Thursday, 6 November 2014

Lest we forget

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London;

Terry and I decided to make the trip to London on the last day of the school holidays. There was no reason to choose that day other than the sun was shining.  The train up was busy, and the underground was manic.


Tannoy announcements were advising people not to use the underground stations close to the Tower of London but having made the two-hour trip up to town, there was nothing for it but to grit our teeth and get on with it.  We were there to pay our respects, and we were jolly well going to do so, as were the tens of thousands of other people all intent on doing the same.  


Officials were urging the public to stay away but while their pleas fell on deaf ears, they need not have worried for those that attended were a picture of dignity.  I can’t remember the last time we spoke to so many happy smiling people. It was a wonderful day, and one we will never forget.   

Poppies and People as far as the eye can see.


Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London marks 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. 


The installation will be completed on Armistice Day, when the 888,246th poppy will be planted into the lawn by a volunteer.  Each of the poppies will be sold to raise money for charities which serve British veterans, including Help for Heroes and The Royal British Legion.


In memory of Private Arthur Denis Flitney (my grandfather), who was killed on 16 August 1917. Remembered with honour at the Tyne Cot Memorial to the missing of the First World War. 

56 comments:

  1. Gorgeous pictures, Barbara! I'm so jealous.

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    1. Hello Allyn, I’m so glad we went. It was an exhausting day but so uplifting.

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  2. Barbara and Terry,
    Thank you so much for sharing those beautiful and emotive photographs. They brought a tears to my eyes. Such courage then and now from all our service personnel.
    Thank you also for naming our granddad, never met but somehow sadly missed and always remembered at this time of year.

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    1. Hello John,
      It was our pleasure it’s nice to have the opportunity to share the photographs. I feel exactly the same about our granddad and yet how can we miss someone we never met?

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  3. Sad, beautiful and regal at the same time. It's a lovely tribute and jaw-droppingly gorgeous!

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    1. Hi Eve, I couldn't agree more. Thanks for calling in and leaving a comment. Barbara.

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  4. Glad you had a great day. We went up last week too and had a brilliant time. All the Poppies are sold btw so that will be a lovely lot of money to the armed forces charities.

    jean

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    1. Hello Jean, glad you enjoyed it. Nice to know all the poppies are sold. It should raise a goodly amount. Barbara x

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  5. Well, perhaps miss was the wrong word but somehow his sacrifice leaves a gap in our history. Something that deprived his grandchildren of meeting a wonderful character and his children of a loving father.............

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  6. Lovely photographs and lovely words. Well done Barbara. xx

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    1. Thank you Sue, glad you enjoyed it. xx

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  7. Oh Barbara - this was so beautiful to see. What a wonderful tribute. My grandfather fought in WWI. He was wounded and received a medal of honor. I never knew him but my Dad has shared his life with me. Have a great day. Thanks too for stopping by to visit me. So glad you did! Hugs

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    1. Hello Debbie, it is a wonderful and very moving tribute. I'm so glad we went. How lovely of your dad to share the story of your grandfather. I don’t know very much at all about mine I only recently found out about the memorial at Tyne Cot. We are hoping to go and visit soon. Thanks for calling in, hugs back, Barbara.

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  8. I live here less than fifteen miles from the tower but there's absolutely no chance for me to see this glorious display. Thanks for showing it to us. I don't need poppies to remember the eight friends I lost in various conflicts over the last thirty years but it's good to see that people have not forgotten.

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    1. Hi Roger, what a shame you won’t get to see it, let’s just say I went on your behalf!
      Your ears should have been burning as I was telling Terry the story of Kongomato over lunch! I can’t visit the tower now without thinking of your amazing stories.

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  9. What a beautiful tribute!! How nice that you could make the trip!!

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    1. Hello Teressa, we are very glad we didn’t miss it. Thanks for your visit, Barbara.

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  10. My dear friend,

    Your post may have gone up after I left for work, and now I come here to see another sort of queue, a list of beloved bloggers who feel the sentiment. I saw a brief special last night on the BBC news that we get here in the USA, and this is indeed am impressive salute to the brave individuals (your dear grandfather) that put their lives on the line. What a beautiful commemoration and day you spent. Hugs to you dear Barbara - you are so special! Anita

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    1. Hello Anita, yes I was a little late posting this time. I always look out for your postings too, but they sometimes go up after I’ve gone to bed. I’m always sad then because I’m a long, long way down the list of visitors.
      Thank you dear Anita, you are very special too. xxxx

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  11. What a wonderful post! This does look amazing and you've taken such gorgeous photographs. We will remember them. x

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    1. We will indeed Yvonne. We owe each and every one of them such a debt. Hugs Barbara

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  12. Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures. How wonderful that you were able to visit the tower and see the poppies, as well as pay your respects. :) It sounds very memorable! Wow!

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    1. Hello Stephanie, it was something we will never forget. Thanks for your visit, Barbara x

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  13. Looks like a beautiful day out, Barbara. I can only imagine how tedious it was to get through the underground, but those poppies, goodness, how gorgeous and dignified they look.

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    1. It was a bit of a struggle Claudine, but worth every second of it – and a very small sacrifice to make. In fact, no sacrifice at all when you think about why we were there.

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  14. It was a great spectator as I saw it in our National newspapers as well as on internet ... It looked majestic and sad at the same time.... here in your post again it is looking just what it is - a vast sea of poppies ...a royal tribute to the Heroes... Thanks for the wonderful share :)

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    1. Hello Kokila, I’m glad you got to see it in the papers and online. It's nice the world is so much smaller now. Once upon a time things like this would have been seen by very few people now it goes worldwide. Have a great weekend. x

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    2. ** spectral * * though not in the spooky sense ... but more towards phantom like effect ... the newspaper images were a sea of red gushing out of the grey white castle window...... Hope you understand my mistake Barbara ..

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    3. Dear Kokila, I understood exactly what you meant and please don’t worry about making a mistake – I do it all the time. I have a habit of depending on the spell check and write some really funny things because of it.

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  15. We were hoping to go and see it on Sunday, thought we would have a meal out there and make our way there but getting into london and finding a place to park was enough. Got so late that we gave up the idea. However I am not giving up I have to go into london again today so I am going to visit. This time I am using the public transport so I should get there. They are so beautiful

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    1. Best of luck Shashi, it will probably be very busy but well worth it. I hope the sun shines for you. Barbara x

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  16. XOXOXO! Have a splendid Friday dearest Barbara! Anita

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  17. What stunning photos and a splendid tribute to all who gave their lives. Very, very moving. My grandpa was in the RFC in the 1st WW and luckily lived to tell the tale!

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    1. Hello Sue, how wonderful to know your grandpa lived to recount his experiences. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos.

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  18. Thank you for sharing your fabulous photos. We were never going to get chance to go and see the poppies, so I'm glad I've been able to look at them now on your blog xx

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    1. It was a treat to share them. It feels a bit like having lots of best friends pop in to look at our holiday snaps! Thanks for coming over and taking a look, Barbara.

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  19. Barbara you photos are stunning! The news has been covering this incredible tribute here and I' sure it has stirred emotions throughout the world. What a wonderful tribute to your grandfather too, I'm sure it was fantastic to be there and witness this event in person.

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    1. Hi Diane, it really was amazing. I'm so glad we went. Thanks for calling in, Barbara.

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  20. That must have been pretty amazing to see in person. What a beautiful tribute and work of art.

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    1. Hi Kristin, absolutely! It’s a shame it won’t be there for much longer.

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  21. So beautiful and emotive, we didn't make it to go but through lovely people like yourself, taking pictures and sharing we still get to experience this beautiful tribute.

    Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

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    1. Hi Lainy, I wasn’t sure we were going to get there we talked about it for ages, but it was very spur of the moment in the end. I’m glad we went as I know we would have regretted missing it.

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  22. Beautiful and stunning pictures Barbara..Lucky you..:)

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    1. Hi Nagini, I agree we were very lucky to get the chance to go and see them. Glad you enjoyed the pics. Barbara.

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  23. It was lovely having a visit and a comment from you again Barbara. I have missed you - and I know its my fault for abandoning blogging so completely!!
    A friend of mine went to see this a couple of weeks ago ... she was very impressed but I did not realise quite how spectacular it was until I saw your photos. I'm so glad you were not put off going so you could share these here like you have.

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    1. Hello Sharon, it was lovely to see a new post from you. You have been missed!
      I hope the year is being kind to you, and that you are not working too hard.
      Thanks for coming over for a visit, Barbara.

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  24. What a lovely tribute. Sadly one of the many who didn't get to see the poppies, thank you so much for sharing this.

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    1. Hello Tracy, I'm glad we were able to share it, thanks so much for coming over and taking a look. Barbara

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  25. Dear Barbara,

    What a poignant, powerful story. In honour of your beloved Grandfather, to all who fought for our freedom, each poppy, symbolic of their bravery.

    Thank you for your sharing of such thoughts.

    In peace and hope,

    Gary

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    1. Hello Gary, hearing from you is always such a treat. Thank you for talking the time to call in and say hello I appreciate it very much.

      I hope life is being kind to you and yours. Barbara.

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  26. What a fantastic sight to see all those poppies. I imagine it was a very moving occasion.

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  27. such a beautiful tribute, and I'm so glad people were at their best.

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    1. Hi Donna, it made me feel very humble and just a little proud.

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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