Fallen First World War soldier is remembered with street named in his honour ahead of Remembrance Day

A fallen Wearside solider has been immortalised on a new development built on the site of his former home.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 10 November, 2018, 09:33
From left, Neil Milburn, Peter Welsh, Grace Ford, Coun Graeme Miller, Helen Gates, Coun Tony Taylor and deputy mayor Coun David Snowdon

Barratt Homes North East has named a new street in tribute to William Forster, who was born and lived on the site on which the firm's Teal Park Farm development now sits.

William Forster, who was born in 1890, grew up in Washington to work alongside his father in the Chemical Works before joining the army in 1914.

He joined the Yorkshire Regiment and went to France in August 1915, but died of wounds in Rouen just a year later. William and his brother John are named on the Washington Village memorial.

An official ceremony was held at the site to unveil the naming of ‘William Forster Close’. In addition to the commemorative street name, Barratt Homes has also made a donation to SSAFA, who provide practical and emotional support for serving personnel, veterans and military families across the UK and worldwide, to mark the occasion.

Deputy Mayor of The City of Sunderland David Snowdon; Washington East ward member Coun Tony Taylor; city council leader - and member for Washington South - Coun Graeme Miller were joined by local historian, Peter Welsh and members of the public for the unveiling of the commemorative street sign.

The visitors were greeted by Barratt North East’s Development Director, Neil Milburn, alongside Teal Park Farm sales adviser Grace Ford.

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Peter Welsh gave a stirring speech in memory of William and John,who served in the Dorsetshire Regiment, and the 179 men of Washington who never came home

He was joined by the Deputy Mayor for the formal ribbon cutting to officially open the street.

"We were delighted to learn about the life of William Forster and to honour this extremely important centenary date with the opening of our brand new street in his name," said Neil Milburn.

"It is so important to us that we create links with and cherish the stories of our local community, and we hope that this memorial goes some way towards commemorating and honouring the veterans of WW1.”

Coun Snowdon commented: "We’d like to thank Barratt Homes for the wonderful commemorative street to symbolise the heroic actions of William Forster and the fellow soldiers from this area who laid down their lives over one hundred years ago.

"It’s important to the people of Sunderland that we continue to remember them, especially at this significant time of the year."