Tower of London – Four years apart

Four years ago at the Tower of London, from August until Remembrance Sunday in November 2014 ceramic poppies were planted in the moat by volunteers until there were enough (888,246) to represent every British man killed during the Great War. 

This week to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of that war the moat is filled with thousands of flames which are being lit every evening by the Yeoman Warders and volunteers. My husband and I attended this evening. It was very moving, watching the rows of little lights gradually processing across the moat while poetry and evocative music played. I thought the music might be by Karl Jenkins as it reminded me of The Armed Man – a Mass for Peace, but I now read that it was by Mira Calix who I have never heard of. 

I took these two photographs on almost the same spot above the moat, four years apart. 

There was a lot of children there, brought by their parents as school finished for the day (lighting started at 5pm, after the Last Post played by a bugler from the top of one of the towers – the flames will burn for about 4 hours and will be refuelled in the morning). There were also some school parties working on a WWI project. When the Last Post began absolute silence fell, even among those in the queue to get to a viewpoint. To see so many young people, and everybody, a huge crowd and more coming by the minute, well behaved and respectful was heartening. 

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