Danny Boyle to mark 100th Armistice Day on Folkestone beach

PUBLISHED: 16:21 22 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:08 02 November 2020

Filmmaker Danny Boyle at Folkestone’s Sunny Sands (photo: Tabatha Fireman/Getty Images for 14-18 NOW)

Filmmaker Danny Boyle at Folkestone’s Sunny Sands (photo: Tabatha Fireman/Getty Images for 14-18 NOW)

2018 Getty Images

The film director is inviting people around the UK to mark Armistice Day at the beach

The Creative Foundation in Folkestone will be part of Pages of the Sea, Danny Boyle’s commission for 14-18 NOW to mark the centenary of Armistice Day.

On 11 November 2018 the public is invited to gather on beaches across the UK for a nationwide gesture of remembrance for the men and women who left their home shores during the First World War.

The Creative Foundation will lead events at Folkestone’s Sunny Sands on Sunday 11 November. Each event centres around the drawing of a large-scale portrait of a casualty from the First World War, designed by sand artists Sand In Your Eye, which will be washed away as the tide comes in.

The public will be asked to make silhouettes of people in the sand, in remembrance of the millions of lives lost or changed forever by the conflict. Poet Carol Ann Duffy has also written a new poem, which will be read by individuals, families and communities as they gather on beaches. Find your nearest beach at: www.pagesofthesea.org.uk.

Danny Boyle, whose Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games wowed critics and audiences worldwide, 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.”

The public is also invited to explore an online gallery of portraits of some of the men and women who served in the First World War, and choose one to say a personal goodbye to either via social media or as they gather in person on 11 November.

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. Website visitors can add portraits of members of their family or community who contributed to the War.

Alastair Upton, CEO of the Creative Foundation, said: “Folkestone played a crucial role in the First World War as a communications hub for the Western Front.

“The town was transformed by the arrival of contingents from across the British Empire and beyond, witnessed an influx of Belgian refugees, hosted a huge Canadian encampment, was home to Chinese labourers and the site of an allied intelligence centre. Dany’s invitation pays homage to this rich history and contribution to the war effort in a most subtle, poetic way.”

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