Search icon


05th Nov 2018

10,000 flames light up Tower of London in moving First World War tribute

James Dawson

The tribute will be repeated at the Tower of London every night this week

The Tower of London dry moat was filled with 10,000 torches on Sunday night to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, in which an estimated 16 million died.

The tribute has been named ‘Beyond The Deepening Shadow’ and will now be repeated every night until Remembrance Sunday.

It sees a Beefeater guard bringing a flame down from the tower into the moat before armed forces representatives and volunteers then use the same flame to light to thousands of torches. A minutes silence was also held.

Midshipman Balraj Dhanda of the Royal Navy, a volunteer who assisted in lighting the flames, described the ceremony as “really, really powerful”.

“I think it creates the right atmosphere for people to have their own personal reflections and gives people time with their own thoughts,” he added.

It took a total of 45 minutes for all the flames to be lit, which then burnt for roughly four hours. The tribute was accompanied by a sound installation featuring words from war poet Mary Borden’s Sonnets To A Soldier and choral music.

Dick Harrold, governor of the Tower of London described the event as “amazing”.

He said: “What is so special about it is it means many different things.

“The message with the sound is not focused so much on those that were lost, but those that were left behind, the bereaved and others who were affected by war.”

The tower has previously played host to a number of wartime memorials. In 2014, the moat was filled with 888,246 red poppies to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War.