Shields remembers a fallen son on Anzac Day

SOUTH Tyneside paid tribute to one of its fallen sons today, as the world remembered members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) killed in the Gallipoli campaign of 1915 and 1916.

To mark Anzac Day, a service of remembrance was held at the statue of John Simpson Kirkpatrick in South Shields town centre.

Anzac Day celebration. Mayor Faye Cunningham lays wreath.

Anzac Day celebration. Mayor Faye Cunningham lays wreath.

South Shields-born Kirkpatrick, known as the Man with the Donkey, repeatedly risked his own life to rescue more than 300 wounded soldiers from the front line during the Gallipoli campaign.

The service was conducted by the Rev Paul Kennedy, of St Michael
and All Angels’ Church in South Shields, and attended by local dignitaries, representatives of military organisations and pupils from the town’s Lord Blyton and Laygate primary schools.

Children lay wreaths and recited poems ‘In Flanders Fields’ and ‘Ode of Rememberance’ with its lines ‘They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.’

Mayor of South Tyneside Coun Fay Cunningham and mayoress Stella Matthewson lead a one-minute silence at 11am, accompanied by a rendition of The Last Post and the laying of a wreath at the foot of the memorial.

“I am delighted with the number of people here and especially to see so many children,” said Coun Cunningham.

“It is so important that the children learn about both world wars.”

“There are a lot of people here today because there is a great deal of interest with it being the centenary of the Gallipoli campaignand people are aware of John Simpson Kirkpatrick, who was born here in South Shields.”