World War One poppies – Buying one shouldn’t have been a bloodbath

One of the more visually striking acts of remembrance for the centenary of the outbreak of World War One was the planting of thousands of ceramic poppies in the Tower of London moat.

These went on sale for £25 plus £6 postage (within the UK) the other week, with some proceeds going to charity. Given the history of war dead in both families it seemed a nice idea to try to get a poppy for each set of parents.


(Photo from

The website wouldn’t work, it let me enter all my details and then had a tantrum on the payments page that was entirely unrelated to the payment card.

So I rang the phone hotline – no thanks to the number on the website after it failed as that was incorrect, the temporary staff who had been hired in to deal with the barrage of calls were all  very nice but not one of them had working access to the payment system – every single person was locked out and it wouldn’t let them in.

Not that any of them admitted this, I ended up flat out asking after my third phone call and third very confused sounding kid on the other end.

poppy guards

(Photo from the morons at Historic Palaces)

Three hours after the sale was meant to have started they finally got their systems sorted and I was able to buy the three poppies that I wanted – well I think I’ve bought them, they’ve taken the money, given me a verbal reference but it’s been several days now and I’ve not had email confirmation.

In theory as some point between 14th October and 15th November I may have a package from the morons at Historic Royal Palaces – although those dates which I was given verbally seem at odds with those on the website!

Given how p*ss-poor the whole experience has been I am expecting the package to be full of pretty bits of dust rather than anything intact. Which is a shame as it was a lovely idea.

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