Easington Lane war memorial centenary to be marked with ceremony
A magnificent war memorial is to be re-dedicated to mark its centenary.
The Easington Lane clock tower was unveiled to the public on Tuesday, August 27, 1921. The foundation stone was laid a year earlier, in August 1920.
The re-dedication of the Grade II listed building will be performed during another ceremony at the High Street site on Saturday, August 28, 2021 at 11am.
The 17 metre (55 feet) sandstone tower was erected to honour the 158 men of Easington Lane whose lives were claimed by World War One. The names of 29 locals who fell during World War Two were added later, making a total of 187.
The memorial was originally unveiled by the coal magnate Lord Joicey, chairman of Lambton and Hetton Collieries Ltd, who provided the labour for the building. The 2021 event will be attended by his great-grandson, James Michael Joicey, the fifth Baron Joicey.
Also present will be the Mayor of Sunderland Henry Trueman, representatives of Hetton Town Council, representatives of Easington Lane Primary School, members of the Royal British Legion and, of course, the people of Easington Lane themselves.
The aim is to make the event as alike as possible to the original.
The dedication on 1921 was carried out by the Dean of Durham, James Welldon. A century on it will be performed again by the Reverend Canon Michael Everitt, Canon Pastor at Durham Cathedral, who is very much looking forward to the event.
He told the Echo: “It is a privilege to be part of the re-dedication of the Easington Lane War Memorial, 100 years on from when it was first unveiled and dedicated.
“It is good that Easington Lane continues to honour those who gave their service and their lives in both world wars, because in remembering them we also commit ourselves to strive for peace today.
“The re-dedication of the memorial is an opportunity for this generation to do both of these things afresh.”
The original work to build the memorial tower, complete with the clock and bells, was £2,000 which is the equivalent to about £85,000 in 2021. It was paid for by a public collection.
The land on which the memorial stands was donated by a great-uncle of the present Queen, Francis Bowes-Lyon, who also gave £25 towards the cost of construction.