Yeovilton personnel plant poppies at the Tower
Royal Navy personnel from the Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton in Somerset have been helping plant poppies in the moat at the Tower of London to mark the 100 years since the first full day of Britain’s involvement in the First World War.
The evolving installation named “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” will consist of over 888,246 handmade ceramic poppies, one for each British and Colonial fatality during the First World War.
Some 18000 people volunteer each week to help with the planting, with the last of the poppies to be placed in the moat of the iconic landmark on Armistice Day 11th November 2014.
Amongst the sixty military and civilian personnel from RNAS Yeovilton who assisted with the poppy planting over three days were six of the Navy’s newest recruits from the station's Air Engineering School.
The young Fleet Air Arm engineers took time off from a busy training programme to volunteer and play a small part in what has become an historic event. An estimated four million people are expected to have visited the Tower to view the poppies before the installation closes.
Warrant Officer (WO2) Barry Firth MBE said; “The opportunity to take the trainee’s to the Tower to be part of such a historic event was really important to me this early in their careers, seeing the poppies in their entirety and reflecting on the sacrifice they represent resonated with all in such an overwhelming manner which will last a long time.”
Air Engineering Technician (AET) Kirsty Rothwell Phase 2B Engineering Trainee said; I am proud to volunteer to be at the Tower of London helping plant poppies to show my respect to all those that have served before me.”
At the end of a busy and memorable day two of the trainee’s AET Max Searle and AET James-Lowe met up with Yeoman Warder Bob Grenfell an ex-Royal Navy Master-At-Arms and the Tower of London’s first ex-Royal Navy Yeoman Warder who gave the lads a first-hand account of life working in the Tower of London.