Seaham at standstill for Armistice Day

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A SEAFRONT came to a standstill as generations of a town stopped to remember the war dead in the shadow of a soldier’s statue.

Seaham’s Terrace Green was filled with around 100 people as 11am drew in yesterday, with classes of children making the visit to the war memorial and the Tommy statue of a First World War One solider –officially called the Eleven O One sculpture.

IN MEMORY: St Mary Magdalen's R C Primary School with Seaham's Tommy statue.

IN MEMORY: St Mary Magdalen's R C Primary School with Seaham's Tommy statue.

Among the children to visit yesterday was Year 3 pupils from St Mary Magdalen’s R C Primary School in Dene House Road.

Seven-year-old twins Isaac and Jacob Smith, who had taken their great grandad and great grandads’ war medals into school as part of their studies, laid a wreath at the foot of the cenotaph, while classmates Millie Thompson, their cousin, and Poppy Smith added crosses to the display.

The group have previously met Tommy artist Ray Lonsdale, who visited the school to take a talk, and written poems inspired by Tommy.

Teacher Catherine Wilkinson said: “It means a lot and it is at the heart of the community.

“It’s important that the children know what happened and we decided to visit to pay our respects and thanks for the debt we owe to those who fought in the wars.”

Dene House Primary School’s Years 3 and 4 also visited the statue.

In Church Street, outside St John’s Church, John Marrin, holder of Seaham’s Royal British Legion’s standard and the county standard, joined Elizabeth Armes, deputy standard bearer, as they lowered their flags while a bugler played the last post and reveille.

It was followed by a service inside the church.