FAQs Archive - Pages of the Sea


How do we take part on the day?

Events are taking part on over 30 beaches across the UK and Ireland. At the participating beaches you can take part by coming along and reading Carol Ann Duffy’s poem, watch the sand art being created or join in with a stencil on the day (provided at the beach). 14-18 NOW is working with a network of organisations who can tell you more about what is taking place in your area. See the individual beach pages here for contacts. More information about the day’s events will be announced via this website on 1 November.

What if I want to participate in the project on my local beach?

The beaches listed on the Pages of the Sea website have been carefully selected to take into consideration a number of factors including safety of the beaches; tide times and hours of daylight; capacity of the beach and if there is a particular local connection with the First World War.

We are delighted that people have responded so positively to Danny Boyle’s invitation to gather on beaches. We advise all who wish to join in to go to their nearest official beach if you can, or experience the events online on 11 November.

If you can’t make it to one of the 14-18 NOW beach events and choose to hold a moment of your own, you can download Carol Ann Duffy’s poem to read alone or with family and friends. It could be a moment to share stories of reflection and memories of those lost.

Everyone involved in Pages of the Sea is encouraged to keep the coast clean and safe for everyone to enjoy. You may find the advice below helpful to consider before visiting your chosen beach or taking part in community activities.



How do I offer to contribute to an event on a specific beach?

14-18 NOW is working with regional partners to deliver workshops and events across the country in the lead up to 11 November 2018. There will be an opportunity for you or your community group to find out more about the people and stories of the First World War in your area; to explore the story of the face being drawn in the sand on your local beach; to create poetry and music to be shared on beaches on the day and to work with artists and writers to explore the themes of the First World War through poetry and art.

If you are interested in getting involved with events and workshops visit the individual beach pages for contact details.

How were the portraits that will be drawn on beaches selected?

The portraits commemorate men and women who were casualties of the First World War, most of whom died in active service. They were chosen by Danny Boyle to represent a range of stories – ordinary people who gave their lives to the war effort. The portraits feature a range of soldiers of different ranks and regiments, Privates to Lieutenants and Majors, as well as doctors and nurses,. A number were also notable war poets who translated the experience of war to those back at home. Many are from the areas or communities their portrait will be featured in, others are from towns and cities elsewhere, or from international communities. These individuals are a just small selection of the millions who gave their lives to the war.

You can see more images on the Say Goodbye page, and upload and share your own individual to https://www.pagesofthesea.org.uk/say-goodbye

The online gallery features a selection of those men and women who contributed to the First World War effort from across the Commonwealth, for whom we have a photographic image. Therefore the gallery may not feature someone with your name or location.  If you have your own photograph of a family member or someone from your community who was involved in the First World War, you can add that to the online gallery and say a personal goodbye to them. To search the most comprehensive database of the 8 million people who served, visit the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.

Do I have to register in advance or can I come along to a beach on the day?

You do not need to register in advance to come along to a beach. All of the events will be informal and operate on a drop in basis so you do not need to attend for any fixed period of time.
In the lead up to 11 November, we will publish information about each location here. Please review the guidance about attending and check social media on the day before you leave as we will publish any location updates, such as poor weather.

How long does the event last?

The length of the event at each beach will be dictated by the speed of the rising of the tide and the additional community activity scheduled for the day. Generally, events are expected to last between 1 to 3 hours.

Why are all the events not happening at 11am on 11 November?

The events on the beach will vary according to tide times and exact timings will be published on the Beaches page in advance. The project is designed to complement the UK-wide invitation to fall silent for two minutes at 11am, so we have deliberately scheduled activity outside that time to allow everyone to take part in observing the national moment of silence.

I can’t come to a beach on the day, how do I get involved?

On 11 November, we will be sharing images and footage from beaches throughout the day. You can say a personal goodbye by selecting a person from the online gallery on the  Say Goodbye page and share it on social media. You can also add to it by uploading your own image of a family member or someone from your community who was involved in the First World War and share.

How did you choose the beaches? Why isn’t my local beach involved?

The beaches were carefully selected to offer a range of beautiful locations and an even geographical spread across the UK. Some beaches have First World War links, for example Folkestone where millions of men departed from the Harbour Arm and Weymouth, where 120,000 Anzac soldiers were sent to recuperate after the Gallipoli campaign. Each beach had to meet specific criteria related to tide times, daylight hours, size and other factors crucial to creating the sand art.  Unfortunately not all beaches are suitable for the work.

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