"Coming back from canvassing for the Rochester by election, the train was full by the time we reached Victoria. Families with children, pensioners, visitors from overseas, all headed for the Circle line and for Tower Hill, to see the poppies. On Tuesday, I joined them at 11 a.m. It was the most moving memorial to those who fell in the war that this country has ever seen. It has captured the imagination in a way that couldn't have been predicted, and it reminded me of the mountain of flowers at Kensington Palace, shortly after Princess Diana died.
I cannot think of any item of art that has generated such public interest and emotion in my lifetime. It brings home in a very dramatic way the number of British and Commonwealth soldiers who were killed in the Great War.
What was so positive was that each poppy had been bought, many weeks' ago, for £25, raising over £10 million for Service charities."