Harris man’s image to be featured in special Armistice commission

How the sand portraits will look.
How the sand portraits will look.

Deckhand Duncan Mackinnon from Berneray in North Uist, who lost his life in the First World War, will be commemorated by a large-scale sand portrait for Danny Boyle’s Armistice commission ‘Pages of the Sea’.

On Sunday, November 11th, the public is invited to assemble at one of 32 beaches around the UK and the Republic of Ireland, including Culla Bay beach, Benbecula, at low-tide for an informal, nationwide gesture of remembrance for the men and women who left their home shores during the First World War.

The events on Culla Bay beach will take place from 3.30pm until 4.30pm.

A large-scale portrait of Duncan Mackinnon designed by sand artists Sand In Your Eye, will be drawn into the sand on the beach and 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. Each of the beaches taking part in the project will commemorate a different WW1 casualty.

Duncan MacKinnon was one of six brothers who all went to war. Out of the six, he and his brother Neil were killed.

Their brother, the Bard Hector MacKinnon, survived the war despite being torpedoed and subsequently rescued. This had a lasting effect on Hector, evident from his poetry.

During the war Duncan served on the armed trawler Corona, one of many small ships that formed the Auxiliary Patrol, with tasks including minesweeping and anti-submarine operations.

The Corona was sunk near Ramsgate, Kent, and Duncan is buried in the town’s cemetery.

His brother Neil was a deck hand on HMS Nairn, and was awarded a Victory Medal and British War medal. He survived until 8 May 1919.

The portraits to be used in the commemoration were chosen by Danny Boyle to represent a range of interesting stories – ordinary people who gave their lives to the War effort.

The public is 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 thank and say a personal goodbye to either via social media or as they gather in person on beaches on 11 November at: {http://www.pagesofthesea.org.uk: HERE}

Visitors to the website can also add their own portraits of members of their family or community who contributed to the First World War: AT WEBSITE

A series of community-led events will also be taking place at each beach. People who can’t make it on the day will be able to watch the activities and portraits from most of the beaches on social media on Sunday 11 November. The work is the culmination of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary.