Early on Sunday morning, A group of Orient supporters made their way to the Tower of London to assist with the planting of ceramic poppies in the moat of the fortress as part of the commemorations of the centenary of the start of the Great War in 1914.
Titled Blood Swept Lands and Sea of Red, created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins with setting by stage designer Tom Piper, ultimately 888,246 poppies will have been planted following the start of this evolving and evocative installation on 5 August and which will be completed on 11 November – Armistice Day.
The O’s representation was instigated and organized by Supporters Club officer Keren Harrison further to her visit to plant poppies with her sister Linda in the summer.
The weather that greeted the Orient group got progressively worst as the morning went on, so much so the day appeared to make conditions as authentic to the Somme weather-wise as possible!
Undaunted, and further to a briefing and supplying of PPE equipment, everyone got stuck into the task, whether actually assembling the poppies or planting them. When the rain threatened to call a halt to proceedings the O’s contingent started singing songs to entertain the gathered crowds watching high above the moat – songs that would have been well known to those at the front at the time of the war.
An O’s Somme badge was also discreetly planted deep in the soil amongst the poppies to commemorate our fallen lads of 1916 – William Jonas, Richard McFadden and George Scott.
Everyone agreed it was an honour and a privilege to have been able to take part in this unique event – one that will be talked about and remembered for many years to come.
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
Steve Jenkins from the LOFC Supporters Club will be on the Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2 today (Monday) at around 1.30pm