I was pleased as punch when I received notification that I had been allocated a shift as a volunteer on the Tower Poppy Removal Team.
I had been so incredibly moved when I visited the Poppies in September. The representation of all those who lost their lives during WW1 by a sea of vivid red ceramic poppies.
Each poppy being planted one by one to create a beautiful and temporary remembrance. The Tower of London Poppies has become a ‘destination’ for so many visitors from overseas but also around the UK. So many photographs being displayed on social media and in the press. Now, as was intended to display the fragility and temporary nature of life, the exhibit is being carefully plucked from the earth one by one, dismantled, washed and packed up dispatch.
The role of volunteer was fun, a small fun team within a large volunteer group working around the moat. Trying hard to not chip or break each poppy whilst removing the washers and stoppers that had held the flower in place so well. Our little team removed poppies first and then changed duties to separate the washers, rods and stoppers. Other teams were on cleaning duties and others packing the poppies into boxes.
It didn’t go unnoticed amongst our team of volunteers that our task was also incredibly moving once again. I was acutely aware that with every poppy we were removing it represented someone loved and lost. There was also the feeling that we were handling the ‘last remains’ of those people and that they were being dispatched to the loved ones left behind.
Truly an honour to have been part of such a moving and beautiful remembrance tribute.