WAR memorials across Wearside have been given a facelift ahead of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.
A dozen memorials, including the Burdon Road Cenotaph which is the focus of Remembrance Sunday services, are being repainted, repointed or resurfaced as part of a £30,000 city council maintenance project.
Works at Burdon Road have been completed in time for 4th Regiment Royal Artillery to mark its 40th Freedom anniversary and city centre parade on Saturday, August 2, while events to mark the centenary include a service at Sunderland Minster from 10.30am on Monday, August 4.
City council deputy leader Coun Harry Trueman said: “Like any part of the built environment, war memorials also need maintenance. As a city with many thousands of veterans and many close links with the Armed Forces, memorials are an important part of our shared heritage.
“We are now approaching the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. Memorials which are already the focus of the annual Armistice and remembrance services will see additional services marking this centenary year.
“These works are helping preserve our memorials for many more years so they remain the centre pieces for many more remembrance services to come.”
Graham Hall, chairman of the Sunderland Armed Forces Network, added: “The Sunderland Armed Forces Network has been working with the council over the last few years to ensure that this, and other projects like this, continue to acknowledge our service personnel.
“I am sure Sunderland residents will welcome this programme of maintenance on the city’s war memorials.
“We are the custodians of these memorials for future generations so they, and their children, can understand the sacrifices made to safeguard our freedom. These memorials are an important part of our heritage and a reminder of the cost of conflict.”
The Burdon Road War Memorial, a winged Victory on a granite column, was dedicated on Boxing Day 1922 and now commemorates the dead of both world wars.
REFURBISHMENT work includes:
South Hylton: Re-point the memorial, replacing missing lead lettering and re-painting of the lettering, re-surfacing around the memorial;
Wormhill near Fatfield: Re-paint the metal railings;
Castletown Cemetery: Re-point the memorial and re-painting the wreath holders;
Southwick Green: Re-point the memorial, replacement of missing lead lettering;
Ryhope Village Green: Re-point the memorial, replacement of missing lead lettering, re-paint the lettering and metalwork, replacement of corroded fixings to bronze plaques;
Shiney Row: Re-point the memorial;
Silksworth Recreation Park statue of soldier: Re-point the memorial, replacement of missing lead lettering;
Fulwell, Chichester Road: Renewal of capping stones to stone feature wall;
Washington Village: Re-point the memorial and paving stones, and re-paint the metal railings;
Fence Houses: Re-point the memorial, re-build two cracked stone piers to wall;
Easington Lane Clock Tower: Renewal of aluminium door and frame to clock tower;
Mowbray Park Cenotaph/Burdon Road War Memorial: Re-point the column base, plinth and steps, re-enamel the lettering to the memorial wall.