GALLERY: Poignant portraits in the sand mark 100 years since the end of the First World War
- Credit: Archant
Tens of thousands of people gathered at beaches in Cornwall, Devon and around the UK this weekend to say thank you to the millions of men and women who left our shores during the First World War
Four beaches in Cornwall were among 32 across the nation where crowds came to see giant sand portraits of fallen soldiers created as part of Pages of the Sea, Danny Boyle’s Armistice Day commission marking the 100th anniversary of the ending of the war.
The portraits were designed by sand artists Sand in Your Eye and drawn below the high tide line, allowing them to be washed away as the sea came back in, offering a moment for everyone to say a collective goodbye.
At Porthmeor Beach big crowds turned out under sunshine and blue skies out to commemorate Captain Edward ‘Teddy’ Hain including his great nephew and niece Tim and Kit Hain.
Captain Hain was the son and heir of Lady Catherine and Sir Edward Hain, a prosperous Cornish shipping magnate and land owner. A member of the Cornish Squadron of the 1st Devon Yeomanry, he was killed in action at Gallipoli on this day in 1915 aged 28.
Tim said: “Our great uncle’s is a sad story. He was going to lead our family but he lost his life and his father died of a broken heart.
“This is a fitting tribute. We are all just faces in the sand really. That is why we have to make the best of it and look after each other while we are here.”
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Big crowds turned out at East Looe Beach to commemorate Captain Kenneth Walton who was born in Pelynt as the son of a reverend and beloved brother. He was killed in action at 23.
Songs were performed by Looe Valley Choir, Keltique Choir and a Sea Scouts group while East Looe Pioneers Running Club performed a specially choreographed performance.
At Perranporth Beach many people turned out to commemorate Archie Jewell who survived the sinking of the Titanic, only to perish in the sinking of a hospital ship in 1917.
Members of Hall for Cornwall Youth performed alongside an interactive installation created by Cornish artists and there was spontaneous applause after the two-minute silence at 11am.
Children joined in by creating silhouettes of people in the sand, remembering those who took part in the conflict.
Danny Boyle said: “Beaches are truly public spaces, where nobody rules other than the tide. They were 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 invited communities to come together and watch as the faces of the fallen were drawn in the sand and to remember the sacrifices they made.”
The public have been 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 gathered in person on beaches today at www.pagesofthesea.org.uk.
More information is available on www.pagesofthesea.org.uk