900 resin poppies installed as Seaham Field of Remembrance is unveiled as a backdrop to Tommy

The display has become a backdrop to Ray Lonsdale's Tommy statue.
The display has become a backdrop to Ray Lonsdale's Tommy statue.

A memorial created to remember Seaham’s servicemen and women whose lives were claimed by war is beginning to bloom.

Seaham Field of Remembrance has been created on the Terrace Green as a backdrop to the Tommy statue, with almost all the 900 resin poppies now on permanent display thanks to the help of Sunderland’s Territorial Army.

Gary Richardson with sculpture poppies ahead of the Seaham Field of Remembrance.

Gary Richardson with sculpture poppies ahead of the Seaham Field of Remembrance.

The flowers, created by local artist Allan Scott, have been designed to mimic the bronze of the ‘Dead Man’s Penny, which was issued after the First World War to the next of kin of all British and Empire service personnel lost.

The project was launched by Seaham resident Gary Richardson with the help of historian Brian Scollen and a team of supporters, as there is no single monument to all those claimed while serving the country.

The group has raised £27,000 thanks to the town’s six Durham County Councillors, which each gifted £2,000 from their funds, £3,000 from Seaham Town Council and local businesses while sponsors have paid £30 to support a poppy.

The name of each serviceman, woman or munitions worker will be added to a flower, with an official ceremony planned for 11am on Sunday, November 4.

It looks fantastic and it really has an impact.

Gary Richardson

Further cash is being raised for a website featuring information about those listed.

Gary set up the project after remembering something his father Thomas, who had served in the Royal Air Force from 1947, said before he died earlier this year, aged 90.

He said: “This is in recognition of all those who deserve it and it was my late father who said the town should be ashamed of itself that it didn’t have a complete memorial, that’s why I thought it should be done.

“He would be proud.

The project was helped by the Royal Engineers via Sunderland's Territorial Army.

The project was helped by the Royal Engineers via Sunderland's Territorial Army.

“It’s taken a lot of research, but we knew more families would come forward with details once we began.

“It looks fantastic and it really has an impact.”

More can be found via the Seaham Field of Remembrance Facebook page.

The Seaham Field of Remembrance Team pictured as they put together the poppies ready for display.

The Seaham Field of Remembrance Team pictured as they put together the poppies ready for display.

One of the poppies on display on the Terrace Green.

One of the poppies on display on the Terrace Green.

The Seaham Field of Remembrance is already attracting visitors as people pay their respects to those who gave their lives during conflict.

The Seaham Field of Remembrance is already attracting visitors as people pay their respects to those who gave their lives during conflict.

The resin poppies have been decorated with the names of men and women whose lives were claimed as they served Britain.

The resin poppies have been decorated with the names of men and women whose lives were claimed as they served Britain.