Thousands of people line Sunderland city centre streets for Remembrance Day service

Thousands of people turned out to show their respects as Sunderland paid tribute to its fallen.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 11 November, 2018, 14:11

Crowds eight to ten deep lined the streets around the war memorial in Burdon Road and outside the Museum and Winter Gardens where the civic party took the salute.

Two police officers on horseback led the parade from the civic centre down to the war memorial, with representatives of all branches of the forces as well as emergency services and groups including the Scouts and Sunderland’s Sikh community.

The parade in Burdon Road

Veteran George Waller, who served in the RAF in the Second World War, recited the first four verses of the famous war poem ‘For the Fallen,’ with its famous line ‘At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them’.

The chimes of Big Ben were played, followed by the firing of two field guns from the terrace in Mowbray Park to signal the start and finish of an immaculately observed two-minute silence.

Veteran Len Gibson, a member of 125 Anti Tank Regiment Royal Artillery who was a prisoner of war on the notorious ‘Death Railway’ in Burma, recited the Far Eastern Prisoner Prayer before the wreath laying.

The parade at the war memorial

Hymns included Jerusalam and Eternal Father, Strong to Save, better known by its line ‘For this in peril ion the sea, before the service concluded with the National Anthem.

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Crew from Sunderland’s newly affiliated submarine HMS Anson were among the personnel taking part, along with the city’s adopted regiment, 4 Regiment Royal Artillery, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, RAF Boulmer, The Ghurkhas, 5 Armoured Medical Regiment, 101 Regiment Royal Artillery and Tamera Pl Para Coy Infantry Training Centre Catterick.

Mayor Coun Lynda Scanlan was delighted with the turnout for the service.

Crowds of all ages lined the streets

The opportunity to welcome people to Sunderland for the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day had been a highlight of her Mayoral year, she said.

“I have been looking forward to it all year and I have been overwhelmed by it.

“It was an amazing turn-out and it was so poignant and very moving to see so many people here to remember those we have lost.”

Crowds wait outside the museum
The parade passes the museum
Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott and Sunderland City Council Leader Graeme Miller were among the civic party taking the salute