Friends of Westoe Cemetery hold Remembrance service for forgotten World War One veterans

A new community group has held a Remembrance service to honour veterans from the First World War.

Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 4:48 pm

The Friends of Westoe Cemetery, along with Deputy Mayoress of South Tyneside Council Lynn Blair, Deputy Mayor of South Tyneside Council Joe Amar, pupils from Marine Park Primary School, Father Mark Mahimmey and members of the armed forces paid tribute on Wednesday, November 10.

The service, which was held at 10.45am at Westoe Cemetery, on Hutton Row, was to honour forgotten South Tyneside World War One veterans who are buried there.

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The Friends of Westoe Cemetery have held a Remembrance service to honour forgotten World War One veterans.

The secretary of the Friends of Westoe Cemetery, Fay Cunningham, revealed how the Remembrance service came about and explained the aims of the new community group.

The 78-year-old said: “Our chairperson, Ann Clouston OBE, had researched the history of the 20 World War One military graves that are in the cemetery so it was extremely important to us that we honoured them.

"These veterans have been forgotten and we wanted to make sure that they will be remembered just as all the war dead in South Tyneside are remembered.

"It is an old Victorian cemetery and we really want to improve the environment of it as well as the intention to explore more of the history that is there, especially as we are now getting back to a time where people are starting to engage with things again.”

The secretary of the Friends of Westoe Cemetery, Fay Cunningham, gave a reading during the service.

The Remembrance service was the first event that the community group has held and Fay was impressed with the turnout that they received.

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She added: “It is a massive bonus for us that the service was well received by others, especially as it was our first community event.

"We were all very impressed with the turnout and the ladies at the New Crown Knitting Group covered the main gates in poppies that they had made which was a great touch.

Pupils from Marine Park Primary School laid crosses during the ceremony.

"Both Father Mahinney and the Deputy Mayoress are members of the group so it was very much a family affair.”

You can find out more on the work that the Friends of Westoe Cemetery are doing by clicking here to visit their Facebook page.

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