Crowds line road for Sunderland Remembrance Service

Sunderland's Remembrance Service
Sunderland's Remembrance Service
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Hundreds of service personnel joined the Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, the  Mayor of Sunderland and veterans for today's Sunderland Remembrance Parade  and Service today (SUN).

The parade from the Civic Centre and was led by The Band of the Royal Corps of Signals and the Bearpark and Esh Colliery Band.

Sunderland's Remembrance Service

Sunderland's Remembrance Service

Units in this year's parade included: 4 Regiment Royal Artillery (Sunderland's adopted regiment), Guards 24 Platoon, 2nd Infantry Training Battalion and crew from the city's adopted ship HMS Ocean.

They were joined by contingents 9th Army Air Corps, The Light Dragoons and 1st Battalion REME and the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

The largest contingent this year was provided by 4 Regiment Royal Artillery. Representatives of the regiment, which received the Freedom of Sunderland in 1974, travelled from their base in Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, to take part. The regiment also provided the Regimental Sergeant Major tasked with co-ordinating the parade.

Mayor of Sunderland Coun Barry Curran, said: "Remembrance Sunday is an opportunity for everyone in Sunderland to pay tribute to those who fought in conflicts past and present and the many who gave up their lives for their country.

Sunderland Remembrance Service

Sunderland Remembrance Service

"It's also really important that we use this occasion to honour the servicemen and women of today and let them know how much we value what they do and appreciate the sacrifices they make on our behalf.

"The sad loss of those young men from this city who have lost their lives in recent conflicts will be especially close to our hearts as we remember all those who have paid the ultimate price."

As in previous years, veteran Ted Hold, President of the Sunderland Branch of the Parachute Regimental Association, recited the first four verses of the famous war poem 'For the Fallen' before the two minute silence.

This was followed by veteran Len Gibson, a member of 125 Anti Tank Regiment Royal Artillery who was prisoner of war on the notorious ‘Death Railway' in

Sunderland's Remembrance Service

Sunderland's Remembrance Service

Burma. He recited the Far Eastern Prisoner of War Prayer before the wreath laying.

Earlier this year a memorial service and Dedication of the Memorial Standard for the 160th (Wearside) Brigade, Royal Field Artillery (RFA) was held at Sunderland Minster. Funded by Sunderland City Council, the Standard is a permanent reminder of the Brigade. This year was first time in decades that it flew alongside those of their comrades at the annual Remembrance Parade.

Coun Curran added: "It is fitting that a century after the men of the 160th Wearside Brigade took their first salute from the then-Mayor as they marched off to war, that I should now represent the people of our city to receive their Standard in the Service of Remembrance."

The parade ended in a march past of veterans and serving members of Her Majesty's Forces. A salute was taken by the Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Mrs Susan Winfield OBE, the Mayor of Sunderland, Commander Ian Berry, Royal Navy and Brigadier Gerald Strickland, 4 Infantry Brigade, from the steps of the Museum in Borough Road.

Mayor of Sunderland Coun Barry Curran takes the salute from today's Remembrance parade.

Mayor of Sunderland Coun Barry Curran takes the salute from today's Remembrance parade.

On Wednesday November 11, residents and visitors to the city will be asked to pause for a two minute silence and remember Armistice Day. Everyone in the

city is invited to join City Council staff in observing the two-minute silence. Maroons (explosive charges) will sound at 11am, and again at

11.02 to bring the observance to an end, after which a new tribute to Sunderland’s fallen will be unveiled.

Sunderland Armed Forces Network (SAFN) has gained funding to provide a memorial seat in Mowbray Park, close to the city’s war memorial.

Funding was provided by the city council’s East Area Committee.

SAFN chairman Graham Hall, said: “ Having been involved with most aspects of Remembrance and other events to commemorate our armed forces community, it has been apparent that there has never been anywhere for visitors to the memorial and The Brothers In Arms Wall to sit.

Sunderland's Remembrance Day service.

Sunderland's Remembrance Day service.

“Those visits can be emotionally draining and this will allow visitors a chance to sit and gather their thoughts.

“The seat is being placed with easy access of the memorial and is a commemoration to those who have served their country.

“It will also act as a reminder to all of the sacrifices that have been made to allow people to have their freedom and security, which is all too often taken for granted.”

Although the design will not be revealed until the day, the seat is focused on the ongoing First World War commemorations.

Mayor Coun Barry Curran will unveil the seat immediately after the two minutes' silence at 11am.

Standard bearers at today's Sunderland Remembrance service.

Standard bearers at today's Sunderland Remembrance service.