Sunderland honours the fallen on Remembrance Sunday

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THE haunting tones of the Last Post rang out around the city centre War Memorial as Wearside remembered its fallen.

Veterans stood shoulder-to-shoulder with serving Forces personnel and families whose sons and daughters have paid the highest price for their country for Sunderland’s annual Remembrance Parade.

Sunderland Remembrance Day Service and Parade 2013

Sunderland Remembrance Day Service and Parade 2013

Hundreds of spectators also lined Burdon Road to pay their respects at one of the biggest remembrance services outside of London.

The parade was led by the Heavy Cavalry and Cambrai Band, and the Bearpark and Esh Colliery Band.

Forces personnel from around the country travelled to Sunderland to take part in the event, including units from The Light Dragoons, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, 4th Regiment Royal Artillery and 3rd Regiment Royal Medical Corps.

 They were joined by contingents from 9th Army Air Corps and The Coldstream Guards.

As is tradition, Ted Hold, president of the Sunderland Branch of the Parachute Regimental Association, gave a moving reading of famous war poem For The Fallen ahead of a two-minute silence.

Speaking to the Echo, the 92-year-old said: “Today has been absolutely wonderful as always, and I hope it continues for a very long time.

“I remember coming here with my father, who was in the Northumberland Fusiliers, when I was a child. We would walk through the town from our house opposite The Londonderry and everything was so still when the cannons would sound.

“That was the beginning for me, I never thought I’d be here today doing a reading.”

As part of the event, Len Gibson, a member of 125 Anti Tank Regiment Royal Artillery and a prisoner of war on the notorious Death Railway, recited the Far Eastern Prisoner of War Prayer before the wreath laying.

The Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Bob Heron, who gave a commemorative address at the service, said: “Today has been phenomenal.

“It’s very different attending as Mayor than as a councillor.

“It was a very moving and wonderful tribute on a golden, crisp day.

“Sunderland is one of the biggest military recruiting areas in the North East so it’s a particularly poignant parade for the city. 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.

“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.