Easington Lane memorial honouring fallen heroes gets rededicated 100 years since it was first unveiled
A historic landmark remembering Wearside’s fallen has been honoured by the community and dignitaries to mark the 100th anniversary of its installation.
The Easington Lane clock tower has sat proudly at the centre of the former mining community since it was first was unveiled to the public on Tuesday, August 27, 1921, the foundation stone having been laid a year earlier, in August 1920.
And the Grade II-listed structure in the community’s High Street has taken centre stage again, with a re-dedication ceremony on Saturday, August 28.
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.
Saturday’s event was attended by his great-grandson, James Michael Joicey, the fifth Baron Joicey.
Also present was Mayor of Sunderland Henry Trueman, representatives from Hetton Town Council, representatives from Easington Lane Primary School, members of the Royal British Legion, and members of the community.
And just as the dedication on 1921 was carried out by the Dean of Durham, James Welldon, a century later it was performed again by the Reverend Canon Michael Everitt, Canon Pastor at Durham Cathedral.
Speaking before the event, he said: “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.
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.