Armistice 100: Crowds turn out in South Shields for beacon of peace event

The guns fire - before falling silent 100 years on.''.
The guns fire - before falling silent 100 years on.''.

Thousands of people turned out in South Shield seafront tonight for a special event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

The crowds came together with communities across the country and Commonwealth to remember the sacrifice of the millions of men and women who died, or returned home wounded, during the harrowing four year conflict.

South Shields ukelele player James Basset entertains the crowds.

South Shields ukelele player James Basset entertains the crowds.

The event followed the borough’s tradition of well-attended Remembrance Sunday services and also featured a large fireworks display - which, this year, replaced the borough’s annual Bonfire Night event, usually held a week earlier.

A beacon was lit - along with others all over the country - to symbolise the ‘light of hope’ that emerged from the darkness of war.

The beacon illuminated a three-met Tommy silhouette at Little Haven.

This was followed by a programme of commemorative performances and the reading of moving letters sent from soldiers on the front line.

One of the choirs at the First World War Centenary commemorations at Little Haven.

One of the choirs at the First World War Centenary commemorations at Little Haven.

The fireworks display was accompanied by popular songs an tunes from the 1914-18 period.

After the fireworks display a field gun fire 11 times - then fell silent.

This was followed by an acrt or remembrance, buglars playing The Last Post and pipers playing Flowers of the Forest.

The evening ended with church bells sounding - joining 1,000 churches and cathedrals across the country to commemorate the end of the conflict.

First World War Centenary commemorations at Little Haven, South Shields.

First World War Centenary commemorations at Little Haven, South Shields.

Chairman of South Tyneside Armed Forces Forum, Coun Ed Malcolm, said: “We have an extremely strong Armed Forces community in South Tyneside “It is also especially important that we use these commemorations to help educate our younger generation about the legacy of this terrible war, acknowledge the huge support of those on the home front who kept our great country moving and give thanks for the freedoms we enjoy today.”

First World War Centenary commemorations at Little Haven, South Shields.

First World War Centenary commemorations at Little Haven, South Shields.