Murlough beach to host Great War commemoration

Murlough beach to host Great War commemoration

10 October 2018

MURLOUGH beach is to feature in a UK-wide Armistice Day commemoration marking 100 years since the end of the First World War.

The Pages of the Sea project will be gathering people on beaches across the UK at low tide on Sunday, November 11, for an informal gesture of remembrance for the men and women who left their home shores to fight during the war.

Nerve Centre — Northern Ireland’s leading creative media arts centre — is part of the 14-18 NOW project which is film-maker Danny Boyle’s commission to mark the Armistice Day centenary.

Millions of people served in the First World War and many left by sea, with Nerve Centre leading next month’s events at Murlough.

At Murlough and other event centres around the UK, large-scale portraits of a casualty from the First World War, designed by sand artists Sand In Your Eye, will be drawn in the sand before being washed away as the tide comes in.

In addition, 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. 

Poet Carol Ann Duffy has been invited by Boyle to write a new poem, which will be read by individuals, families and communities as they gather on beaches on November 11. 

Copies of the poem will be available at the beaches around the UK for those who wish to come together or to offer their own personal contribution.  

Ahead of the event, Boyle said beaches were “truly public spaces, where nobody rules other than the tide.” 

He went on: “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 am 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.”

Local people are also 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 say a personal goodbye to either via social media or as they gather in person beaches on November11.

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. Visitors to the website can also add portraits of members of their family or community who contributed to the First World War.

David Lewis, Director of Communications and Digital Content at Nerve Centre, said the organisation was delighted to be working in partnership with 14-18 NOW and Danny Boyle on this new commission.

He continued: “Pages of the Sea will encourage people to reflect on the profound significance of the First World War and its legacy. Around 200,000 men and women from Ireland served over the course of the war, with many thousands leaving these shores never to return.”

Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW, said Danny Boyle had created a “beautiful, poetic artwork” that invited people across the UK to participate in a new nationwide gesture of remembrance on the centenary of Armistice Day. 

She added: “It is a fitting farewell to all of those who served and were affected by the First World War. I would like to thank Danny Boyle, Carol Ann Duffy and all our partners and funders for their help in realising this ambitious project.”

The full list of beaches taking part in the project is available at