Young artists create First World War memorial in Jarrow

The Mayor and Mayoress with artist Anthony Downie and Jarrow YMCA youngsters, Emily Miller and Keenan Hatch.
The Mayor and Mayoress with artist Anthony Downie and Jarrow YMCA youngsters, Emily Miller and Keenan Hatch.

A touching tribute to heroes of the First World War has been unveiled in Jarrow Town Centre.

The new mural, created on the wall of the underpass between Jarrow Bus Station at the Viking Centre, is the work of youngsters from the Detached Youth Project, which is ran by the YMCA in Jarrow.

Designed by the young people, the painting depicts the story of a Zeppelin raid on Jarrow in June of 1915, with the River Tyne and burning buildings in the background. It includes panels featuring the names of local people who died at Palmers Yard as a result of the raid, as well as the children involved in the project.

The mural, which forms part of work across South Tyneside to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, was unveiled by the Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Ken Stephenson, and the Mayoress, Cathy Stephenson.

The Mayor said: “The Mayoress and I were delighted to unveil the mural and talk to the young people about their work on the project.

“It offered them a wonderful opportunity to go back in time and find out more about how communities were affected by the First World War while joining the country to mark such a significant event in world history.

“Their creation not only helps to brighten up the underpass but acts as a symbol of remembrance and commemoration in honour of the First World War generation.”

He added: “We hope that people using this route will stop for a moment to reflect on the work of these talented young people, and the thought behind it, while going about their Christmas shopping in the precinct.”

The young people worked with Jarrow Local History Group to research the impact of the war on Jarrow, before developing a design with artist Faye Oliver and then creating the mural with support from artist Anthony Downie.

The scheme formed part of the South and North Tyneside World War One Community Heritage Project, which has been supported through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Co-ordinated through the Community Arts Project North East CIC, based at St Hilda’s Pit Head in South Shields, it involved working with groups across both areas to look at the impact of the war on local communities.

Diane Gray, Director of the Community Arts Project North East, said: “The young people involved in the Jarrow Mural Project are an inspiration, and should be very proud of their achievements.

“It has been an honour to work them and all of the other community groups in a wide variety of projects to commemorate the end of World War One.”