Now this is at least innovative

Get the Challengers out and race them round the moat of the Tower of London:

The poppy memorial at the Tower of London should be mown down by a tank to commemorate the horror of war, the actress Sheila Hancock has said.

Hancock, now an author, said leaving the ceramic poppies “shattered and broken” would symbolise the sacrifice of the men who went to war.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr show, she added it would avert “any danger” of the public thinking of the First World War memorial as simply “beautiful”, bringing home its true meaning.

Not sure I think it’s a good idea but it’s certainly an innovative one.

30 thoughts on “Now this is at least innovative”

  1. “Hancock, now an author, said leaving the ceramic poppies “shattered and broken” would symbolise the sacrifice of the men who went to war.”

    Does she not realise they’ve all been sold to the public, then?

    Gosh, I just can’t understand where people get the idea that actors are idiots who need other people’s words in their mouth to become something useful from…

  2. Including to me. Poppies, not Challengers. We’ve only sold a few of those and I have nowhere to put one.

  3. Given that tanks arguably broke open 4 years of static trench warfare, I’m not sure the metaphor works very well.

  4. SE, have you actually bought one or just sponsored it? Are you going to get one of the poppies from the display for your money at the end? Genuine question; I didn’t look closely when they advertised it.

  5. Ahh, Sheila Hancock. The Rag Trade. So long ago it was made in black and white.

    She and Lulu are of that strange type. No discernable talent, but they linger on in the public mind like an old office Christmas party.

  6. Ah yes. Such a simple idea, apart from being bloody stupid and having utterly utterly got the origin of the poppy wrong. The flanders poppies grew on the fields after the battle was over, blood red like the blood that had been shed.
    The moat is a giant version of a tank trap, so it would cost a small fortune to get the tank out again, assuming it didn’t wreck itself getting in.

  7. As I recall the poppies were not particularly destroyed by tanks. Poem associated with the red poppy written in 1915, tanks not seen in WW1 until 1916.
    Am fairly sure that for an experience of WW1 tanks wouldn’t really enter into it. Lots of shooting, artillery fire, barbed wire and trenches, not forgetting the chemical weapons which were illegal at the time!

  8. John77:

    “The moat is a giant version of a tank trap, so it would cost a small fortune to get the tank out again, assuming it didn’t wreck itself getting in.”

    Yes, this was my second thought, following the de rigeur “typical stupid Guardianista posturing”.

    I’m amazed she didn’t condemn it as a “neo liberal exultation of war” or some such lunacy.

  9. The poppies will raise £15M for the RBL. Having established her moral superiority with her fellow bien pensants, she can watch the royalties roll in from re-runs of Morse and Kavanagh QC with her feet up. And the wounded ex-servicemen and women can go to hell. Nice.

  10. The Tank Museum has a running WWI Mark V, which was one of the tanks that broke the trench lines at Amiens. If we were going to do it, then that’s the way.

    Nice idea, bit late to have come up with it, given that the poppies have been sold.

  11. Boy George

    “Give me time/ To realise my crime”

    False imprisonment?

    “I’m a man without convictions”

    No, you’re not. George – rent boy locked to a radiator – remember that?

  12. She and the late John Thaw bought a house in the village where my other half’s godmother lived – right in the heart of Beaufort Hunt country and about as strongly a pro-hunting village as it’s possible to imagine. They then started to complain about the hunting and wondered why their neighbours didn’t appreciate it.

  13. Richard,

    have you actually bought one or just sponsored it? Are you going to get one of the poppies from the display for your money at the end?

    Yes – I went for the “purchase a poppy” option rather than the “dedication” option. Not least because my direct relatives survived WW1 – admittedly, on my mother’s side, because they were all in reserved occupations (mining village.)

  14. As one of those evil buy to let landlords I rent a flat in London to holidaymakers, and have been encouraging them to go see the display.
    Even I find the calls for an extension of the display a bit off. It’s a memorial, not a tourist attraction, FFS.
    One of those things the British do so well: grand but understated. Compare and contrast the Champs Elysees tomorrow, hard to see the difference with Red Square or Nuremberg.

  15. Unlike Sheila Hancock, I don’t think there is any danger of the public failing to understand what the memorial means that would justify destroying it in that manner.

  16. What bemuses me is how facile the pacifist-left’s view of WW1 tends to be. There’s a lot of projection about lack of understanding and callousness. Then, like the mediocre Jonathan Jones, they base their entire view of four years of conflict on a few lines of out of context poetry.

    When one reads accounts by people who were more or less ‘pro-war’, they don’t treat events as if they were a jolly jape, or deaths as if they didn’t matter. It’s considerably more nuanced and complicated than that, as is the official Remembrance process itself.

  17. I just wished I had dreamed up the idea of a guided day out featuring that mawkish poppy display, the Queen Mother Gates and the Diana Memorial Fountain…it would have been a gold-mine. That’s why I am not an entrepreneur.

  18. Diogenes
    “mawkish”?
    I’ll give you the Diana memorial. (Problems with scum,)
    Maybe the Queen Mother Gates (although she did do some work for longer than your average worker, in between consulting the Racing Post).
    But the poppy display at the Tower seems to me one of the best “performance art” installations ever. And I don’t find it “mawkish”.

    We should remember that though our casus belli was a 1830 guarantee to Belgium, our cause was just.

    In short, fuck off back to your barrel.

  19. @ Charlie Suet
    Quite.
    But most of the soldiers didn’t want to talk about it. It was duty, not fun, and painful to remember (I mean mentally, but the one I knew best was in continual pain for his remaining 50 years).

  20. BiF fuck off back to you. It is about as relevant as those other memorials. What will you do for the victims of Spanish flu?

  21. and what about the victims of Verdun…and the folks who died in Galicia …? If you enjoyed the spectacle, that’s fine…just don’t pretend it was anything other than mawkish.

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