Pages of the Sea, Armistice Day Centenary Celebration - Brancaster Beach

Aerial shot of a beach featuring sand art of a soldier

To mark the centenary of Armistice Day on Sunday 11 November 2018, visitors were invited to gather on Brancaster Beach for an informal gesture of remembrance for the men and women who left their home shores during the First World War.

Working in collaboration with 1418NOW and director Danny Boyle, large-scale portraits of a casualty from the First World War was drawn into the sand on 28 beaches around the UK and thousands of visitors joined in the commemorations. 

Danny Boyle launches Pages of the Sea Play Video

Brancaster Beach

Brancaster Beach was chosen as one of the locations to hold

" It was incredibly moving to see so many people come together on our beautiful beaches to say a special thank you and goodbye to those who left their home shores during the First World War. As the tide washed the portraits away, we read Carol Ann Duffy’s poem and paid tribute to those who gave, and changed, their lives. United, but with our own personal thoughts about what the First World War means to us 100 years later."
- Danny Boyle

Poet Carol Ann Duffy wrote a poem called The Wound in Time especially for Pages of the Sea, which was read by individuals, families, choirs and communities on the day. People also created their own artwork in the sand using stencils of nurses, soldiers and munitions workers.

The Wound In Time

It is the wound in Time. The century’s tides,
chanting their bitter psalms, cannot heal it.
Not the war to end all wars; death’s birthing place;
the earth nursing its ticking metal eggs, hatching
new carnage. But how could you know, brave
as belief as you boarded the boats, singing?
The end of God in the poisonous, shrapneled air.
Poetry gargling its own blood. We sense it was love
you gave your world for; the town squares silent,
awaiting their cenotaphs. What happened next?
War. And after that? War. And now? War. War.
History might as well be water, chastising this shore;
for we learn nothing from your endless sacrifice.
Your faces drowning in the pages of the sea.

Carol Ann Duffy, 2018