Weeping Window, Hereford Cathedral

Published by: Ann R on 20th Mar 2018 | View all blogs by Ann R

Many of you will remember seeing pictures of the ceramic poppies installation at the Tower of London back in 2014, named 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red', by the artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper.

Two years ago the exhibition started to tour the country with its first destination being Caernarvon Castle (Wales).  Since then it has been to many locations and, from last Wednesday, it is here in Hereford - outside the Cathedral.

There are also various talks at the Town Hall each day, ie the history of the Herefordshire Regiment.

I finally got to see it this morning and found it so moving.  There is an exhibition inside the Cathedral of art and poems done by local schoolchildren - I could only read one and I was finished.  They had really studied the subject well and some of them were primary school children.  

Deciding not to make a fool of myself I headed to the local wool shop, noticing that each shop down the little street was decorated with poppies.  Having bought my wool the lady told me that they had got a display in their window and she walked out with me.  Fatal, I did start crying then and had to apologise to her.

I have taken a few photos and will post them in the photo section in a moment.

If you can get to see the exhibition if it comes to a place near you then it is worth it, very thought provoking on the lives that were lost.




  • Events Volunteer .
    by Events Volunteer . 3 months ago
    I know exactly what you mean Ann. I was fortunate enough to see the original installation at The Tower of London in 2014.
    Today I read this from the Commonwealth War Grave Commission: "At 4.40am on the 21 March 1918 the German Army launched its spring offensive with Operation Michael. A huge bombardment with more than 6,600 artillery guns, began along a 46 mile front to mark the start of the offensive...." 100 years on we should remember them all - on both sides.....
  • Events Volunteer .
    by Events Volunteer . 3 months ago
    I have just read the following from a battlefield historian, James Taub. "Remembering all those entering the Kaiserschlacht (or Kaisers Battle) today 100 years ago. German forces would assault the British Third and Fifth Armies pushing them back over the old battlefields of the Somme. This would be the German's last chance to knock out the BEF." We just can't imagine what it must have been like to have been part of this battle.
  • Bill W
    by Bill W 3 months ago
    Carnage, absolute carnage.
    It is so shockingly incredible that a small handful of people responsible for starting that inhuman war have the even bigger responsibility for the slaughter of millions of ordinary young boys.

    Thank you for your blog Ann, but whenever I see poppies, I do have the utmost respect the dead on both sides, but anger always wells up in me thinking of those that created that gruesome war.
  • Ann R
    by Ann R 3 months ago
    Yes, I agree with both of you, it isn't just about our nation it is worldwide. Mary might remember that I was transcribing (for Hereford Library) a WW1 soldier's letters to his mother and the conditions sounded horrendous, staying for days in ruined houses in between battles etc. I think that is what started me on this journey of finding out more about the war. Up until then, even though I had respected that they gave their lives for us, I never knew that much about it, my historical interest ended with the Stuarts. Now I want to find out more.
  • Events Volunteer .
    by Events Volunteer . 3 months ago
    I totally understand your desire to find out more Ann. So do I! And I have been reading about WW1 for just over 4 years but I have only covered a moment in history. (I am a slow reader!) However, I now feel strongly that WW1 could well have been avoided...... if only.
    It is also important in today's climate, to remember that the Russians were our allies.....in both World Wars.....
  • Ann R
    by Ann R 3 months ago
    Thanks, Mary.
  • Hugh G
    by Hugh G 3 months ago
    I, too, saw the installation at the Tower of London in 2014. It was an extraordinarily moving and effective reminder of the carnage of World War 1. I am sure that we will go on remembering. So much has been written, most tellingly by the soldiers themselves, and historians and novelists will keep returning to such a rich source of human experience. I sometimes worry that it is all a bit ghoulish. We cannot hope to imagine what the real experience was like, but, so long as we are willing to listen to those who were there, our reactions will be properly sensitive rather than jingoistic or blood-thirsty. The comments above show just the right approach, but what else would one expect from DropBy members!
  • Ann R
    by Ann R 3 months ago
    Yes, I know what you mean Hugh and I think that most of us treat the stories with sensitivity rather than we would when reading a thriller story (perhaps I am explaining that a bit wrong but hope you know what I mean).
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