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.
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.
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,
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.