Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Get involved in Pages of the Sea event

Get involved in Pages of the Sea event
22 October 2018

Details on how local people can get involved in the Pages of the Sea event taking place on Scapa Beach on Armistice Day have been announced.

On 11 November 2018, at around 3pm, people in Orkney are invited to gather on Scapa Beach as part of an informal, nationwide gesture of remembrance for the men and women who left their home shores during the First World War.

Millions of people served in the First World War and many left by sea. National Theatre of Scotland is leading events at six beaches across Scotland including St Ninian’s Isle beach, Scapa Beach, St Andrews’ West Sands, Ayr Beach, Burghead Bay and Cula Bay on Benbecula.

Each event centres around the drawing of a large-scale portrait of a casualty from the First World War with a connection to the local community.

The portrait, designed by sand artists Sand in Your Eye, will be created by 15 young people, and will then be washed away as the tide comes in.

Local people will also 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.

In advance, a free workshop will take place in Kirkwall Town Hall on Tuesday 30 October from 19:00 to 20:30. The workshop is open to everyone, but places need to be booked here.

The workshop will explain more about the Pages of the Sea project, and include discussion of how a specially written poem will be used as part of the event.

The poem, written by Scottish poet Carol Ann Duffy, will be read by individuals, families and communities as they gather at Scapa and beaches across the UK and Republic of Ireland on 11 November.

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

The workshop, led by local teachers Gillian Dearness and Marie Montgomery, will explore ways in which the poem can be performed on 11 November.

There will also be an opportunity to listen to and share stories of local heroes who fell or returned, or who worked the land or tended to the sick during the Great War, as well as exploring war-time poetry.

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 on beaches on 11 November.

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.

They are available here.

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

Further updates on the project will be available on the OIC Updates Facebook page and on the Pages of the Sea website as the project develops.