`

South Tyneside to mark First World War Centenary with special events

Last year's Remembrance Sunday Service.
Last year's Remembrance Sunday Service.

South Tyneside aims to commemorate a centenary of remembrance with a special programme of events.

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

On Sunday November 11, 2018 a 6ft aluminium silhouette of a soldier will be illuminated as part of an hour-long event at South Shields seafront.

Coun Ed Malcolm, chairman of South Tyneside Armed Forces Forum, said: “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.

“The legacy of the First World War impacted every corner of the country, touching the lives of so many people, whether this is through family history, the heritage of our local communities or because of the role it played in shaping the world we live in today.

“This year we mark 11 November as a special act of remembrance.”

He added: “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 commemorations at South Shields seafront will begin with the beacon lighting at 5pm.

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

The evening will also recreate the sounds of the end of the First World War with a fireworks display set to WWI-themed music and gun fire and church bells.

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

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

Coun Malcolm said: “We hope that people will join us in coming together to reflect on the WWI at what is set to be an extremely moving, but memorable, event.”

As part of the work, 12 smaller Perspex silhouettes of soldiers will on display across the borough.

•Other events include commemoration exhibits at The Word, from October 13, and a First World War themed music event at The Customs House on November 11.