Fort Nelson host iconic poppies as part of 14-18 NOW tour
Fort Nelson is part of a large ring of forts built to defend the naval base of Portsmouth, and one of five forts built on Portsdown Hill in the 1860s. During the First World War it became home to some of Kitchener’s volunteer army.
The use of artillery became a major part of the soldiers’ experience of the First World War, and Fort Nelson now hosts large artillery pieces from Royal Armouries’ national collection of arms and armour. The Royal Armouries is guardian of one of the finest national collections of arms and armour in the world with its origins based within the Tower of London. The Royal Armouries continues to have a presence in the White Tower at the Tower of London, at the National Museum of Arms and Armour in Leeds as well as at Fort Nelson.
Siona Mackelworth, Interim Public Engagement Director at the Royal Armouries said, ‘We are delighted to be presenting such an iconic sculpture at the Royal Armouries site at Fort Nelson. Having seen Wave presented at a number of sites around the UK, we look forward to seeing it rise from the impressive defensive ramparts of Fort Nelson with its stunning views across Hampshire and towards the Solent. The Fort will provide an inspiring location for visitors to reflect 100 years on from the final days of the First World War ’.
Wave and Weeping Window are from the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red – poppies and original concept by artist Paul Cummins and installation designed by Tom Piper – by Paul Cummins Ceramics Limited in conjunction with Historic Royal Palaces. The installation was originally at HM Tower of London from August to November 2014 where 888,246 poppies were displayed, one for every British or Colonial life lost at the Front during the First World War.
Together, the sculptures Wave and Weeping Window are made of over 11,000 poppies. At the end of the tour they will become part of the permanent collections at Imperial War Museums.
DAF Trucks are the transport sponsor for the UK presentations, and 14-18 NOW are delighted to partner with DAF on making this historic project a reality. The learning and engagement programme for the poppies tour is supported by the Foyle Foundation.