Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red


Today is the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Remembrance Day. This year has been the one in which we’ve all been encouraged to focus on the horrible loss of life in the First World War: a war in which there were 16 million military deaths worldwide and 20 million casualties.

‘Casualties’ sounds such a, well, casual word. In fact many of these ‘casualties’ were unable any longer to work, to form sustained relationships, or in any way able to re-join normal life. And the communities from which the dead and injured came were also maimed, losing many or in some cases all of their young men. The way of life in such communities changed forever.

The most telling way of appreciating the scale of this loss, for me, has been the sea of poppies at the Tower of London. I’ve been unable to witness it in person, but this blog, which I came by thanks to fellow blogger KerryCan, brings the whole project to life in a most moving way. Thank you,  Silver Voice from Ireland.  Here is your post:


I have just returned from a short trip to London, England,where we  lived for almost two decades before returning to Ireland. London is a city that I love and I look forward to each return visit. This year marks the centenary of the start of the First World War which has been commemorated in the most astonishing way at the historic Tower of London.

image The ‘Weeping Window’ the source of the wave of poppies that will fill the moat

Some decades ago, when I worked  in the banking area in the City of London, summer lunchtime would be spent sitting on the grass looking down at the Tower and enjoying the sunshine. We happily munched on our ham and mustard  or cheese and pickle sandwiches while enjoying the historic view and discussing the gruesome executions that took place just yards from where we dined! The Tower itself dates back to…

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6 thoughts on “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

  1. Concentrating on the unimaginable slaughter instead of glorifying war is such an important moment…hope it stays with us all. Although I’ve inly seen photos this bleeding display of poppies has to be the most moving display ever constructed. Thank you for pointing us to Silver Voices blog.


    1. Well, thank KerryCan. She introduced me. There have been some moving posts about Remembrance Day this year, including yours. Unsurprisingly. We should never forget


  2. Thank you for that Margaret – both posts beautifully written. The most moving memorial I have visited was in Paris, so long ago I have no idea where apart from, if my memory serves me correctly, it was under a bridge. A long arched tunnel disappeared into blackness, only relieved by thousands of pin points of light. Each one represented a Jew killed in WW2. It must be three decades since I saw it but it still moves me.


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