Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Young Royals Plant Poppies in the Tower Moat to Honour the Fallen; Ceramic Plants to Mark the Dead Will Be Sold to Benefit Today's Troops

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Young Royals Plant Poppies in the Tower Moat to Honour the Fallen; Ceramic Plants to Mark the Dead Will Be Sold to Benefit Today's Troops

Article excerpt

Byline: Robert Jobson Royal Editor

PRINCE William, Kate and Prince Harry each added a poppy to the blood-red sea of them in the moat of the Tower of London today, to mark the 100th anniversary of Britain joining the Great War. And although the ceramic poppies did not blow in the wind, as in John McCrae's famous poem In Flanders Fields, the imagery was equally powerful.

Each poppy in artist Paul Cummins's compelling installation, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, represents a British or colonial soldier who perished in the First World War.

The last of the 888,246 poppies will be laid on November 11, Armistice Day.

The royals were met by General The Lord Dannatt, Constable of the Tower of London and former Chief of the General Staff.

They walked through the installation in the moat before each planted a poppy. They also met the artist and designers who worked on the project.

The Tower's moat was used to swear in more than 1,600 men, who had enlisted by the end of August 1914 at the recruitment station in the City to form the 10th Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, the so-called "stockbrokers' battalion."

The first ceramic poppy was planted on July 17 by a Yeoman Warder of the Tower and 8,000 volunteers from across the country will continue to plant them.

Poppies were the only plants that grew on the barren battlefields of northern France and Flanders, around the bodies of fallen soldiers. Recognised in McCrae's poem, the poppy has become a memorial to all who lay down their lives for their country.

The ceramic poppies on display will be available for purchase for PS25 on the Historic Royal Palaces website. The profits will be shared equally between six service charities: COBSEO, Combat Stress, Coming Home, Help for Heroes, Royal British Legion and SSAFA.

The three royals have played a high profile role in the First World War centenary commemorations.

They returned to the UK overnight after appearing alongside world leaders in a series of events to mark the centenary in Belgium. …

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