1914 – 2014

The Great War


More than
10.5 million
4 years

The Great War, also known as the First World War or WWI, was a global war centered in Europe.
Beginning 28 July 1914 and ending 11 November 1918, it claimed more than 10.5 million battle deaths.

Remembrance Day

Following the end of the First World War, the poppy became a symbol of commemoration. It was among the first plants to spring to life on Europe's devastated battlefields. Its colour, reminiscent of bloodshed,
and its resilient yet delicate nature evoke the
human relationship to war.

Poppy Field

The First World War was initially dubbed the war
to end all wars.
Sadly, the world has witnessed
more than 200 conflicts in the 100 years since.
Poppy Field reflects on the human cost of war
from the beginning of the 20th Century.


Filter by Number of Deaths

Between and
Data View source
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
Colonel John McCrae,
from In Flanders Fields 1915

Poppy Field is an independent project – a reflection on human life lost in war.

This year marks the Centenary of the Great War. It was a war without parallel - its scale of destruction eclipsed all previous wars. Sadly, the sacrifice of lives did not end with ‘The war to end all wars’.

In the interactive, each poppy depicts a war since the 1900. The stem grows from the year when the war started and the poppy flowers in the year the war ended. Its size shows the number of deaths and the variation of colour represents the areas involved.

The data

The Polynational War Memorial provided all source data. Please note that this research is a work in progress and that information may be incomplete. In the few instances where alternative sources are used, these are cited in the conflict notes.

This project does not present an argument, nor is our intention to provide a conclusion on the topic. Rather we wish to reflect on the human cost of war and to recognise the Great War Centenary.


Special Thanks

Jon Brunberg for his research The Polynational War Memorial
Timothy Sondreal for data research and content editing
Mathias Dahlström for support and advice with D3
James Ball, co-author of the book The Infographic History of the World

Poppy Field was first published in
The Infographic History of the World, a book that narrates history through data visualization and infographic storytelling

Order the book online

* Source data has been updated since the book was published

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View Static Infographic