Hereford Cathedral and Herefordshire Council are pleased to announce the arrival of Poppies: Weeping Window by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper. The cascade of thousands of individual ceramic poppies will appear at Hereford Cathedral from 14 March until 29 April 2018 as part of the final year of 14–18 NOW’s UK-wide tour of the iconic poppies.

The Weeping Window poppy sculpture will be free and open to the public, while a series of special events will be hosted at the cathedral and other venues as part of the Herefordshire Homefront campaign.

The presentations by 14–18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, give people across the UK the chance to experience the impact of the ceramic poppy sculptures in a range of places of particular First World War resonance. The tour has been made possible by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Backstage Trust, the Clore Duffield Foundation and the National Lottery.

The men and women of Herefordshire made a huge contribution to the war effort, from the brave young men recruited into the Herefordshire Light Infantry – among them Allan Leonard Lewis who was awarded the Victoria Cross – to the Canary Girls who filled munition shells at the Rotherwas Munitions Factory, and the farmers who provided food for the country and the Front, as well as horses for the movement of soldiers and supplies.

The Dean of Hereford, The Very Revd Michael Tavinor, said

‘It is a great privilege for us to host this very special sculpture, which will mean such a lot to so many people. This is a remarkable accolade for the cathedral and for the county, building on our already proud military history and current links with the armed forces. We look forward to providing through Weeping Window an additional focus for prayer and reflection as we near the end of the commemorations of the World War One Centenary.’

Herefordshire Council Cabinet Member for Economy, Councillor David Harlow, said

‘It is so exciting to welcome the Weeping Window poppy sculpture to Herefordshire. We expect to attract up to 2,000 visitors a day to see the artwork, explore Hereford Cathedral and the city. As a proud military county, it is an honour to be able to mark the sacrifices made by those during the First World War.’

Weeping Window is 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 the 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.