Scottish beaches to take centre stage in Danny Boyle's Armistice Day project

The famous West Sands at St Andrews will be one of the Scottish beaches taking part in the Armistice Day project being masterminded by film director Danny Boyle.
The famous West Sands at St Andrews will be one of the Scottish beaches taking part in the Armistice Day project being masterminded by film director Danny Boyle.
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Thousands of Scots will be urged to gather on beaches to remember those who lost their lives in the First World War as part of a mass Armistice Day project being masterminded by Trainspotting director Danny Boyle.

Members of the public will be invited to create silhouettes in the sand alongside a specially-commissioned large-scale portrait of a war-time casualty for the Armistice Day tribute.

Thousands of copies of a new poem Boyle has asked Britain’s poet laureate, Glasgow-born Carol Ann Duffy, to write for the occasion will also be available to each location across Britain.

Beaches at Ayr, on the Orkney Islands and at the iconic West Sands at St Andrews, which were famously featured in the Oscar-winning movie Chariots of Fife, will be among the five Scottish locations where the tributes will be staged.

An online gallery of some of the men and women who served in the war is being created to allow people to leave their own remembrance message on social media or pay a tribute in person on one of the beaches.

Pages of the Sea, the project being overseen by Boyle, will mark the end of the cultural programme staged across the last four years to mark the anniversary of the First World War.

He said: “Beaches are truly public spaces, where nobody rules other than the tide.

“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’m 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.”

Jackie Wylie, artistic director of the National Theatre of Scotland, which will be helping to stage the events north of the border. said: “The First World War had a devastating impact on Scotland, with tens of thousands of young lives lost and many more forever altered.

“Our nation has an enduring and emotive connection to the sea and our beautiful coastline has seen many come and go throughout history.

“Pages of the Sea will create an artistic tribute, both personal and communal, through art, words, pictures and stories, acknowledging all those who left our shores during the war.

“As a theatre without walls, the National Theatre of Scotland welcomes this poignant opportunity to help bring communities together in this fitting act of remembrance.”