Poppies at the Tower of London

by Brenna Holeman


If you live in London, or have travelled there recently, you probably visited the Tower of London to see the poppies. But for those who couldn’t make it, I wanted to share photos from last week, when I saw it for myself.

Tower of London Poppies 9

888, 426 individual ceramic poppies were placed around the Tower of London, one for each British military casualty in the First World War. While it is visually stunning, I was completely overwhelmed by the tragedy it represents. My great-grandfather fought in WWI as part of the Scottish sector of the Canadian army; he lost a leg in the war due to a shrapnel after an explosion in France. It could have been much worse, of course.

Tower of London Poppies 3

Tower of London Poppies 8

The installation of poppies at the Tower of London has raised millions of pounds for charity (people can buy them for £25 to help raise money and awareness), and it has been confirmed that part of the exhibition will remain there until the end of November. After that, some of the installation will travel through the UK.

Tower of London Poppies 2

Tower of London Poppies 4

The installation was hauntingly beautiful… but lest we forget what it represents. Let’s take a moment to remember, not just on Remembrance Day, but every day.

Tower of London Poppies 7


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.

John McCrae

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Michelle November 11, 2014 - 7:06 am

I haven’t been to London since this was started, and I won’t make it there until December 10, but I have followed the poppy installation since its beginning in August. It is one of the most breath-taking, hauntingly beautiful scenes I have ever seen, and I’m sure it’s much more moving in person. Thanks for sharing this.

Brenna Holeman November 11, 2014 - 6:55 pm

It really is breathtaking, but so moving and sad. I’m glad that you will get to see some of the installation in December…

Alex November 11, 2014 - 6:16 pm

Saw these last week… didn’t have the patience to try and get any photos, too many people! Yours are great though. Lest we forget.

(PS. Also tried one of your east end cafe recommendations – Nude Espresso – so so sooo good. Thanks for the tip!)

Brenna Holeman November 11, 2014 - 6:57 pm

There were definitely huge crowds when I was there, too – I had to be very patient!

Glad you liked Nude, I haven’t been there in ages but I should definitely go back soon…

rebecca November 14, 2014 - 3:13 am

I saw all this online somewhere, its pretty impressive. I remember when I did live in London walking through the tube stations with people selling poppies. That was the first time I had heard of them.

Brenna Holeman November 14, 2014 - 1:52 pm

I grew up with poppies in November as it’s done for Remembrance Day in Canada. The installation in London was indeed impressive, but so overwhelming.

Camille November 16, 2014 - 1:56 am

My grandparents saw this when they most recently visited our relatives who live outside of London. Their pictures were amazing!

Brenna Holeman November 17, 2014 - 12:54 pm

I bet… I think it was hard to take a bad photo there, it was so incredible.

Anna @ shenANNAgans November 17, 2014 - 3:36 am

Wow, what a sight, really looks pretty darn impressive. Makes me want to visit London again. Beautiful pics, go you battling the crowds to snap this.

Brenna Holeman November 17, 2014 - 12:56 pm

Thankfully everyone was very polite… the crowds weren’t so bad in the end!

Zalie November 21, 2014 - 12:29 am

This is so incredible. Your pictures are amazing.

Brenna Holeman November 22, 2014 - 12:16 am

Thank you sister xoxo


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