Tower of London poppies recreated by pupils at Hornsey Rise school

PUBLISHED: 07:09 17 November 2014

Duncombe Primary school recreating the Tower of London poppy installation (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Duncombe Primary school recreating the Tower of London poppy installation (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)


More than 600 poppies formed a Hornsey Rise school’s own version of the famous Tower of London exhibition.

Pupils place their poppies (photo: Arnaud Stephenson) Pupils place their poppies (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Pupils and staff at Duncombe Primary School, in Sussex Way, created paper and ceramic flowers to honour those who died in the First World War because they couldn’t get to see the original installation.

The project formed part of a special topic week commemorating the Great War.

Pupils studied books, went to museums and discussed concepts like heroism, the role of women and animals in the conflict and the Christmas truce of 1914.

At a special assembly on Thursday, the youngsters sang war time songs and head teacher, Barrie O’ hea told them how his grandfather had his eye poked out by a bayonet during hostilities.

He said: “He went over the top and he got a bayonet in his eye.

“But he survived and went back home, he didn’t have to fight any more.

“He lived to about 80, but he always had a glass eye.”

After the assembly, he said: “We couldn’t get down to the Tower of London, so we made our own version here.

“The children have been really thoughtful and have come up with some very insightful things.

“We explored lots of ideas, like what’s so special about this country that makes people queue in Calais to get in.”

Katija Ali, who runs debates with the youngsters at the school, said; “We discussed conscription, and whether people should be forced to fight.

“Generally they came down on the side of that not being fair.

“But some pupils brought up the idea of what would happen if no one agreed to fight. One person’s family might suffer and miss them, but their sacrifice might help society as a whole.

“It was quite astute.”

The Tower of London exhibition, called Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, consists of 888,246 ceramic flowers - one for each British and colonial loss of life.

An estimated 5 million people have visited during the last five months, It is now in the process of being dismantled.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 17:00

The chief executive of a secular pressure group has backed under-fire inner north London senior coroner Mary Hassell, saying “religion shouldn’t be a trump card.”

Yesterday, 13:43

A masked gang has hit Archway with a series of terrifying muggings.

Yesterday, 07:00

The mum of Jonathon “JJ” McPhillips is holding a candlelit vigil on Wednesday to mark one year since he was stabbed to death in Upper Street.

Wed, 19:38

Police officers are appealing to trace a missing 74-year-old man from Hackney who suffers from dementia.

Wed, 15:58

Futuristic phone boxes that have “come out of the blue like a plague of locusts” have angered Islington’s top heritage group.

Wed, 12:15

An underground music venue that played host to a who’s who of Noughties indie bands has reopened as a 1920s-themed jazz bar.

Wed, 11:13

Islington Chinese Association held a huge New Year bash at its Upper Holloway headquarters on Saturday.

Wed, 09:36

Holloway Road’s Northern Polytechnic – now London Metropolitan University – had to be evacuated because of an IRA bomb scare.


“With teenagers there’s a lot of banter, and you can really establish a relationship. You have to trust teenagers to make their own decisions.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now