• Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation at the Tower of London marks the centenary of the First World War
  • Each poppy represents a serviceman who tragically lost their life in the Great War
  • Chance to see the touching tribute has been extended until the end of November 2014

Slowly, the quiet green of the moat is making way for a sombre red, a poignant reminder of how 100 years ago, once peaceful and verdant landscapes were transformed by the horrors of war into fields of cruel battle.

As part of its commemorations marking the centenary anniversary of the first world war, the Tower of London has planting 888,246 handmade poppies up, each representing a British soldier who lost his life during the conflict.

It's a powerful installation, one that does well to poetically captures the tragedy of war. Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red was created by the ceramic artist Paul Cummins – with setting by the stage designer Tom Piper – is both captivating and heartbreaking.

You may have seen many images of thousands flocking to see this stunning installation, but what does each part actually represent?

The poppies begin high up and spill out of one of the tower's bastion windows, a symbolic metaphor perhaps of a war wound.

From afar it looks as though the moat has become flooded with crimson but as you get closer, the distinct features of the poppy can be made out.

The poppies are attached to two-foot long metal stalks, extend into the hundreds of thousands, and deliver a dramatic image symbolising each one of the fallen husbands, brothers and sons.

Inspiration for the installation is owed to an elegiac poem written by an unknown soldier who died in the trenches, which Mr Cummins chanced upon when browsing through the archives of a library. The title of the work also pays tribute to the lyricism of the soldier's words.

The poppies have been planted daily since July, with the evenings being marked by readings of the names of lost soldiers from the Roll of Honour and the playing of the Last Post at sunset.

Originally only being displayed until Remembrance Day on the 11th, due to such overwhelming popularity and support, you can visit this beautiful tribute now until the end of the month.

For more information, check out the Tower of London's dedicated page