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Pages of the Sea – First World War Remembrance Events in the North East

October 29, 2018 in Festivals and Events 2

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Armistice day is always poignant and special, I can’t walk past ‘The Response’ war memorial in front of Newcastle’s Civic Centre around the 11th November without feeling a lump in my throat.

I love the detail on ‘The Response’ WWI memorial in Newcastle

This year, Remembrance Day will be particularly emotive as it marks 100 years since the end of the First World War. Here in the North East two locations have been specially chosen to be part of a unique art commission to commemorate the event.

Legendry film maker Danny Boyle is inviting us all to experience ‘Pages of the Sea’ at Roker Beach in Sunderland and Redcar Beach (about a one hour drive South of Sunderland) from 12 – 3pm on 11 November 2018.

Pages of the Sea events are taking place on beaches all around the UK on the 11th November and each will vary slightly to reflect the contributions of the local community. The main feature at each location will be a breath-taking portrait of an individual from the First World War which will emerge from the sand over several hours. Then, as the tide rises, the image will be washed away as we take a moment to say a collective goodbye.

Visitors will also be able to hear a specially commissioned poem by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and at the Roker event there’ll be moving performances by local choirs too. In fact, if you’re in a choir and want to take part, there may still be time to get involved, just send an email to to find out more.

There are Facebook event pages for each location with more details about what’s happening and how to participate, you can check out the North East ones here:

Sunderland Event:

Redcar Event:

You can also find out more about the local team working on these events and what else they have going on by checking out the Sunderland Culture Facebook page:

Enjoying a peaceful day out at Roker beach earlier this year

I always feel most at peace by the sea and I head to one of our stunning local beaches whenever I’m feeling out of sorts. So, I think these events will provide the perfect setting to say goodbye and thank you to all those who sacrificed so much for our country and who sadly never returned to our shores.

I’m sure fitting tributes will also be made at the many cenotaphs across the North East this Remembrance Day but Pages of the Sea is going to offer a brand new, unique, community spirited, emotive and really rather special way for us to pay our respects, as Danny Boyle himself explains in this introduction…

To make Pages of the Sea even more personal to you, you can search the online gallery for a loved who took part the First World War or even upload an image of someone from your family to the website. Just visit

*This post is sponsored by Sunderland Culture Team

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Newcastle FamilyLife
5 years ago

My birthday is on the 11th November, so my parents nearly called me Poppy. I had never heard of pages of the sea until now x

Rosalyn Donnelly
Rosalyn Donnelly
5 years ago

I first saw advertised, pages of the sea, when in Weymouth a couple of weeks ago. I was desparately to see it but thought it was only down tgere. I’m so pleased there are a couple of places bearer to Durham. How poignant will this be, and mist fitting for those then who, as we all know, were so so brave and had the most unimaginable horrors to endure. Not just if war but sitting ducks as they got stuck in the mud with their heavy guns and poor terrified horses x

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