On 11 November 2018, communities will gather on beaches across the UK to say thank you and goodbye.

Film-maker Danny Boyle invites you to join him in marking 100 years since Armistice and the end of the First World War. Pages of the Sea is a unique moment to say goodbye, together, to the millions of men and women who left their shores during the war, many never to return.

You’re invited to beaches across the UK where, over the course of several hours, a portrait of an individual from the First World War will emerge from the sand. And then, as the tide rises, watch as it’s washed away as we take a moment to say a collective goodbye.

Carol Ann Duffy has written a poem especially for the moment, to be read by individuals, families and communities on the day. (Below)

Pages of the sea will be held at over 30 beaches across the UK on 11th November.

Each event will centre around a drawing of a large-scale portrait of a casualty from the First World War, designed by local sand artists, which will be washed away as the tide comes in.

Pages of the Sea will take place on Weston-super-Mare beach

11 November from 1-3pm

Join us to say thank you and goodbye to the millions of men and women who left their shores never to return.
See the portrait of a local individual from the First World War emerge from the sand, hear a newly commissioned poem by Carol Ann Duffy, and create your own smaller portraits in the sand using stencils.
In the run-up to this special day, creative practitioners and local historians will be engaging with different Weston communities to form a unique and resonant set of responses from the town, some of which will form part of the final event.

Parking and Travel Information:


The beach is a 10 minute walk from Weston-super-Mare rail station, and we recommend that people make use of public transport if possible.

Car Parking is available on Marine Parade (the seafront) and the beaches throughout the day (4 hours £2.50, full day £4).


Lieutenant Colonel John Hay Maitland Hardyman




 AGE: 23 

DATE OF DEATH: 24/08/1918

In May 2018, John Hardyman, aged only 23, became the youngest Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army. He was born in Bath to Eglantine Henrietta Keith and George Hardyman, with three brothers and two sisters.

In December 1914, he was accepted for officer training with the Royal Flying Corps (forerunner of the RAF) at Brooklands, Surrey, though eventually served with the Somerset Light Infantry.

For full biog, click here.

Pages of the Sea: Weston-super-Mare event timings (approximate and subject to beach conditions on the day):

1pm: Trumpeter heralds the start of the event
1.20pm: Dance – a specially commissioned work from Holly Noble, members of her company and young dancers from University Centre Weston
1.30pm: Large-scale portrait of First World War soldier, Lieutenant Colonel John Hay Maitland Hardyman completed
1.45pm: Poetry readings from the public, generated through workshops in the run-up to Pages of the Sea. Includes readings from Anthony Keyes, whose Great Uncle Herbert Fenton Byrne, died at the Somme aged 23
2pm: Playing of the original violin that belonged to Herbert Fenton Byrne, who was a musician and founder member of his Battalion’s Band.
2.20pm: Dance – a specially commissioned work from Holly Noble, members of her company and young dancers from University Centre Weston (Repeat performance)

2.35pm: Singers from North Somerset based choirs Trinity Singers, Costanzi Consort and Harmonia Sacra, directed by Andrew Tyrrell will sing two remembrance pieces of music: Eleanor Daley’s ‘In Remembrance’ and ‘Lux Aeterna’ arranged by John Cameron to Edwards Elgar’s Nimrod (from Enigma Variations).

The public will then have the opportunity to sing ‘Abide with Me’ with the choir. Scroll down the page for the lyrics.
2.55pm: A recital to all of Carol Ann Duffy’s newly commissioned poem ‘The Wound in Time’ read by Xahnaa Adlam, and students of Uphill Primary School.
3pm: A final trumpet call will close the event
Throughout the event: Sand stencil portraits by the public and sandcastle remembrance flags; actors will interweave amongst the public bringing to life characters and historical narratives; oral history recordings.

Local Engagement

A range of  creative practitioners are working with communities across Weston in the run-up to the Armistice.

Here’s a snapshot of  what’s going on, and how you can get involved:

DANCE – Pages of you

Choreographer Holly Noble and  dancers Ebony Jane Kitts and Orion Hart are working with young dancers from University Centre Weston to create a unique movement based re-sponse for this centenary. ‘Pages of You’ takes its inspiration from a letter written by Lance Corporal Frederick Swannell to his wife Ellen, whom he called Nell, whilst he was serving in the trenches. Frederick Swannell was killed at the Battle of Arleux, 28th April1917. His wife, kept the letter in her handbag for over 60 years and it was discovered by her daughters Elizabeth and Charlotte on her death. They kept a photocopy of the letter and placed the original in her coffin to be buried with her.

Holly trained at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and has since developed working relationships with leading companies including Sadlers Wells, English National Ballet, Company Wayne McGregor and The Place. Holly has an MA in choreography, and is particularly passionate about education and outreach, and nurturing future dancers.


Songs from the Frontline

By singer songwriter Daisy Chapman, accompanied by violinist Sue Lord.
An evening of poignant music with Daisy’s exquisite voice transporting us back in time with a sublime set, including her BBC commissioned song based on letters sent from the frontline in the First World War. It’s a beautiful memoir or words sent from a military hospital, recalling soldiers last moments, 100 years ago.
Prepare to be moved.
Venue: Loves Cafe, Weston Street, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1JR
Date: 6 November 2018
Time: 7.30pm to 9.30pm. Doors open from 7pm. Free, public event.
Pre-book a vegetarian supper by ringing Loves on 01934 645673


Theatre-maker Angela Athay Hunt is using drama to engage with a wide cross-section of the community – individuals, Weston’s women’s theatre group, Uphill Primary School, residential homes and Bournville lunch club – gathering local stories and drawing out local voices.

These workshops are informing the development of a set of characters who will gently interweave amidst the public on 11 November, their narratives created entirely from the historical experiences that have emerged through the prior research process. Breathing new life into times past but not forgotten.


Print a poppy on your own sandcastle flag and write a personal message to the past, present or future that can be planted with others on Weston beach as part of the Pages of the Sea event on 11 November.

Artist Helen Wheelock will be creating flags with many groups including schools, lunch clubs, elderly residents, scout cadets, the police and arts groups on Weston’s South Ward.

Public sessions will be held at: 

For All Healthy Living Centre, 68 Lonsdale Avenue, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 3SJ 

1st November, 10am-12pm 

6th November, 2pm-4pm

“The war to end all wars?”

A local history talk from John Crockford-Hawley

With no physical damage it’s sometimes difficult to appreciate the effects of the ‘Great War’ on Weston-super-Mare, yet not a street or family was left unscathed. Historian John Crockford-Hawley, whose own grandfather perished at Neuve-Chapelle in 1915, will discuss Weston’s contribution : men who died, families which suffered, refugees given shelter, emergency hospitals, art in propaganda and our memorials. “The war to end all wars”? This fully illustrated account in John’s own inimitable style will be suitable for all ages and levels of interest.

7 November 2018, Weston Museum

Burlington Street, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1PR

Doors open 19:00; Talk 19:30

Q & A in bar 20:30 (refreshments available)

Free, unticketed event.


“The pages of  history must never be wiped clean. One hundred years on, we must remember.  In this creative writing workshop, we will read and appreciate some of the powerful writing that was produced in the 1914-18 War and you will have the opportunity to write your own page in the sea of remembrance in whichever way you think best.” Published writers and experienced workshop leaders Bob Walton and Sue Hill will be working with writers young and old from Weston’s Worle community, and also present this public workshop which is open to all:

Thursday 8 November, 3-5pm, Loves Cafe

Weston Street, Weston-super-Mare BS23 1JR

Please reserve your free space by emailing info@theatreorchard.org.ukPlease note that there is limited availability on this workshop.

Some of the poems created through the workshops will be read at Weston Beach on 11 November.  Amongst the voices will be that of Weston resident and poet Anthony Keyes, whose Great Uncle Herbert Fenton Byrne died at the Somme, aged 23. Herbert Byrne was the founder of his Battalion’s band, and his violin, which has recently been found and restored, will make music once again at the Pages of the Sea event.

Alfred Leete: The Man Behind the Icon

Weston Museum until 13 January 2019,

free entry.


Telling the story of the Weston man who created the famous ‘Your Country Needs You’ poster.

Alfred Leete was a graphic artist who produced advertising campaigns for companies including the London Underground and Younger’s Ale. Leete was once described as ‘the funniest man in the world’ and his cartoons gently capture the comedy of everyday life and politics. All these aspects of his career are represented in the exhibition. But his original artwork for the Kitchener poster, generously loaned by the Imperial War Museum in London, is the remarkable centrepiece.


Heritage Schools

Historic England’s Heritage Schools Programme is offering free workshops and resources for schools in Weston-super-Mare to support the children in researching the stories of the men named on local war memorials.

The memorial in Grove Park, Weston-super-Mare, has 863 names of local men who died in the First World War.

You can also take part online via www.pagesofthesea.org.uk

Discover other individuals who left their shores. See their faces and find out who they were.

Those from your community, those who shared your name.

You can even add your own image of someone from the First World War from your family or community and say a personal goodbye.

Commissioned by


Commissioned by 14-18 NOW in partnership with the National Trust, Activate Performing Arts, Creative Foundation, Eden Project, National Theatre Scotland, Nerve Centre, Sunderland Culture & Taliesin in association with Aberystwyth Arts Centre, The Grand Theatre of Lemmings, Magna Vitae, MOSTYN, SeaChange Arts, Swansea Council, Swansea University, Theatre Orchard and Visit Blackpool.

Sand portraits designed by Sand in your Eye.

Supported by The National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England and Big Lottery Fund, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

With additional support from Backstage Trust, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch) and National Rail.