The Tower of London chose to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War by installing an exhibition of ceramic poppies, created by Chesterfield born artist Paul Cummins.
The title for Paul’s work, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, was inspired by a line in the will of a Derbyshire man who joined up in the earliest days of the war and died in Flanders.
Beginning on 17th July 2014, the poppies were progressively added to the moat of the tower. By 11th November 2014, the installation comprised 888,246 handmade ceramic poppies, each representing a British military fatality of the war. The poppies were made using techniques utilized by potters during the First World War.
Following the end of the installation the poppies were sold, with the proceeds raising millions of pounds for charitable causes. The museum acquired one of these poppies for the collection to mark an important moment of remembrance for the nation, created by a Chesterfield artist.