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Seaham remembers First World War dead

The Friends of Seaham War Memorials with their Book of Rememberance that has been placed in the Seaham Heritage Centre, Seaham Marina. Pictured l-r are Danny Cassidy chairman of Friends of Seaham war Memorials, Derek Bland treasurer and Malcolm Wilkinson secretary.

The Friends of Seaham War Memorials with their Book of Rememberance that has been placed in the Seaham Heritage Centre, Seaham Marina. Pictured l-r are Danny Cassidy chairman of Friends of Seaham war Memorials, Derek Bland treasurer and Malcolm Wilkinson secretary.

THE names of townsfolk who lost their lives in the First World War have gone on display.

A book has been created to recognise the sacrifice made by the people of Seaham during the conflict.

The Friends of Seaham War Memorials are behind the project, which has seen 648 names added to the document so far.

Its members have begun with the First World War and will add to the titles in time as funding becomes available.

The red book of remembrance, decorated with a gold design, was bought with £300 raised through donations, with a display cabinet then built to order by a Sunderland firm.

The East Durham Heritage Trust is hosting the display at its base in Seaham Marina, with the 12 pages to be turned at intervals to ensure all the names are seen by visitors.

The exhibition has been timed to run in the six months leading up to August 4, which will see a host of events held to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the war.

Derek Bland, the group’s treasurer and a member of the town’s branch of the Royal British Legion, said: “We are very proud of it.

“We started off in 2006 trying to raise money for our war memorials, and then Paul Fletcher, the deputy town clerk, came along and really made things move.

“He helped find £30,000 for the refurbishment of the town park cenotaph, and they’ve done a good job.

“There are 648 names so far, but we have more to add.”

The group is continuing to draw up a list of names to put into the book, with anyone with details to contribute welcome to get in touch.

The book is one of a series of efforts in the town to mark the coming anniversary of the outbreak of the conflict.

Monday, August 4, will also see a celebration held on the Terrace Green, where the Ray Lonsdale sculpture 1101 is due to be unveiled today.

The anniversary day, planned by Seaham Town Council, will see the Royal British Legion, The Remember Them Fund and East Durham Artists’ Network join forces to put on a lunchtime picnic to be held and wartime songs to be performed.

 

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