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Pages of the Sea

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Lives lost in the Great War were remembered on Lincolnshire’s sands as hundreds of people paid their own artistic tributes to the country’s fallen heroes.

As volunteers meticulously created the image of Lieutenant Basil Perrin Hicks on the beach at Sutton-on-Sea, others were provided with stencils and rakes to make their own personal tributes to the Fallen.

Called ‘Pages of the Sea’, the event was organised by East Lindsey District Council, the Magna Vitae Trust for Leisure & Culture and The Meridale Organisation as part of Danny Boyle’s unique idea to mark 100 years since the Armistice and the end of the First World War. Beaches in locations across Britain were etched with the faces of some of the Fallen at low tide, on the 11th day of the 11th month.

Joy Pitt, a community artist and creative story-teller from near Market Rasen was joined by her husband David and created a line of stencil soldiers. She explained how her Great Grandfather George Cornelius Paice was on board a dredger on the French waterways when the vessel was hit, and he lost his life.

Meanwhile her grandfather and his twin – Charles and Edward Pitt, were also sent to battle and both returned home in 1918. Their younger brother Leonard was also engaged in combat, as was her uncle Michael Hunt who as an Officer led his men ‘over the top’, with the only survivors being himself and his Sergeant.

“This is all within living memory for me, as they all lived to be a great age. Every single man had a story to tell,” said Joy.

Rosamund Hibbett, from Fulstow, created a coastal memorial to her father The Revd Arthur Hubert Hibbett (Bertie), along with his brothers, Harold and Basil – all three wounded in the Great War and her uncle Sydney Hibbett, who was killed in action on July 1, 1916.

“There was also my aunt Ida Hibbett, who was a Red Cross nurse and died of cancer, after working in an ammunition factory. I am remembering them all, and in doing so thinking about how as a world, we are all stronger together than we are apart,” said Rosamund, who had a poignant message for our politicians of today.

“These people all fought for peace and unity, and here we are with Brexit, breaking up again,” she added.

The peoples’ sand etchings, along with the huge image of Lieutenant Hicks, who was killed in action in 1915, remained on the beach from their creation until the high tide came in at around 4pm.

Magna Vitae Chief Executive Mark Humphreys, who was there to see the work created, said: “There is a story in every one of these works-of-art, a story that we should all remember when we look at our lives today. Our Trust is immensely proud to have been part of this day in Lincolnshire.”

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