CWGC PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL TO HOST ICONIC POPPY SCULPTURE

Poppies: Wave will open at the CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial later this year, specially presented by 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, to mark the centenary of the First World War. Wave is a sweeping arch of bright red poppy heads suspended on towering stalks by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper.

Wave is a sweeping arch of bright red poppy heads suspended on towering stalks. A second sculpture, Weeping Window, will be exhibited at other venues across the UK. Weeping Window is a cascade comprising several thousand handmade ceramic poppies seen pouring from a high window to the ground below. These two sculptures, by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper, marking the centenary of the outbreak of war, are now brought to audiences at venues across the country by 14-18 NOW as part of the Poppies tour. As with all 14-18 NOW projects, the presentation of these sculptures to new audiences across the UK aims to prompt a new, nationwide dialogue around the legacy of the First World War.

The breathtaking sculptures were initially conceived as the key dramatic sculptural elements in the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London in the autumn of 2014. Over the course of their time at the Tower, the two sculptures were gradually surrounded by a vast field of ceramic poppies, each one planted by a volunteer in memory of the life of a British and Colonial soldier lost during the First World War. In their original setting they captured the public imagination and were visited by more than five million people.

The original installation was conceived as transitory, the sea of poppies growing in size until the final one was planted on 11 November 2014. On completion, however, it was agreed that the works of art at the heart of this broader act of memorial should be preserved for the nation. 14-18 NOW is grateful to the Backstage Trust and Clore Duffield Foundation for their support in securing these sculptures for posterity. For the remainder of the 14-18 NOW programme, Wave and Weeping Window will be on view at selected locations around the United Kingdom. They will then be gifted to the Imperial War Museums.

Since the tour began in 2015, the sculptures have been seen by nearly two million people.

Announcing the installation, Victoria Wallace, CWGC Director General, said:
"In bringing Wave to a Commonwealth War Graves site, so important to the local communities in Devon, and to the Royal Navy as a whole, we honour all war dead, and combine the force of a wonderful artwork with the body that has commemorated so many men and women for nearly a century. We hope people will visit, or see the images, and remember the sacrifice they made."

Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW, said:
“The poppies have captivated millions of people across the UK, and we are delighted to present Wave at the Plymouth Naval Memorial in 2017 as part of the ongoing tour. Artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper have created two enormously powerful artworks of national significance that continue to inspire all who see them.”

The Plymouth Naval Memorial was built and is maintained by the CWGC and commemorates almost 7,300 servicemen and women of the First World War and almost 16,000 of the Second World War.


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A broad range of cultural and heritage events and talks, coordinated and funded by Plymouth City Council’s Arts and Heritage Service and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, to take place at the CWGC Plymouth Naval memorial and across venues in Plymouth from 23 August –19 November 2017.

All events are Free of Charge. Some events require booking. Please see booking information next to each event.


Plant Remembrance

Saturday 16 September
10.00 – 12.00

Weston Mill Cemetery, North Prospect Road Plymouth PL2 2HA

Please meet at the main entrance to the cemetery.

Come along to Weston Mill Cemetery and make your own paper poppy and plant it near the CWGC War Graves to remember and learn about the WWI casualties in the cemetery. We will have other activities for you to do and have some fun.

Free

Booking essential: plymhearts.eventbrite.co.uk 

// Family Event


The Big Draw – Moving Flowers

Wednesday 25 October 10.30am - 12.30pm
2pm - 4pm

Mayflower Centre, entrance via the Tourist Information Centre, 3-5 the Barbican, Plymouth PL1 2LR

Use plasticine to make your own commemorative flower and discover how to turn this into a moving image. Be inspired by the CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial Remember to bring your phone to capture your creation! Suitable for all the family.

Free

Booking essential: plymhearts.eventbrite.co.uk 

// Family Event


Remembering with Poppies

Saturday 26 August
1pm - 1.40pm

CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial, Plymouth Hoe

Ailish Sinclair presents a moving talk exploring commemoration and remembrance. Understand the importance of Plymouth during the ‘war to end all wars’ and why having remembrance at the heart of our culture is important.

Free

Booking not required

// Bitesize Presentation


Women’s Forces in World War One

Wednesday 4 October
1pm - 1.40pm

CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial, Plymouth Hoe

Remember the forgotten women who were vital in the first ‘total war’. Explore the battlefields that these women fought on and the legacy they left behind.  

Free

Booking not required

// Bitesize Presentation


Join a member of staff from Plymouth’s Art and Heritage Service to discuss Devon’s own Borlase Smart, official war painter. Trained at Plymouth College of Art, Smart went on to produce some of the most iconic paintings of the First World War.

Free

Booking not required

// Bitesize Presentation

War Art of Borlase Smart

Wednesday 8 November
1pm - 1.40pm

Plymouth College of Art, Tavistock Place, Plymouth PL4 8AT


Heritage Walks: Plymouth Hoe – In Memoriam

Tuesday 17 October
2.30pm to 4pm

Wednesday 15 November
10.30am - 12pm

Meet at CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial, Plymouth Hoe

Take a stroll around the Hoe with Nigel Overton from Arts and Heritage Service. Discover more about the CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial. Reflect upon some notable events that took place on The Hoe during the First World War and learn a little more about the other distinctive monuments that line the Promenade. For those who want to walk a little further, there are also more commemorative locations to visit around the edge of the Hoe Park.

Free

Booking essential: plymhearts.eventbrite.co.uk

// Walks


Photography Walks

Thursday 19 October
4.30pm - 6pm

Saturday 4 November
2pm - 3.30pm

Meet at CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial, Plymouth Hoe

Join photographer Fiona Evans for some hints and tips about how to take great images using the Hoe, whilst the Wave sculpture is situated on the Memorial and provides a backdrop. The first session is particularly aimed at amateur photographers and photography enthusiasts, who like to take photos on their phone. Expand on your skills in the second session, which explores depth of field.

Free

Booking essential: plymhearts.eventbrite.co.uk

// Walks


Making Wave for the Tower TR2

Thursday 14 September
Thursday 12 October
Thursday 9 November
All 2pm - 3pm

TR2, 12 Neptune Park, Cattedown, Plymouth PL4 0SJ

Uncover the secrets of how the structure was made for Poppies: Wave. See detailed designs for the original construction at the Tower of London, and how Theatre Royal Plymouth played a part in one of the country’s most poignant public artworks.

Free

// Tour


Personal Stories. Researching CWGC and WWI commemorations

30 & 31 August
10am – 12pm

CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial

Ford Park Cemetery Trust Heritage team, share their local WWI research and give advice at this drop in session, on researching the Naval Memorial and CWGC commemorations

Free

Booking not required

// Tour


WWI Cemetery Walks

9 & 10 September
2pm

Ford Park Cemetery

Ford Park Cemetery (formerly known as Pennycomequick or Plymouth Old Cemetery) contains 769 burials of the First World War, more than 200 of them in a naval plot, the rest scattered throughout the cemetery. All of the 198 Second World War burials are scattered, 1 of which is an unidentified airman of the Royal Air Force. There are a further 4 Foreign National and 1 non world war service burials here.

Free

Booking not required

// Tour


CWGC Heritage Talk and Tour

Friday 29 September
5pm

CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial

Elizabeth Nicol, CWGC works manager shares the history of the CWGC Plymouth Naval memorial giving insight into how CWGC maintains and cares for memorials and graves across 154 countries. A staff perspective on maintaining the commemorations of 1.7m servicemen and women and a look at the memorial as you’ve never seen it before.

Free

// Tour


100 years CWGC - For Then, For Now, Forever

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Historian, Glyn Prysor, presents 100 years of the CWGC and the significance of the Commission’s work in Plymouth and the UK.

Booking details and date TBD


SCHOOLS

Schools CPD Workshops presented by 14-18 NOW & CWGC 28 September | 1.30-4.30pm | Guildhall, Plymouth

We are inviting KS2-3 teachers to participate in a free CPD and guided tour of the memorial. The session will provide:

  • A take-away teacher’s pack with a raft of lesson plans across KS2-3 as well as opportunities for linked school visits
  • Practical lesson plans for using the sculptures as a platform to explore the First World War and local history units
  • Literacy, history and art focused activity to generate rich writing outcomes
  • Classroom strategies using the sculpture for promoting pupil talk

14-18 Now presents FREE DIGITAL STORYTELLING SCHOOL WORKSHOPS
3 & 4 October | Guildhall Plymouth

Explore the artworks through a digital lens by filming and editing mini films as a class-response. Workshops are pitched to pupils across Year 5–10 and draw out skills in narrative, storyboarding, filming, editing and sharing.

For more information about the full 14-18 NOW programme of extraordinary arts events, please go to www.1418now.org.uk #PoppiesTour

What is Poppies: Wave?

Poppies: Wave is one of two sculptures from the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper at the Tower of London in the summer and autumn of 2014. Wave is a sweeping arch of bright red poppy heads suspended on towering stalks; and Weeping Window is a cascade comprising several thousand handmade ceramic poppies seen pouring from a high window to the ground below.

The two sculptures are now being brought to audiences at venues across the country by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary as part of the Poppies tour.

What will I be able to see at the CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial?

CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial is one of two locations in 2017 where visitors will be able to see Poppies: Wave.

When and what time can I see Poppies: Wave at CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial?

The sculpture is free to view all day, seven days a week from 23 August until 19 November 2017.

Volunteers will be at the memorial to greet visitors between 10am and 6pm daily.

For further information, please email community@cwgc.org.

Do I need to book in advance to see Poppies: Wave?

There is no need to book in advance to see Poppies: Wave at CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial.

How close can I get to Poppies: Wave?

Visitors can get close-up views of Poppies: Wave at CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial, with access allowing them to get within metres of the sculpture. However, visitors are asked not to touch the sculpture.

How accessible is Poppies: Wave?

Poppies: Wave at the CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial is easily accessible, meaning people with mobility issues can experience the sculpture. However, some parts of the memorial may be difficult to reach due to steps.

I would like to bring a group to see Poppies: Wave. How do I do this?

We welcome groups to come and see Poppies: Wave at CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial. If you require assistance planning your visit, please email community@cwgc.org with more details about your group and when you would like to visit. There will also be a broad range of cultural and heritage events and talks, coordinated and funded by Plymouth City Council and the CWGC, at the memorial and across venues in Plymouth from August to November. We will confirm details on this website closer to the opening of Poppies: Wave at CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial. To register your interest please email community@cwgc.org.

We are a school, are there any workshops planned for Poppies: Wave which our school can take part in?

We are developing a comprehensive and diverse learning and engagement programme for schools.

We will confirm details of our offer to schools on this website closer to the opening of Poppies: Wave at CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial. To register your interest please email community@cwgc.org.

Am I allowed to take photos and film Poppies: Wave?

You are welcome to take photos and video for personal use and we would encourage you to share these on social media using the hashtag #PoppiesTour. Please note that any photos and video taken are for personal use only and may not be recreated or used for commercial purposes.

Media and Press

If you are a media outlet interested in photographing or filming Poppies: Wave at CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial, then please contact CWGC’s Press Office on 01628 507163 or 01628 507102 or you can email media@cwgc.org.

Will the poppies be for sale?

The two poppy sculptures that are being presented across the UK are from the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red originally seen at the Tower of London.

They were bought for the nation by the Clore Duffield Foundation and the Backstage Trust (one of the Sainsbury's charities). The military charities benefited from the sale of these poppies in the same way as the poppies which were purchased by individuals. No new poppies are being made for the tour so there are no further poppies available to buy.

Is there a quiet space for reflection?

We have provided a space at the CWGC Information Centre next to the sculpture where you will be able to leave your written memories, and reflections of the sculpture and the First World War itself.

We would like to encourage visitors to share their memories or thoughts by using one of our memory cards which are available to complete.

How can I volunteer for Poppies: Wave?

We have had a great response to our call for Poppy volunteers, but we are looking for more.

Anyone wishing to sign up and be part of Poppies: Wave should email volunteers@cwgc.org.

You must be aged 18+ and be prepared to work outside. All training and a uniform will be given by CWGC.

For more information about becoming a volunteer, please see below.

Will there be refreshments available?

There are no catering facilities on site at the memorial, however there are a number of eateries, restaurants, cafes, and shops nearby on the Hoe.

Are there any public toilets, including disabled and baby changing facilities?

There are several public toilet facilities located nearby on the Hoe.

Where else can I see Poppies: Wave?

Wave and Weeping Window will be touring to selected locations around the UK until autumn 2018 after which they will be gifted to the Imperial War Museums.

Click here to find out where else you can see Wave and Weeping Window.

How can I find out more about Poppies: Wave?

You can find out more about Poppies: Wave and other arts events as part of the arts programme for the First World War centenary on the 14-18 NOW website.

This is a new opportunity to volunteer alongside others while Poppies: Wave is on show at CWGC’s Naval Memorial at Plymouth from 23 August 2017 to 19 November 2017 to help visitors make the most of their visit to Plymouth.

Working with a great team in primarily an outdoor role, you'll welcome visitors to our site, and help to enhance the public's visit ensuring all visitors are welcomed even when we are busy and during a time when we are anticipating even greater visitor numbers.  You will help them to find their way around, directing them to the sculpture. Plymouth is a truly unique place to volunteer. You will provide that all-important first impression to visitors and users.  Above all else, you will make sure that every single person who visits the site has a memorable experience and will inspire visitors to come back and visit us time and time again.

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Main tasks and responsibilities:

  • Welcoming all visitors to CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial and assisting with their enquiries in a positive and friendly manner, whatever the weather.
  • Helping people get the most out of their visit to Plymouth by being able to promote all elements of the visitor experience.
  • Enhancing the visitor experience and helping to create marvellous memories for our visitors.
  • Instructing visitors in a clear, polite, and friendly manner.
  • Assisting staff in the monitoring and controlling of visitor flow during peak times.
  • Handing out of leaflets and information.
  • Making sure all areas of the CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial are clean and tidy, ensuring the site is welcoming and attractive to visitors.
  • Promoting and supporting all elements of the visitor experience – Poppies: Wave, reflection space, public engagement programme.
  • Being an Ambassador for the CWGC.
  • Providing information on 14–18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art commissions / Blood Swept lands and Seas of Red / Poppies: Wave at Plymouth/Specific FWW relevance at this site.

What's in it for you:

  • This is a totally unique opportunity to be part of a very special event at Plymouth.
  • The opportunity to develop your knowledge of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
  • Experience of working with the general public, including families and young people.
  • Other information (e.g. issues with access to site, activity requires own transport etc.): Sensible footwear and appropriate clothing is essential. We will provide you with CWGC-branded polo shirts for easy identification by visitors. We have waterproof jackets available to borrow on bad weather days.

Skills and experience required:

  • Positive and outgoing personality, with a good sense of humour.
  • Good level of written and spoken English.
  • Well-presented, reliable and personable.
  • Confident in customer-facing environment to ensure effective queue-management.
  • Happy to work outdoors.
  • Ability to work in a team and remain calm under pressure.

Support and training required:

  • Full induction and training will be provided.

Volunteers must be aged 18 or over

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Wave and Weeping Window are from the installation ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ – poppies and original concept created by artist Paul Cummins and installation designed by Tom Piper – by Paul Cummins Ceramics Limited in conjunction with Historic Royal Palaces, originally at HM Tower of London 2014.

Image credit: © Richard Lea-Hair and Historic Royal Palaces