Pages of the Sea: Lyme Regis

11th November 2018

Lyme Regis Beach, 11am onwards
Portrait to be completed at approximately 1.30pm - 2.30pm, with tides washing the artwork away from 6pm

On 11 November 2018, communities will gather on beaches across the UK to say thank you and goodbye. Film-maker Danny Boyle invites you to join him in marking 100 years since Armistice and the end of the First World War. Pages of the Sea is a unique moment to say goodbye, together, to the millions of men and women who left their shores during the war, many never to return.

You’re invited to beaches across the UK where, over the course of several hours, a portrait of an individual from the First World War will emerge from the sand. And then, as the tide rises, watch as it’s washed away as we take a moment to say a collective goodbye. Carol Ann Duffy has written a poem especially for the moment, to be read by individuals, families and communities on the day. 


The artwork

The highly regarded Brigade of Gurkhas have been supporting the British Army for over 200 years, including two world wars through to modern conflict.  During the First World War, more than 90,000 Gurkhas enlisted, fighting across Asia, Middle East and Europe where more than 6000 died in action.  The Gurkhas gained a reputation for valour earning thousands of medals for gallantry. Today, they continue to be part of the British Army including signals, logistics and engineers, with units based across the south of England.

Rifleman Kulbir Thapa VC (15 December 1889 – 03 October 1956)

Kulbir Thapa made history as the first Gurkha to win a Victoria Cross, the most prestigious British award for bravery.

He was born in the village of Nigalpani, Palpa, Nepal, and in 1907 enlisted in the Indian Army as part of Queen Alexandra's Own Gurkha Rifles, transferring to 2nd Battalion at the outbreak of war. On September 25 1915, during operations against German trenches south of Mauquissart, he found a badly wounded soldier of the 2nd Leicestershire Regiment behind the first German trench. Although wounded himself and urged by the English soldier to save his own skin, Kulbir stayed with him all day and night.

Early the next morning, in misty conditions, he brought the soldier out through the German wire and having left him in a place of comparative safety, returned and brought back two wounded Gurkhas to the allied lines, one after the other. He then returned in broad daylight to bring back the British soldier, carrying him most of the way under enemy fire. Kulbir himself was admitted to hospital for his wounds and he rejoined his unit in Egypt in 1916. His medal is on display at the Gurkha Museum, Winchester, Hampshire, and in 2015 he was commemorated on a Royal Mail stamp

How to get involved

On the Day
Visit Lyme Regis beachh from 11am onwards to watch the artwork take shape during the course of the day. Each event centres around the drawing of a large-scale portrait of a casualty from the First World War which will be washed away as the tide comes in. In addition, the public will be asked to join in by creating stenciled silhouettes of people in the sand, remembering the millions of lives lost or changed forever by the conflict. 

Open Mic Sessions
2pm - 3pm
In addition to Carol Ann Duffy’s new poem you are invited to share your own chosen words which can be on a personal level on the beach or through the informal ‘Open Mic’ sessions available during the afternoon. Contributions to share may include existing poems, letters or pieces of writing or be a new response to the First World War you have created personally or with a group.
Register your interest in sharing your words here.

If you can spare some time to help make these events happen, then please consider joining our friendly volunteer team. Contact Andrea Frankham-Hughes on 07971 058 336 or register your interest online here.

Getting to the event

Lyme Regis Beach, DT7 3JF
Sunday 11th November 2018, 11.00am onwards

Pages of the Sea takes place at the South West end of Marine Parade.  We recommend the elevated view from Langmoor and Lister Gardens.
The Open Mic Session takes places at 2.00-3.00pm outside the Jubilee Pavilion, Marine Parade.

Foot and Bike

Marine Parade forms part of the South West Coast Path and is fully accessible on foot.  Lyme Regis town is set on a steep hillside and offers some challenging routes for experienced walkers and cyclists.

Public Transport

Lyme Regis is serviced by First Wessex Bus route 9A on a Sunday.  Alight at The Square bus stop which is an 8 minute walk away.

Car Parking

We recommend lift sharing to Lyme Regis.  All council run car parks will be providing FREE parking all day on 11th November. Car parks are available at Holmbush Long Stay Car Park DT7 3HX (10 minute steep gradient walk through Langmoor and Lister Gardens), Monmouth Beach Car Park DT7 3JN (4 minute walk), and Charmouth Road Long Stay Car Park DT7 3DR (16 minute walk). All car parks charge on a Sunday and have allocated blue badge bays.

Please note some road closures may be in place in the centre of Lyme Regis from 09.30-11.00am and local diversions will be in operation.

Access Provision for those with additional needs

Comprehensive Access Guides have been created to assist with journey planning and event enjoyment. 

Download Lyme Regis access guide here

Download screen reader-friendly access guide here