Danny Boyle announces artwork to honour those involved in the First World War

A number of events on beaches are planned to honour the Armistice Day centenary.

Filmmaker Danny Boyle has called on people to remember the millions of lives lost or changed forever by the First World War by etching silhouettes in the sand on the centenary of Armistice Day.

The Slumdog Millionaire director is asking people to gather on beaches across the UK on November 11.

A large-scale portrait of a casualty from the First World War, designed by sand artists, will be washed away as the tide comes in.

New James Bond film
Film director Danny Boyle has called on the public to add their support to proceedings on Armistice Day (PA).

The public can also join in by “creating silhouettes of people in the sand, remembering the millions of lives lost or changed forever by the conflict”.

Events will take place at a number of beaches at low-tide.

Boyle, who recently quit making the next Bond film, said: “Beaches are truly public spaces, where nobody rules other than the tide.

“They seem the perfect place to gather and say a final goodbye and thank you to those whose lives were taken or forever changed by the First World War.

“I’m inviting people to watch as the faces of the fallen are etched in the sand, and for communities to come together to remember the sacrifices that were made.”

Pages Of The Sea has been commissioned by 14-18 NOW to mark the centenary of Armistice Day.

It is described as an “informal, nationwide gesture of remembrance for the men and women who left their home shores during the First World War”.

Millions of people served in the First World War and many left by sea.

Poet Carol Ann Duffy has been invited by Boyle to write a new poem, which will be read by individuals, families and communities as they gather on the beaches.

Copies of the poem will be available at the beaches around the UK.

The public can also explore an online gallery of portraits of some of the men and women who served in the First World War, and select someone to say a personal goodbye to either via social media or as they gather in person on beaches.

The images are drawn from the Imperial War Museum’s Lives Of the First World War, which aims to tell eight million stories of those who served from Britain and the Commonwealth.

Visitors to the website can also add portraits of members of their family or community who contributed to the First World War.

Reception for Contemporary British Poetry
Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy will write a new poem for the event (PA).

Jenny Waldman, director of 14-18 NOW, said: “Danny Boyle has conceived a beautiful, poetic artwork that invites people across the UK to participate in a new informal gesture of remembrance on the centenary of Armistice Day.

“It is a fitting farewell to all of those who served and were affected by the First World War.”

John Orna-Ornstein, the National Trust’s director of culture and engagement, said: “Our coastline and its beaches are special places which give us the space, freedom and opportunity for refreshment in our busy lives.

“They demonstrate the power of nature but they are often also places with deep connections to history and compelling stories, the perfect places to pause and reflect.

“We know people will want space to mark the Armistice centenary in their own way and we are delighted to make our beaches accessible for those who wish to take the opportunity to join with this remarkable project.”

The work is commissioned and produced by 14-18 NOW, and is the culmination of the five- year programme of arts commissions marking the First World War centenary.

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