cendrillon"]GG do you know exactly when the display will be dismantled? I would really like to go and see it.

[/quote]

Maybe my words but I don't see you making a distinction either until now. Anyway enough said in both directions, enjoy the display, I know when I went and you look across the sea of poppies and knowing that is a fraction of the real death toll, you are humbled by it and realise the debt owed for our freedom and that was before  more of the poppies were added.

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"

Thanks GG for all your information.

I had a great uncle who lost his life towards the end of the 1914-1918 war. I have been to France and visited his grave.
"

Quote from my post on 30th October Tea-pot, so I am sure I shall be giving thought to him and all those that lost their lives.

However as you have rightly said

"Anyway enough said in both directions"
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"I know when I went and you look across the sea of poppies and knowing

that is a fraction of the real death toll, you are humbled by it and

realise the debt owed for our freedom and that was before  more of the

poppies were added."

These were my thoughts a few years ago when I walked around the poppies and the poppy crosses in Westminster Abbey garden ...and though I lived in London and worked close by for almost 7 years, I had never seen them before.  What made me weep was the number of countries whose people were represented ... and the pointless loss, which as another poster said, we do not seem to have truly learnt from.

Sadly, I won't be able to see the poppies before they are removed, but be sure, I shall wear my poppy with pride and attend the parade here in my village on 11th.  We certainly do not participate in every village activity or parade, but this one we make a point of doing.  And each year we have to explain the reason for the poppy - so many French still do not know that we also participated in WWI, even if some are aware of our involvement in WWII. 

Memory is short, for maybe it is sweeter than way.

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gardengirl

I went today and was so pleased I made the effort to get there before it is all dismantled. It is a fabulous installation, I had seen many photos but seeing it for real was something else.

On the news today there is talk of extending this exhibition but I am not sure that will be possible.

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