Why Sunderland must never forget the fallen

Sunderland Remembrance Day Parade and Service 2011.
Sunderland Remembrance Day Parade and Service 2011.
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DUNKIRK and Normandy Veteran Norman Greaveson is urging people to honour the fallen this Remembrance Sunday.

The 93-year-old, who is part of the Seaham branch of the British Legion, will lay the wreath in one of two processions taking place in the town on Sunday, November 11.

Dunkirk and D-day veteran Norman Greavson, of Rutherford Avenue, Seaham,

Dunkirk and D-day veteran Norman Greavson, of Rutherford Avenue, Seaham,

Norman, who was also a barber in the late 1930s, said: “Being in the British Legion and being a veteran, it’s important to me to be involved.

“I will go to Christ Church, then lay the wreath in Seaham Town Park.”

Norman, who lives in Seaham, has been in the British Legion for about 20 years and is still an active member. He has been selling Remembrance Day poppies again this year.

He said he thinks it’s important that anyone who was in the Second World War and all the military campaigns since then participate in Remembrance Day events, both to remember their fallen colleagues and because they can all benefit from the funding that the British Legion can give.

“Anyone who served in Second World War or anything since then can apply to get money from the British Legion if they need it,” he said.

“Last year the British Legion raised £4million, and this year it wants to rasie £4.2million from poppy sales.

“I didn’t realise, but they spend £1.7million a week on people.”

Norman, who is married to Olive, 99, who joined the military in 1939.

He was sent to France in 1940 to join the 65th medium artillery regiment and served in Normandy and Dunkirk.

In 1945 he was sent on movement to Normandy after being promoted to bombardier with a pay rise of six pence a day, before officially being demobbed in 1946.

For Norman, like many other servicemen and women, being part of the Remembrance Day processions is a duty.

The procession of remembrance that Norman will partake in is a detachment from the main procession that will take place in Seaham.

The detachment procession will leave from Christ Church and proceed to the park for the two-minutes silence at 11am. The main procession will step off from Terrace Green at 10.50am.

Other processions will take place around Wearside and East Durham on November 11. For details of those in Sunderland visit www.sunderland.gov.uk.