New memorial shows town continues to remember lives claimed by colliery and conflict

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A new memorial has been unveiled to remember those who lost their lives beneath the ground and on the battlefield.

It has been placed next to the entrance to Seaham High School, which opened its doors as Seaham School of Technology moved to its new home.

Chairman of Durham County Council ,Eddie Bell and Seaham mayor Councillor Sue Morrison

Chairman of Durham County Council ,Eddie Bell and Seaham mayor Councillor Sue Morrison

The building is on land off Station Road, once home to Seaham Colliery, where 164 men and boys died in a disaster in 1880, with many others claimed by the dangers as the dug coal from the seams.

The school opened on September 8, 136 years to the day of the tragedy.

The black granite monument bears the Seaham crest and the words: “Dedicated to the men of Seaham Colliery who made the ultimate sacrifice in work and in conflict.

“At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them.”

This is for those men who went to war and those who went down that pit and their mates who left the pit to face conflict.

David McKenna

The memorial, funded with £500 of cash donated from supporters of the Remember Them Fund, was unveiled at a ceremony held ahead of Armistice Day to allow students a place to gather as they mark the event ahead of Sunday.

David McKenna, who leads the fund and was colour sergeant in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, said: “This is for those men who went to war and those who went down that pit and their mates who left the pit to face conflict.
“This all came about because there are 1,200 pupils at that school and we hope to educate these kids about what happened on that site and those who went to war.”

The launch ceremony saw mayor Sue Morrison join Seaham Town Council leader Eddie Bell unveil the piece, while Seaham Colliery’s banner was also put on show.

It was also blessed during the gathering.

Mining and war memorial at Seaham High School.

Mining and war memorial at Seaham High School.

Geoff Lumsdon, deputy headteacher of the school, said: “It’s really important as members of our community that we recognise the miners who gave their lives and those who died in service for their country.”

Seaham will host two ceremonies for Remembrance Day on Sunday.

The town centre’s will see a march leave Tempest Road in time to reach the cenotaph on Terrace Green for the start of an 11am ceremony.

Another will be held in Seaham Town Park at the same time and will follow on from a service at Christ Church in Station Road.

A closer look at the new monument.

A closer look at the new monument.

These will follow ceremonies at both locations at the same time tomorrow.