Gunfire to mark two-minute silence on Remembrance Sunday in Sunderland

Sunderland Remembrance Parade and Service 2016 at the war memorial on Burdon Road.
Sunderland Remembrance Parade and Service 2016 at the war memorial on Burdon Road.

Fields guns from the city's adopted regiment will mark the start of the two minute silence at this year's Remembrance Parade and Service in Sunderland.

Two of the 4 Regiment Royal Artillery's 105 mm 'light guns' will fire rounds from the terrace in Mowbray Park to signal the start of the silence at 11am and further rounds will be fired to mark this coming to an end two minutes later.

Hundreds of service personnel and veterans will join the Mayor of Sunderland when the city pays its respects at the annual Remembrance Parade and Service this Sunday.

The parade will be led by The Royals Signals (Northern Band) and the Bearpark and Esh Colliery Band.

Units taking part in this year's parade also include 21 Engineer Regiment, The Light Dragoons, 5 Armoured Medical Regiment, 3 Rifles, Gurkha Company, RAF Boulmer, and HMS Calliope. Regimental Sergeant Major WOI Stephen Fraser , of 4 Regiment Royal Artillery, will coordinate the parade.

The Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Doris MacKnight, said: "Remembrance Sunday is an important opportunity for the whole city to come together to pay tribute to those who fought in conflicts past and present and the many who gave up their lives for their country.

"It is equally important that we use this occasion to honour the servicemen and women of today and let them know how much we value what they do and appreciate the sacrifices they make on our behalf.

"The sad loss of those young men from this city who have lost their lives in recent conflicts will be especially close to our hearts as we remember all those who have paid the ultimate price."

Veteran George Waller who served in the RAF in World War II will recite the first four verses of the famous war poem 'For the Fallen' before the two minute silence.

He will be followed by 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. He will recite the Far Eastern Prisoner of War Prayer before the wreath laying.

The parade will end in a march past of veterans and serving members of Her Majesty's Forces. The salute will be taken by Brigadier Oliver Stokes MBE, Deputy Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Major Eric Ingram MBE, DL and the Mayor of Sunderland, Cllr Doris MacKnight from the steps of the Museum in Borough Road.

Members of the public are very welcome to attend. Anyone thinking of coming along is advised to dress warmly and be in place at the war memorial by 10.15 am.

A limited amount of tiered seating is available in the tiered seating from 9am. Access to the disabled platform is available from the same time. Parking in the Civic Centre Car Park will be available free of charge.

Burdon Road and Park Road will be closed from 9.30 am until approximately 2.00pm – with access to Civic Car Park from Park Lane only after this point.

At 11 am on Saturday 11 November, residents and visitors to the city are also being asked to pause for a two minute silence to mark Armistice Day which signalled the end of the First world War in 1918. Maroons (explosive charges) will sound at 11am, and again at 11.02 from Mowbray Park to bring the observance to an end.