SOUTH Tynesiders are invited to a special church service and ceremony next week to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.
Civic dignitaries, local MPs, members of the armed forces and the public will unite to pay tribute to those who served in the conflict as part of a national day of commemorations.
The service is being held at 7pm on Monday – the centenary of the day the conflict started – in St Hilda’s Church in Market Place, South Shields, and will be led by the Rev Chris Fuller.
It will be followed by a Beating the Retreat military ceremony at 8pm at South Shields Town Hall, with music from 101 Northumbrian Regiment Pipe Band.
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Fay Cunningham, said: “It is really important for people to remember what happened during the First World War.
“Although it was 100 years ago, it is still relevant today with our British troops continuing to play a vital role in peacekeeping missions all over the world.”
The event has been organised by the South Tyneside Armed Forces Forum, and is one of thousands taking place across Britain to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of First World War.
Coun Ed Malcolm, South Tyneside’s armed forces champion, said: “The Great War had a far-reaching impact.
“It changed the face of Britain and the lives of so many people, not just soldiers and their families, but all those who contributed to the war effort.
“This important anniversary will see the whole country come together to reflect and remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“Here in South Tyneside, we are holding this special service and ceremony to give local people an opportunity to pay tribute, and honour the many people who lost their lives during the four-year conflict.
“This occasion will also help to raise awareness among our younger generations of the significance of this key event in world history.”
All are welcome to attend the church service and beating the retreat ceremony.