Poignant Remembrance

Coningsby Remembrance EMN-151116-070518001

Coningsby Remembrance EMN-151116-070518001

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Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red was a work of installation art placed in the moat of the Tower of London, England, between July and November 2014, commemorating the centenary of the outbreak of World War I.

It consisted of 888,246 ceramic red poppies, each intended to represent one British or Colonial serviceman killed in the War. The artist was Paul Cummins, with setting by stage designer Tom Piper.

Coningsby Remembrance EMN-151116-070506001

Coningsby Remembrance EMN-151116-070506001

The work’s title was taken from the first line of a poem by an unknown World War I soldier.

To commemorate the centenary, RAF Coningsby Photographer, Sgt Andy Benson, has captured several images using one of the poppies from the installation.

The blood swept lands and seas of red,

Where angels dare to tread.

Coningsby Remembrance EMN-151116-070455001

Coningsby Remembrance EMN-151116-070455001

As I put my hand to reach,

As God cried a tear of pain as the angels fell,

Again and again.

As the tears of mine fell to the ground,

Coningsby Remembrance EMN-151116-070444001

Coningsby Remembrance EMN-151116-070444001

To sleep with the flowers of red,

As any be dead.

My children see and work through fields of my own with corn and wheat,

Blessed by love so far from pain of my resting

Fields so far from my love.

It be time to put my hand up and end this pain

Of living hell, to see the people around me

Fall someone angel as the mist falls around,

And the rain so thick with black thunder I hear

Over the clouds, to sleep forever and kiss

The flower of my people gone before time

To sleep and cry no more.

I put my hand up and see the land of red,

This is my time to go over,

I may not come back So sleep, kiss the boys for me.