Saying a personal goodbye from Culla Bay beach in Benbecula to all those who lost their lives in the Great War

The sand portrait of Berneray man, Deckhand Duncan MacKinnon.
The sand portrait of Berneray man, Deckhand Duncan MacKinnon.

On Sunday, November 11th, tens of thousands of people took part in Pages of the Sea – a commission by filmmaker Danny Boyle inviting people to gather on thirty-two beaches around the UK for a nationwide gesture of remembrance for the men and women who left their home shores during the First World War.

Six beaches across Scotland took part in this special commemoration, including Culla Bay beach on Benbecula, in total more than 6,000 members of the public joined in the community-led events, produced by the National Theatre of Scotland.

On a beautiful, poignant day on Culla Bay beach more than 250 people from the local community gathered to say a personal goodbye to Berneray man, Deckhand Duncan MacKinnon, and all of the fallen heroes of the Great War.

The highlights included a young local piper Findlay MacVicar piping at sundown and two men writing in sand the names of 50 local soldiers from the Cenotaph in London who lost their lives to the conflict.

The portraits, featured across the thirty-two beaches in the UK and Ireland, were chosen by Danny Boyle to represent a range of stories – ordinary people who gave their lives to the War effort.

In addition, the public were asked to join in by creating silhouettes of people in the sand, remembering the millions of lives lost or changed forever by the conflict.

Poet Carol Anne Duffy was also invited by Danny Boyle to write a poem to mark the centenary of Armistice Day.

The poem, The Wound in Time, was read by individuals, families and communities as they gathered on Culla Bay beach on Benbecula on November 11th.