As the process of dismantling the art installation at the Tower of London began, a long-serving gardener at the Hampton Court Palace was given the honour of the picking the first ceramic poppy.
66 year-old John Mould from East Molesey has served as a gardener at the Royal Palace for nearly 50 years. The gardens and estates manager, Graham Dillamore, said about him: “We were asked if we had anyone suitable and we replied that we have just the right man. John was honoured to do it and our team felt very proud to be involved.”
The dismantling process began last Wednesday, one day after Armistice Day. Mr. Mould’s colleagues from the Hampton Court gardening force joined in the effort, and have so far removed about 40,000 poppies. Later, members of the crew from Kensington Palace will also help with the removal of the commemorative poppies.
The poppies from the installation have all been purchased for £25 each. 10% of the profits per poppy will be donated to charity, with six charities benefiting from their sale.
‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ was a poignant art installation at the Tower of London. Designed by John Cummins, it commemorated 100 years since the First World War, and featured 888, 246 ceramic poppies – one for each British soldier who lost his life during the conflict. It was unveiled on the 5th of August, and was visited by a number of members of the Royal Family, including the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh as well as The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge along with Prince Harry, who each planted a poppy.
Photo Credit: ©Richard Lea-Hair and Historic Royal Palaces