Stuarts Poppy display 2018, Remembering Soldiers Lost is inspired from the famous tour that took place in England. This tour started in London, at Tower Bridge and was named Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. This display included 888,246 ceramic red poppies each one representing a British fatality during the war. The poppies were created by Paul Cummins and Tom Piper. Each day in the moat at sunset, names of 180 Commonwealth troops killed during the war were read out as part of a Roll of Honour, followed by the Last Post. All the poppies that made up the installation were sold, raising millions of pounds which were shared equally amongst six service charities. Olivia, one of the Stuarts Property Services team has got one of the ceramic poppies, gifted to her by her Aunty and Uncle.
There are many different ideas as to how and why WW1 broke out, Militarism – countries wanting the biggest and best armies and navies. Alliances – The triple alliance between Germany, Austria and Italy and the Triple Entente between Britain, France and Russia. Imperialism – Countries wanting a greatest empire. Nationalism – countries looking out for their own interests.
The murder of Arch-Duke and Heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary Franz Ferdinand caused Austria-Hungary to declare War on Serbia. Therefore, bringing many other countries tied by their alliances in to war.
In August 1914, Germany invaded France through Belgium, using its plan for war ‒ the Schlieffen Plan. The German attack was forced back at the Battle of the Marne in September 1914. Both sides dug defensive trenches and the war ground to a halt.
For the next four years, the war on the Western Front consisted of a deadly stalemate. Finally, the Allies, with the Americans, began to push back the Germans. The Allies and Germany signed a ceasefire, or ‘armistice’, at 11am on 11 November 1918. This marked the end of world war one.
As I’m sure you know, the poppy became the symbol of remembrance as it flourished in the fields scarred by battle. Many people wear the poppy at this time of year to remember those lost in not only world war one but all battles.
Here is a famous Poem written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. He was inspired to write this poem after seeing the poppies growing in battle fields after losing his friend at Ypres, Belgium.
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.