South Shields to host special event in honout of First World War centenary

The Armistice programme has been announced for South Tyneside.
The Armistice programme has been announced for South Tyneside.

South Tyneside Council is gearing up for a special programme of events to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

One hundred years ago on Sunday, November 11, 1918, the guns fell silent at the end of the conflict.

Councillor Ed Malcolm, Chairman of South Tyneside Armed Forces Forum.

Councillor Ed Malcolm, Chairman of South Tyneside Armed Forces Forum.

In tribute to the historic day, South Tyneside Council is inviting residents to an hour-long event at South Shields seafront on Sunday, November 11.

Commemorations will begin with the illumination of a three-metre Tommy silhouette at Harbour Drive between 5pm and 5.45pm.

People can gather at the Harbour Drive car park from 5pm to see live stage performances, learn about the work of local projects and hear moving readings of letters sent from the front line.

Entertainment includes Bede Burn ‘All Age’ Choir, ukelele player James Bassett and Northumberland Pipes and Drums followed by a fireworks display between 5.45pm -6pm set to WWI songs.

The guns fell silent 100 years ago, on November 11, 2018.

The guns fell silent 100 years ago, on November 11, 2018.

The large scale display will replace the annual Bonfire Night fireworks display, which is usually held a week earlier.

Chairman of South Tyneside Armed Forces Forum, Coun Ed Malcolm, said: “We have an extremely strong Armed Forces community in South Tyneside and every year people turn out in force to pay their respects to those who have lost their lives, in past and present conflicts, and to their families.

“As we mark the end of the First World War, this year’s event will be even more poignant as we reflect on the grave losses of those dark years and remember the sacrifice of all those brave men and women who died or suffered physical or mental trauma.

“The legacy of the First World War impacted every corner of the country, touching the lives of so many people.

“It is for this reason that this year we are extremely proud to be joining the nation to commemorate this pivotal moment in world history with a unique event which will include the lighting of a beacon as a symbol of the light of hope that emerged from the darkness of war a century ago.

“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.”

The event will recreate the sounds of the First World War with gun fire alongside renditions of the last post and pipers.

At 7.05pm, bells will ring out at the seafront in unison with 1,000 churches and cathedrals across the country to commemorate the cease fire.

Armistice Day services and wreath-laying will take place as usual.

For more information on WW1 commemoration events, visit: www.southtyneside.gov.uk

Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service