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Monday, November 5, 2018 - 14:45


Artists, performers, schoolchildren, community groups, volunteers and spectators are to gather on beaches in Cornwall and Devon on Sunday, November 11, to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the First World War.

As part of Danny Boyle’s Armistice commission Pages of the Sea, the Eden Project, with support from The Lost Gardens of Heligan, will be leading commemorative events at Porthmeor Beach in St Ives, East Looe Beach, Perranporth Beach and Saunton Sands in Devon to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War. There will also be events at Porthcurno Beach near Land’s End. 

These are among 32 beaches around the UK where the public is invited to assemble at low-tide for an informal, nationwide gesture of remembrance for the men and women who left their home shores during 1914-1918. Pages of the Sea is the culmination of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary.

Large-scale portraits of people from the First World War designed by sand artists Sand In Your Eye will be drawn into the sand on the beach and washed away as the tide comes in and everyone takes a moment to say a collective goodbye.

The public will be asked to join in by creating silhouettes of people in the sand, remembering the millions of lives lost or changed forever by the conflict. 

Each of the beaches taking part will commemorate a different WW1 casualty:

•Porthmeor, Cornwall - Captain Edward 'Teddy' Hain 

•East Looe, Cornwall - Captain Kenneth Walton Grigson 

•Perranporth, Cornwall - Archie Jewell 

•Saunton Sands, Devon - Captain Ralph George Griffiths Cumine-Robson 

•Porthcurno, Cornwall - Lieutenant Richard Charles Graves-Sawle 

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

There will be other commemorative activities on the beaches including: 

Porthmeor Beach, from noon – Cornwall-based theatre company WildWorks is working with the community to curate a choir who will perform a specially-commissioned song to commemorate the soldier in the Porthmeor portrait. 

East Looe Beach, from noon – A Sea Scouts group will be performing songs and schoolchildren’s commemorative artwork will be displayed. Gig rowers will take to the ocean and there will be a specially choreographed performance by East Looe Pioneers Running Club. 

Perranporth Beach, from noon – Hall for Cornwall Youth will be performing alongside an interactive installation created by Cornish artists. The public are invited to bring a memory in remembrance and their hopes for the future to add to the installation. 

Saunton Sands, from 2pm – There will be a drumming flash mob, pebble art workshops and a choir performance by Devon-based Wren Music of songs written for the home front.

There will also be events at Porthcurno Beach near Land’s End where the National Trust is taking the lead.

Lindsey Brummitt, Programme Director at the Eden Project, said: “At Eden we love bringing people together, and Pages of the Sea will connect people with our shared past right here on our local beaches. We’ve had an amazing response from individuals, schools and community groups wanting to get involved. 

“The incredible portraits, public stencils and specially commissioned poem will enable anyone and everyone who comes along to mark 100 years since Armistice and the end of the First World War in their own personal way.  We are really excited to be part of it and to be able to engage local people in our history in this way.”

The public is invited to explore an online gallery of portraits of some of the men and women who served in the First World War, and select someone to thank and say a personal goodbye to either via social media or as they gather in person on beaches on 11 November at www.pagesofthesea.org.uk.

The images are drawn from the Imperial War Museum’s ‘Lives of the First World War’ which aims to tell 8 million stories of those who served from Britain and the Commonwealth. Visitors to the website can also add their own portraits of members of their family or community who contributed to the First World War. www.livesofthefirstworldwar.org

People who can’t make it on the day will be able to watch the activities and portraits from most of the beaches on social media on Sunday November 11. 

The public can see which beaches are taking part by visiting www.pagesofthesea.org.uk