We fall silent to remember
Nostalgia Editor IT’S Remembrance Sunday. Another year has come and gone since we last fell silent to honour Britain’s ‘glorious dead’.
As the great wars of the past recede into history, it’s crucial we continue to remember the sacrifices of those who fought and died for the freedoms and way of life we take for granted today.
September 2017 marked 78 years since Britain entered World War II.
The once sizeable band of veterans of that conflict is thinning now.
And, of course, there is noone left alive who fought in World War I.
If this year marked the centenary of the most savage and bloody Battle of Passchendaele, next year it will be 100 years since the Great War came to an end.
Those who fought are all gone, but we remember them and salute their courage and sacrifice.
Indeed, we pay tribute to all those who have fought and fallen in the conflicts since then, right up to recent operations in Afghanistan.
But what of the Great War which has slipped from living memory to become an integral part of our nation’s history?
One hundred years ago in an age when service to King and country was expected, and adventure was prized, thousands of young men from the towns and villages of Northumberland, Durham and North Yorkshire rushed to enlist in the fight against the Kaiser and his allies.
They all optimistically agreed - “they would be home by Christmas”.
Little did they know, in the sun-drenched summer of 1914, that World War One would descend into a murderous conflict which would last an agonising four years.
The war would have a keenly felt impact on families, communities, villages, towns and cities across Britain, and our region.
Today, the abiding image of the conflict is one of a brutal war of attrition and stalemate across the trenches of battle-scarred France and Belgium.
However, it was a war that would also take place at sea Iraq and - and in the air - as well as on land.
The scope of this new “industrialised” military slaughter would stretch from Gallipoli, in Turkey, to the deserts of North Africa, and beyond.
Men and women from around the globe would be drawn into the conflict, and the British homeland itself would come under fire from the enemy.
Names like Ypres, Passchendaele, and the Somme echo chillingly across the century since the war took place.
Thousands of North East men fought - and died - shoulder-to-shoulder at these and other cataclysmic battles.
Many did survive, but returned - often badly maimed - to a Britain that had changed forever.
A century later, we salute that lost generation and all those who fought for our freedom in World War One.
Our selection of photographs reflects the act of remembrance as viewed across our region over the decades.
“At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.” Front: Remembrance Day at Eldon Square, Newcastle, November 11, 1962
Above, Remembrance Day, Blackett Street, Newcastle, 1988; left, Remembrance Sunday, Alnwick, 1981
The Peace and Victory Procession, Sunderland, July 19, 1919 (Beamish Museum)
Great War memorial, John Williamson Street, South Shields, 1919