Sunderland and East Durham pay their respects to Prince Philip
Veterans in Seaham came together to pay tribute to Prince Philip as he was laid to rest on Saturday, April 17.
Dave McKenna, leader of Seaham Remember Them Fund, organised a small gathering of veterans at the war memorial at Terrace Green, Seaham, to honour the Duke of Edinburgh.
Prince Philip, who was married to the Queen for 73 years, died on Friday, April 9, aged 99.
He had joined the Royal Navy at 17 and saw action in the Second World War and reached the rank of commander, with his role brought to an end as he became her consort.
His funeral was held today, April 17, in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Palace, with a national minute’s silence held at 3pm.
During the tribute in Seaham, a bugler performed the Last Post as veterans saluted Prince Philip before those gathered marked the national minute’s silence.
Dave, who served as a Colour Sergeant in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, said: “As veterans we wanted to do something because we swear an Oath of Allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen.
"To do something [to honour Prince Philip] was a duty.
"We owe a debt of gratitude to him for his service to the county.”
During the tribute in Seaham Father Paul Kennedy led those gathered in prayer in memory of Prince Philip before poem, ‘Crossing the Bar’ by Alfred Lord Tennyson, was recited by Mark Walker, who served as a lieutenant commander in the Royal Navy.
In the run up to the event, people in the community also placed pebbles in front of the Tommy statue, spelling out HRH RIP.
However details of the tribute were not publicised in order to prevent crowds from gathering under Covid restrictions.
Dave added: “I think it went very well.
“We didn’t want to advertise the event because of the concerns around social distancing but the people that were here and stopped to pay their respects all adhered to the guidance for social distancing.”
Meanwhile Sunderland AFC players also paid their respects to Prince Philip by taking part in a minute's silence before their 1-0 defeat against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road on Saturday.
Landmarks across Sunderland are also due to be lit up in purple on Saturday night as a mark of respect.