Poppies: Weeping Window

Hereford Cathedral and Herefordshire Council are pleased to announce the arrival of Poppies: Weeping Window by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper. The cascade of thousands of individual ceramic poppies will appear at Hereford Cathedral from 14 March until 29 April 2018 as part of the final year of 14–18 NOW’s UK-wide tour of the iconic poppies.

The Weeping Window poppy sculpture will be free and open to the public, while a series of special events will be hosted at the cathedral and other venues as part of the Herefordshire Homefront campaign.

A dedicated website www.herefordcathedral2018.org has been created for these events. Additional information will be added as the programme is finalised.

The presentations by 14–18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, give people across the UK the chance to experience the impact of the ceramic poppy sculptures in a range of places of particular First World War resonance. The tour has been made possible by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Backstage Trust, the Clore Duffield Foundation and the National Lottery.

The men and women of Herefordshire made a huge contribution to the war effort, from the brave young men recruited into the Herefordshire Light Infantry – among them Allan Leonard Lewis who was awarded the Victoria Cross – to the Canary Girls who filled munition shells at the Rotherwas Munitions Factory, and the farmers who provided food for the country and the Front, as well as horses for the movement of soldiers and supplies.

The Dean of Hereford, The Very Revd Michael Tavinor, said

‘It is a great privilege for us to host this very special sculpture, which will mean such a lot to so many people. This is a remarkable accolade for the cathedral and for the county, building on our already proud military history and current links with the armed forces. We look forward to providing through Weeping Window an additional focus for prayer and reflection as we near the end of the commemorations of the World War One Centenary.’

Herefordshire Council Cabinet Member for Economy, Councillor David Harlow, said

‘It is so exciting to welcome the Weeping Window poppy sculpture to Herefordshire. We expect to attract up to 2,000 visitors a day to see the artwork, explore Hereford Cathedral and the city. As a proud military county, it is an honour to be able to mark the sacrifices made by those during the First World War.’

Weeping Window is from the installation ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ – poppies and original concept by artist Paul Cummins and installation designed by Tom Piper – by Paul Cummins Ceramics Limited in conjunction with Historic Royal Palaces. The installation was originally at HM Tower of London from August to November 2014 where 888,246 poppies were displayed, one for every British or Colonial life lost at the Front during the First World War.

Together, the sculptures Wave and Weeping Window are made of over 11,000 poppies. At the end of the tour they will become part of the permanent collections at the Imperial War Museums.

DAF Trucks are the transport sponsor for the UK presentations, and 14–18 NOW are delighted to partner with DAF on making this historic project a reality. The learning and engagement programme for the poppies tour is supported by the Foyle Foundation.

Poppies: Weeping Window is a cascade comprising several thousand handmade ceramic poppies.

The men and women of Herefordshire made a huge contribution to the war effort during the First World War in a variety of ways. Young men were recruited into the Herefordshire Light Infantry, which expanded to three battalions during this time, landing in Suvla Bay in Gallipoli in August 1915 before being transferred to the Western Front in 1918. Shells were produced at the Rotherwas Munitions Factory, which saw an influx of thousands of women into the county. Shell filling began on 11 November 1916. Herefordshire also provided horses for the front, known as ‘remounts’, as well as providing food supplies for the nation and the front from farms across the rural county.

Hereford Cathedral dates from 1120 and is renowned for being the home of the Mappa Mundi, 1217 Magna Carta and a unique Chained Library. First World War memorials in the cathedral include a plaque commemorating men of all ranks of the Herefordshire Regiment who died on campaigns in Egypt, Gallipoli, Palestine and France, and one to Hereford Cathedral School students and staff, including four former choristers. A Book of Remembrance for the husbands and sons of members of the Hereford Mothers’ Union who gave their lives in the war is on permanent display. In 2018, Hereford Cathedral will unveil a new plaque honouring soldier Allan Leonard Lewis, the only Herefordshire-born recipient of the Victoria Cross. Lewis was killed in September 1918, aged 23.The Victoria Cross was presented to his parents by H.M King George V at Buckingham Palace in April 1919.