10 historic First World War sites you can still visit in Sunderland today
For most of us the First World War conjures up images of the front line and the horrors of the trenches.
But in the first “total war” the whole nation had to be mobilised to fight, and Sunderland with its busy shipyards was both a hive of activity and a perilous place facing marauding U-boats and Zepplein attacks. Here we look at some of the city’s First World War sites which still remain with us today:
1. Fulwell acoustic mirror
In its day, the acoustic mirror was a hi-tech early warning system against air raids. It was set up in 1917 after the deadly Zeppelin attack in Sunderland the previous year. The device reflected sound detected by a microphone in front of the dish to an operator who could alert the authorities of approaching Zeppelins, giving them a 15-minute warning.
Now the home of the North East Land, Sea and Air Museums, what was Sunderland Airport started out in October 1916 as a Flight Station for the Royal Flying Corps to help protect the North East coast from German Zeppelin attacks.
Another former Sunderland High School building, now home to the Bethany City Church, Bede Tower was used as a military hospital during World War One to help cope with the huge number of casualties from the front line.
The childhood home of Captain George Allan Maling, the only Sunderland-born man awarded the Victoria Cross. He served as a medic in World War One, and was awarded the medal for rescuing and treating 300 men during the Battle of Loos on September 25 1915. The building became part of the now-closed Sunderland High School, and a planning application has been submitted to turn it into flats.