For the remainder of this week, every evening, 10,000 individual flames will be lit within the moat of the Tower of London.

This is “Beyond the Deepening Shadow: The Tower Remembers”, a sound and visual experience that marks the centenary of the end of the First World War.

It’s not explicitly an act of remembrance, although it can be expected that many will see it as such, but we’re asked to take whatever meaning we want from the display, with its haunting choral work, with words from War Poet Mary Borden’s Sonnets to a Soldier.

There are two ways to experience, for that is the phrase to use, this display. If you were lucky, you bought a ticket to go down into the moat.

Many many more will walk around the perimeter walkway which will be open every evening, and they expect huge crowds each evening, especially as we get closer to the Armistice on Sunday.

But why attend?

It’s simply an astonishing display.

The music, and if you’re in the moat, there are actors around you as well, but from above peering down, it’s no less an extraordinary sight and sound.

It’s also very different from the poppies, which were observed in respectful silence with hushed murmurs from the crowds. This is a performance, of light and sound, and quite importantly, it doesn’t feel sad.

It could be remembrance, but it can be hope for the end of the war, for those who survived. It can be seen simply as something amazing to see.

It doesn’t really matter why you go, but go, and go soon, for it’ll be gone this time next week.

The flames will be lit by a team of volunteers, led by the Yeoman Warders at 5pm each night up to and including 11th November. The flames burn for around 4 hours, so the display ends around 9pm.


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One comment
  1. Dinah says:

    Hi Ian I must say your photos are so much better than all the ones in the newspapers and we will be going today.

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