Remembrance

WWI Centenary Marked With Tower Of London Flames

Thousands of flames have been installed to remember all those lost in the First World War, and in every conflict since.

Around 10,000 flames have filled the empty moat encircling the Tower of London to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

The installation, called 'Beyond the Deepening Shadow: The Tower Remembers', uses light and sound to form a tribute to the fallen.

The flames are being lit in the Tower’s empty moat, every night for the next week.

The visual spectacle is accompanied by a specially-commissioned sound installation; a sonic exploration of the shifting tide of political alliances, friendship, love and loss in war.

As the sky darkened over the Tower of London, a bugler played The Last Post heralding a new installation for Remembrance.
As the sky darkened over the Tower of London, a bugler played 'The Last Post', heralding a new installation for Remembrance.

Pete McGowran, Chief Yeoman Warder, discussed what the installation evoked for him: "The first thing that’s gone through my mind is the Battle of the Somme, thinking about those young soldiers – really young soldiers – remember this is where they would have kitted up a lot of them, the London battalion.

"This is where they swore allegiance and this is where they were sent from that moat to battle, and most of them never came back.

"So even walking on that ground sends a shiver up your spine… So that’s what it meant to me."

Thousands of flames have been lit around the Tower of London, to remember all those lost in the First World War, and in every conflict since (Picture: PA).
The Tower’s Yeoman Warders lit the first of thousands of flames to honour the fallen (Picture: PA).

As the evening drew on - more flames were lit. Gradually, they created a circle of light, radiating from the Tower as a powerful symbol of remembrance.

Tom Piper, Designer of Beyond the Deepening Shadow, told us what the installation meant for him: “The flame for me represents both the spirits of the lives lost, but also it’s bringing flame to the darkness after the end of the First World War.

“So it’s bringing the light of hope and also a reminder of how fragile that is, in a world where peace is quite a difficult thing.”

Beyond the Deepening Shadow unfolds over 4 hours each night - with representatives from all the Armed Forces lighting the flames.

Members of the public are invited to watch, and to remember.

The installation runs until Armistice Day, 11th November – the last day of this centenary year of the Great War (Picture: PA).
The installation runs until Armistice Day, 11th November – the last day of this centenary year of the Great War (Picture: PA).

Lieutenant Colonel Cathy Braddock-Hughes, Veteran, said: “I think that the public will hopefully get the fact that people who have given their life and their service will be remembered, whether that was from the First World War or the Second World War, or one of the more recent armed conflicts that we’ve been involved in, and that when somebody has given the ultimate sacrifice for their country and for their queen that they’ll be remembered."

The installation is free to view from Tower Hill and the Tower concourse, and special ticketed access will also be provided to the Moat itself, for members of the public to experience the intimate and sensory sound installation and to see 'Beyond the Deepening Shadow' up-close.