Filmmaker Danny Boyle is inviting the British public to join him in marking 100 years since Armistice and the end of the First World War (11th November) with Pages of the Sea, a public art moment to say goodbye to the millions of those who left the nation’s shores, never to return again.

Organisers of the event, 14-18 NOW – who commissioned Danny Boyle – said that the vast majority of the eight million people from Britain and the Commonwealth who served in the first world war left by sea. The portraits, designed by Sand in your Eye, will emerge from the sand and be washed away as the tide comes in. Thirty-two beaches across the UK and Ireland will see large-scale portraits of individuals from the First World War etched into the sand. Then, as the tide rises, groups up and down the country will watch as it’s washed away, using this moment to say a collective thank you and goodbye.

A new poem by Carol Ann Duffy, a sonnet in which the poet laureate mourns ‘The Wound in Time’ left by the First World War, will be read aloud on the beaches on Armistice Day as part of a nationwide gesture of remembrance for next month’s centenary.

You can see a full list of the names of the portraits along with their photo here.