Tributes paid to those who fought at Galipoli on Anzac Day in South Shields

Mayoress Cathy Stephenson, the Mayor of South Tyneside Councillor Ken Stephenson with Deputy Lord Lieutenant Ann Clouston.
Mayoress Cathy Stephenson, the Mayor of South Tyneside Councillor Ken Stephenson with Deputy Lord Lieutenant Ann Clouston.

People from across South Tyneside came together today at a special ceremony to honour members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC).

A one-minute silence was held in memory of those who fought at Galipoli in the First World War and the Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Ken Stephenson, and Mayoress Cathy Stephenson laid a wreath at the John Simpson Kirkpatrick memorial statue on Ocean Road.

Children from Lord Blyton and Stanhope primary schools attended the service which was led by Canon Miller.

South Shields-born John ‘Jack’ Kirkpatrick used a donkey he had befriended to rescue hundreds of Australian and New Zealand soldiers.

He was killed by a sniper’s bullet in 1915 at the age of just 22.

His acts of heroism inspired generations of people and he is still highly regarded in Australia where his amazing story is told to schoolchildren.

Coun Stephenson said: “John Simpson Kirkpatrick is rightly a national hero in Australia for his bravery at Gallipoli.

"The Gallipoli campaign was one of the Allies' great military disasters in the First World War, but it also stands out for the immense bravery of the Anzac troops, of whom John Simpson Kirkpatrick was one.

“It was an honour to be able to pay tribute, on behalf of the people of the Borough, to all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom today.”