POPPIES: WAVE - The Last Post
With funding from Southend Borough Council, Arterial Culture CIC have been proud to support an extraordinary exhibition which enrolled players, drawn from bands in the South East of the county, to perform the Last Post every evening at 7pm for 75 consecutive days at POPPIES: WAVE
BY PAUL CUMMINS ARTIST AND TOM PIPER DESIGNER
12 APRIL - 25 JUNE 2017
Barge Pier, Shoeburyness, Southend-on-Sea
In Gunners’ Park, on th'old Barge Pier,
A wave of poppies standing here
In memory of millions who
Gave up their lives for me and you.
And I, tho’ old would not have memories grow cold
So when they asked if I would play “Last Post”
What could I say but simply, “Yes.”
Our debt’s too great to pay
Ten thousand bugle calls no recompense
For all those lives cut off too soon.
But, this I sense: If they could speak from “Over there”
’twould be no sentimental gush
But through the breezy evening hush,
The words would come both loud and clear.
”If you would claim your heritage, then live life straight, hold honour dear!”
"The breathtaking sculpture Wave, a sweeping arch of bright red poppy heads suspended on towering stalks, was originally seen at the Tower of London as part of the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red.
For the installation in Shoeburyness, Southend-on-Sea, the sculpture was located at The Barge Pier, built in 1908. Southend was the scene of one of the first air-raid attacks on the UK and many of the artillery guns used were designed and tested at Shoeburyness. In common with the rest of the country, many people from Southend fought or acted as nursing staff and many lost their lives."