Families urged to have veterans' names added to Sunderland memorial wall

Graham Hall, chairman of the Sunderland Armed Forces Network, left, with Sunderland City Council's Armed Forces Champion Coun Harry Trueman at the Memorial Wall in Burdon Road.
Graham Hall, chairman of the Sunderland Armed Forces Network, left, with Sunderland City Council's Armed Forces Champion Coun Harry Trueman at the Memorial Wall in Burdon Road.
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The families of servicemen and women who lost their lives in service are being encouraged to commemorate them.

The deadline to have the names of loved ones, who died in service after the Second World War, inscribed on the Brothers in Arms memorial wall in time for this year's Remembrance commemorations is Tuesday, July 31.

Graham Hall, chairman of the Sunderland Armed Forces Network, left, with Coun Harry Trueman at the Veterans' Walk.

Graham Hall, chairman of the Sunderland Armed Forces Network, left, with Coun Harry Trueman at the Veterans' Walk.

Meanwhile, applications for entries in the Sunderland Armed Forces Network online Memorial Book remain open throughout the year.

The wall, next to the war memorial in Burdon Road, was built with funds raised by the Brothers in Arms organisation as a tribute to the community’s fallen heroes.

There has been an annual roll-call for more names to be added to it since the formal dedication of the Memorial Wall on Armistice Day 2011.

Names of service personnel from Sunderland who have died in recent conflicts such as Afghanistan and Iraq and in Northern Ireland are carved into the wall.

Coun Harry Trueman is the city’s Armed Forces Champion and part of Sunderland’s Armed Forces Network, which brings partners and veterans' groups together to represent the interests of former and current servicemen, servicewomen and their families.

He said: "Every year we invite families to apply for their loved ones names to be inscribed alongside their fallen comrades on the Memorial Wall, so they can be added before Remembrance Weekend in November.

“Our city is very proud of their sacrifice on our country’s behalf, and it is the community coming forward to support the Brothers in Arms charity, which makes this lasting monument possible.

“It was that support to the Brothers in Arms appeal started by five families who had lost loved ones in recent years that raised £150,000 over two years to design and build the wall.”

One of the founders of the Brothers in Arms charity, Tom Cuthbertson, whose son Nathan lost his life in action while serving in Afghanistan 2008, added: "We call on all families in Sunderland with a relative who passed away while serving in our armed forces since the end of the Second World War to get in touch.

"The Brothers in Arms Memorial Wall remembers every death in conflict or in training since 1945, and we'd ask you to get in touch if you'd like their names and sacrifice inscribed onto the Memorial Wall in time for this year's Remembrance Day." 
Mr Cuthbertson and the charity have also now started a Veterans’ Walk adjacent to the Memorial Wall where people can buy a commemorative stone honouring service personnel past and present with more information available by contacting tomx2para@yahoo.com or 07951 853128.

People within the city who would like to see their loved one's names appear alongside their fallen comrades on the Memorial Wall, should contact Mandy Howard in Members Services and Community Partnerships on 0191 561 1330 or email mayor@sunderland.gov.uk for more information.