Time is running out for people to contribute to a pathway which will honour forces personnel past and present.
Since the Veterans’ Walk was launched in January, more than 100 orders have been placed for A4-sized granite slabs, which will be carved with the names of those who have served, or are currently serving, their country in the Army, Navy or RAF, as well as the Merchant Navy.
The pathway, which will be built in the shadow of the Brothers in Arms Memorial Wall, in Mowbray Park, is the first installation in the city which honours living military.
It’s the brainchild of Tom Cuthbertson, from Tunstall, whose 19-year-old son, Private Nathan Cuthbertson, was one of three paratroopers killed in 2008 when a lone insurgent detonated an explosive in Afghanistan.
Tom, a veteran himself who served in Northern Ireland in the Parachute Regiment, says he’s delighted with the response.
“We’ve had many orders from Sunderland, but also from people who once lived in Sunderland, but are now in Canada and America,” he said.
He added: “The orders have all been from different backgrounds too, from people whose relatives served in WW1 right up to people currently serving. That’s the important thing about the walk, we think it’s the first one in the country to honour people who are serving now.
“I know how proud and passionate people in this part of the world are about serving their country and honouring past generations, so I knew it would be popular.”
To avoid disruption to the park, the slabs will be laid in stages, with the first installation taking about a week to complete. The closing date for ordering the first slabs is April 21.
Tom said: “The first set of slabs will be laid and then we’ll be taking further orders for people who want to add to the pathway over the course of the year.”
l To order a slab, priced £195, visit veteranswalk.co.uk or contact Tom directly on Tel. 07951853128