WORK has started on a memorial wall to commemorate Wearside’s fallen heroes.
Construction work officially got under way yesterday on the wall to remember Sunderland servicemen and women who have died in conflict and training since the Second World War.
The day marked another major step in an emotional journey for Wearside families, fighting for a permanent memorial for relations who have laid down their lives for their country.
Janice Murray, whose son Private Michael Tench, 18, was killed in Iraq in 2007, said: “It’s a bit of a mix of emotions really.
“Obviously I want to see it up, but I think it’s going to tear at the heartstrings.
“At the same time it will be fantastic to see.
“It will be a special place for all of us. We started off wanting to make sure our lads will never be forgotten.
“Now we know that for generations to follow, when we are gone, their names will live on.”
The Brothers In Arms appeal was set up by families of soldiers who wanted a lasting memorial to specifically commemorate soldiers who have lost their lives since the Second World War.
Their appeal touched the hearts of Wearsiders, who helped them raise more than £118,000 to turn their dream into reality.
Brenda Gooch, mother of Town End Farm submariner Anthony Huntrod – who died after a blast on HMS Tireless in 2007 – said: “The generosity and support we have been given from everyone has been fantastic.
“To reach our target in just over a year has allowed us to build the memorial wall much sooner than we thought. I’d like to say a huge thank-you to everyone.”
Tom Cuthbertson, from Tunstall, whose son Private Nathan Cuthbertson, 19, was killed in Afghanistan in 2008, said: “People have been so generous – not just with their money but with their time and advice.
“This wall means the world to us. It’s so important we never forget those who have been killed in the service of our country”
It is hoped that the wall, which will take pride of place in Mowbray Park next to the war memorial in Burdon Road, will be completed within four weeks.
Janice, of Carley Hill, said: “It’s scary to think the wall has been built so quickly, and it’s nice to think it will be there in time for Remembrance Day on 11.11.11.”