On Thursday evening I’ll be giving another Talk about Poppies In The Moat. at the Guildhall Library. I will discuss how the eight key people brought this together as a unique team. Tickets and more information may be obtained on the link below. The original inspiration came from artist Paul Cummins and the following extract is from his contribution in my book Poppies, Pomp and People, which gave the first full account of how it was achieved.
‘His idea for the Tower installation was inspired by the will of an unnamed soldier, which he found while searching old records in his hometown of Chesterfield; it included a poem, which began, ‘The blood swept lands and seas of red’. This inspired him to create a large-scale installation, a sea of handmade ceramic poppies mounted on metal stems, to be placed in the moat around the Tower of London. Each poppy would represent the life of a person who died during the First World War; from research, he found that there would need to be 888,246, the total number of British and Colonial lives lost. His vision was for this sculpture to become a lasting and meaningful experience for the public; could he have had any idea just how important it was to become and the numbers of people it would touch and inspire?’