Paul Cummins

Obit of the Day: World War I 

Today marks the 96th anniversary of the end of World War I. Peace was declared on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. 

In honor of Armistice Day here are my posts from the last few years related to the “War to End All Wars”:

Frank Buckles - The last surviving U.S. veteran of World War I, who passed away in 2011

Claude Choules - The last surviving combat veteran of World War I, who died in 2011

Florence Green - The last surviving veteran of World War I, who died in 2012

and my historical posts

The last British, French, and German deaths during World War I

Henry Gunther - The last soldier killed before the Armistice. He died at 10:30 a.m. local time on November 11, 1918.

(Image of Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red by Paul Cummins, which placed one ceramic poppy in the ground for each British citizen killed during World War I. When the project ended on Armistice Day 2014 there were 888,246 poppies. This image is from September 2014 and courtesy of The Daily Mail and copyright of gettyimages)


Breathtaking Photos of the Tower of London Adorned with 888,246 Ceramic Poppies to Commemorate WWI

To honor the centennial of Britain’s beginnings in World War I, a pair of artist teamed up to work on an incredible installation, which you can see in these stunning photographs.

Titled “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red,” the display was put together by artist Paul Cummins and stage designer Tom Piper, and when it’s all said and done it will consist of 888,246 red ceramic poppies surrounding the dry moat of the Tower of London. Each of the individual flowers represents a British or Colonial Military fatality.

The construction of the piece is being done by a number of volunteers over the course of the summer and is already well on its way to completion. The final flower will symbolically be set in its resting place on November 11th, Remembrance Day for the Commonwealth.

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were joined by Prince Harry at the Tower of London to officially unveil Paul Cummins’ Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red, 5th August 2014.

Copyright: PA
Andrew Parsons/I-Image
Justin Tallis


A section of an installation entitled ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ by artist Paul Cummins, made up of 888,246 ceramic poppies in the moat of the Tower of London to commemorate the First World War on July 28, 2014 in London, England. Each ceramic poppy represents an allied victim of the First World War and the display is due to be completed by Armistice Day on November 11, 2014. After Armistice Day each poppy from the installation will be available to buy for 25 GBP. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red: 888,246 Ceramic Poppies at the Tower of London to commemorate the 100th anniversary of WWI, by Paul Cummins    

I have one of these poppies :)   


For those not in the UK or who may not know about it, there has been a ceramic poppy installation at the Tower of London:

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Marking one hundred years since the first full day of Britain’s involvement in the First World War. Created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, with setting by stage designer Tom Piper, 888,246 ceramic poppies will progressively fill the Tower’s famous moat over the summer. Each poppy represents a British military fatality during the war.

The poppies will encircle 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 intends to reflect the magnitude of such an important centenary creating a powerful visual commemoration.

It would be shame to see the installation dismantled so soon, so there is now an online petition for the poppies to stay for 1 year.

The poppies are bought by members of the public and then placed in the grass moat of the tower.  Everyone that has purchased a poppy will get it in the post when the installation is dismantled.  I think the poppies are all now sold, but you can still make a dedication:

I know many people that have been to see the poppies and they say that it’s a very powerful and moving sight.

Please, go and sign the petition and lets keep the poppies at the Tower for as long as we can.

Because we should never forget.