ARMISTICE 100: Danny Boyle sand portrait project at Seahouses

Private William Jonas, who lost his life in the First World War, will be commemorated by a large-scale sand portrait on St Aidan's beach in Seahouses.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 09 November, 2018, 11:32
St Aidan's beach in Seahouses is taking part in Danny Boyle's Armistice Day commission for 14-18 NOW which marks the centenary of the end of the First World War.

The work, for Danny Boyle’s Armistice commission Pages of the Sea, is the culmination of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary.

A large-scale portrait of William Jonas, designed by sand artists Sand In Your Eye, will be drawn into the sand on the beach for 11am on Sunday and washed away as the tide comes in – shortly before 5pm at St Aidan’s beach.

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 32 beaches taking part in the project will commemorate a different WW1 casualty. Seahouses will focus on William Jonas who was born in Blyth in 1890 and was a professional footballer.

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Aged 22, William Jonas joined Clapton Orient in 1912. He had moved to Clapton in London and joined up in April 1916, joining as a Private in the British Army, Middlesex Regiment, 17th (Service) Battalion.

His service was brief – on July 27 he was trapped in a trench near the front in Somme. He climbed up and out of the trench, and was shot and killed almost immediately.

The portraits were chosen by Danny Boyle to represent a range of interesting stories – ordinary people who gave their lives to the war effort

Simon Lee, general manager of National Trust Northumberland Coast said: “We are honoured to be taking part and to help remember William Jonas here. St Aidan’s beach is an inspiring and ever changing landscape, boasting an endless stretch of golden sand, grassy sand dunes and rare wildlife. It is cherished by the people of Northumberland and visitors from further afield and is a perfect place to pause and reflect at any time of year, but especially so on the centenary of the end of the First World War.”