Sunderland ready to remember war heroes

Sunderland Remembrance Day Parade and Service 2011.

Sunderland Remembrance Day Parade and Service 2011.

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THE final preparations are being made for this year’s Remembrance Sunday commemorations.

The parade, from Sunderland Civic Centre to the city’s War Memorial, in Burdon Road, will see hundreds of serving armed forces members travelling across the UK to take part in the event.

They will join hundreds of veterans from past conflicts to remember the efforts of those who served in the First World War through to modern-day conflicts.

Mayor of Sunderland Coun Iain Kay said: “We’re proud to honour all those who fought in conflicts past and present and the many who gave up their lives for their country.

“Remembrance Sunday is also a valuable opportunity to let the servicemen and women of today know how much we value what they do and appreciate the sacrifices they make on our behalf.

“With so many of our servicemen and women serving in Afghanistan, the dreadfully-sad loss of young men from this city will be especially prominent in our minds as we remember all those who have paid the ultimate price.”

Those taking part in the parade and service include 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, 1st Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and a small contingent of crew from the city’s adopted warship HMS Ocean.

They will be joined by servicemen and women from RAF Leeming, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, the Light Dragoons, 5th Regiment Royal Artillery, Queen Alexandra Royal Army Nursing Corps and the Officer Training Unit from Northumbria University

The parade is followed by the annual Service of Remembrance and wreath-laying.

Ted Hold, president of the Sunderland Branch of the Parachute Regimental Association, will recite the first four verses of the war poem “For the Fallen” before the two-minutes silence.

Len Gibson, who was a member of the 125 Anti-Tank Regiment Royal Artillery and a prisoner of war on the “Death Railway”, will recite the Far Eastern Prisoner of War Prayer.

The parade culminates in a march-past of veterans and serving members of Her Majesty’s Forces, with the salute taken by Air Commodore Simon Richardson, Air Officer A6/A6 Force Commander.

This year’s Remembrance Parade is being led by two bands – The Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment and the Bearpark and Esh Colliery Band.

Members of the public who wish to pay their respects are welcome to attend.

Anyone attending is advised to dress up warmly and be in place at the War Memorial by 10.15 am.

Twitter: @monica_turnbull