North East cancer charity plans memorial walk for Sunderland war hero Len Gibson who passed away aged 101

A North East cancer charity is paying tribute to a Wearside war hero who sadly passed away last month with a memorial walk from Newcastle to Sunderland.

Friday, 6th August 2021, 7:59 pm
Len Gibson, pictured with his book, with a revised version to help raise funds for Daft as a Brush, which will host the launch party planned ahead of his death in tribute to the 101-year-old.

Daft As a Brush Cancer Patient Care have planned the memorial walk this VJ Day for Sunderland war hero Len Gibson BEM, who passed away aged 101 on July 31.

The walk, which is open to the general public, will begin at Newcastle Cenotaph at Old Eldon Square, go through Jarrow, South Shields, and Whitburn before finishing at the Sunderland Cenotaph at Mowbray Park, at around 5pm.

The walk will be started by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Councillor Habib Rahman and Mr. Nick Tuckey, a Piper, will then lead the walkers down Grey/ Dean Street to the Millennium Bridge.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Len Gibson, pictured in May this year, at the celebration held for him at Herrington Country Park.

The walk will continue along the ‘Daft as a Brush River Tyne Trail’ to South Shields passing a Greggs outlet at the Bede Industrial Estate at 11am when walkers observe two minutes’ silence, followed by refreshments.

In Sunderland, Mayor Councillor Harry Trueman, Deputy Lieutenant of Tyne & Wear Major Eric Ingram, Standard Bearers and guests will greet the walkers while a Bugler will sound ‘The Last Post’.

At the Sunderland Cenotaph, the Mayor will then lead a tribute to the war hero, followed with a service conducted by Rev Juliet Stephenson and Father David Smith in memory of Len and all those who never returned from the Far Eastern War.

As a Far East Prisoner of War (FEPOW) Len was forced to work on the Mergui Road building the 'Death Railway' in Burma after he was captured following the fall of Singapore in 1942.

In 2019 he was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in recognition of his community and voluntary Service.

The launch had been planned before Les passed away but will now serve as testament to his memory with all proceeds going to Daft As A Brush Cancer Patient Care.

The walk will take place on August 15, with the public encouraged to take part in all or part of the tribute.

Support your Echo and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to all of our news and sport, see fewer ads, experience faster load times, test your brain with daily puzzles and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. The Sunderland Echo has been on Wearside since 1873, and your support means we can continue telling your stories for generations to come. Click here to subscribe.