The Tower of London was lit up with 10,000 torches to honour those who died in World War I, and the photos are incredible

The moat outside the Tower of London was lit up with 10,000 torches Sunday night, in a dazzling display to honour those killed in World War I.

The moving ceremony will continue every night through November 11, which marks Remembrance Day in the UK – the anniversary of the end of the Great War.

This year marks 100 years since the war’s end, so Tower of London officials wanted to mark the event with a grand display.

Here are 16 more incredible more photos from the event.


The event started at dusk Sunday night, with a bugler playing “The Last Post,” a song that is traditionally played at military funerals.

Source: CNN


From there, a Yeoman Warder brought a flame down from the tower to the moat in order to light the approximately 10,000 torches.

Source: CNN


Yeoman Warders, also known as Beefeaters, are the tower’s guards. In addition to guarding the tower and the Crown Jewels, they give tours of the castle.

Source: CNN


The ceremony was no doubt important for the Beefeaters, all of whom are veterans who served at least 22 years in the military.

Source: Historic Royal Palaces


Volunteers, many of whom had a family connection to the war, also helped the Beefeaters light the torches.

Source: The Evening Standard


Midshipman Balraj Dhanda of the Royal Navy was one of the volunteers. “I think it creates the right atmosphere for people to have their own personal reflections, and gives people time with their own thoughts,” he said.

Source: The Guardian


It took the group of Beefeaters and volunteers a little less than an hour to light the thousands of torches.

Source: The Evening Standard


The torches burn for about four hours before running out fuel. They will be refilled ahead of each subsequent lighting.

Source: The Evening Standard


World War I broke out in June 1914, when Serbian terrorists assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary.

Source: British National Archives


Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, and allies of both countries entered the fray.

Source: British National Archives


Britain joined the Serbian side that August, when Germany, an ally of Austria-Hungary, invaded Belgium, which the Brits had promised to defend under the 1839 Treaty of London.

Source: British National Archives


The British side was victorious in the war, which came to an end on November 11, 1918 when the Germans signed an armistice agreement.

Source: BBC


The UK sent nearly 9 million soldiers to fight in the war, and more than 900,000 were killed.

Source: Britannica


In total on both sides, 65 million troops were mobilized, and 8.5 million died.

Source: Britannica


The Historic Royal Palaces, which manages the Tower of London, was inspired to put on the display after the success of an art installation in 2014.

Source: The Guardian


In 2014, the moat was filled with thousands of ceramic red poppies to mark the anniversary of the start of the Great War.

Source: The Guardian

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