Sunday, 20 September 2015

The Wave

Went to Yorkshire Sculpture Park near Wakefield with Sal on Friday on our way down to Sheffield where we were spending a few days with her folks. It was hosting a display of the arch segment of the Tower of London ceramic poppies, also known as "Wave" which was created by Paul Cummins, artist, and Tom Piper, designer.

The original installation in London last year marked 100 years since the start of World War One and each of the 888,246 poppies represented a British and Commonwealth death during the war. The Yorkshire Regiment alone raised 24 Battalions served by 65,000 men, of whom 9,000 died.

I've heard some people criticise it saying that, compared to the Tower of London display, it is disappointing. Maybe it isn't as grand but what the hell were people expecting, all 888,246 poppies? We were both impressed by it anyway and I think the park has done a good job with it's installation. Also were lucky enough to get a bit sunshine on them.

The only thing which marred it was the number of people taking "selfies" in front of the poppies which I thought was a bit disrespectful to those who fought and gave their lives for us. Maybe instead of doing that, they should have stood in silence for a few moments and thought about the enormity of what the young men and women did for us in those few years.

As an example, on the morning of July 1st 1916 2000 young men from Bradford left their trenches in Northern France to advance across No Man's Land. It was the first hour of the first day of the Battle of the Somme. The objective of their attack was the village of Serre where they had been told there would be little resistance. Instead they were met by fire from German machine guns. By the end of the first hour of the battle, 1770 of the men had either been killed or injured and no ground had been gained. It is still the most disastrous single day ever experienced by the British army.

We didn't really have enough time to explore the rest of the park properly as I think it is a full day's job but at least we did see what we went to see and I think we both came away with some good photos.


It must have been over twenty years since I was last in Cartmel and as you'd expect from this sleepy corner of Cumbria, the place hadn&#...