A large-scale sand portrait of a World War One casualty is to be completed on Saunton Sands as part of an Armistice commission by director Danny Boyle.

Captain Ralph George Griffiths Cumine-Robson. Picture: ContributedCaptain Ralph George Griffiths Cumine-Robson. Picture: Contributed

Saunton will be one of five beaches across Devon and Cornwall to etch casualties into the sand as part of the Slumdog Millionaire director’s Pages of the Sea commission.

Saunton Sands will commemorate Captain Ralph George Griffiths Cumine-Robson, who died on December 23, 1914 at the age of 26. He was born in India, with his parents later retiring to Barnstaple.

Ralph enjoyed a reputation for fearlessness during his Eton education, which continued into his military career, as he joined the Royal Military Academy, and later the Royal Engineers.

At the outbreak of war, Ralph joined the Indian Expeditionary Force, which sailed from Bombay.

The Eden Project is leading the commemorative events, with support from The Lost Gardens of Heligan, which mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War.

The portraits, etched by artists Sand In Your Eye, commemorate men and women who served or who were casualties of the First World War, most of whom died in active service.

They were chosen by Boyle to represent a range of interesting stories – ordinary people who gave their lives to the War effort covering a range of ranks and regiments, from doctors to munition workers, Privates to Lieutenants and Majors.

On Sunday November 11, the public is invited to assemble at Saunton at low-tide for an informal, nationwide gesture of remembrance for the men and women who left their home shores during WW1.

Paul Tamlyn from Saunton Beach Enterprises, which manages the beach, said, “It is an honour to be asked to host this event and we hope that it will be an occasion for local people to turn out and remember the contribution North Devon made to the First World War in a very unique and spectacular way.

“Many family trees are marked by loss and injury as a result of members going off to France to do their bit for the war effort and this will be a moment to reflect and celebrate their contribution.”

The car park will be donating a percentage of takings from the day to veterans’ charities.

Peter Stewart, executive director of the Eden Project, said: “We are honoured to be part of Danny Boyle’s Pages of the Sea commemoration.

“The Eden Project is all about bringing people and communities together and there cannot be a more poignant day for the country to come together than Sunday November 11, the centenary of Armistice Day.”