Lest we for­get – a field of

Sunday Sun - - News - IAN JOHN­SON ian.john­son@reach­plc.com

The Ded­i­ca­tion of the Field of Re­mem­brance at Saltwell Park Reporter IT is one North town’s spe­cial way of re­mem­ber­ing those who made the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice.

And Gateshead’s Field of Re­mem­brance was the stage for a ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony yes­ter­day to pay trib­ute to those who died in bat­tle.

Young and old stood side by side for the som­bre cer­e­mony, which fea­tured rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the armed forces. The Mayor of Gateshead was joined by the Duchess of Northum­ber­land for the spe­cial event.

This year, an ex­tra 13,000 crosses have been planted as part of com­mem­o­ra­tions mark­ing the end of the First World War.

The fig­ure rep­re­sents how many sol­diers from the North East died dur­ing the bat­tle.

Mayor Jill Green said: “It is al­ways an emotional oc­ca­sion but this year is dou­bly so as it marks the 100th an­niver­sary of the end of what was de­scribed as ‘the war to end all wars’. Be­ing part of this trib­ute means so much to so many peo­ple, par­tic­u­larly those who have lost loved ones.”

The field con­tains thou­sands of small wooden crosses, each bear­ing the name of some­one killed in bat­tle.

The site will be open for the next fort­night from dawn to dusk for peo­ple to plant a cross.

Ni­cola Mered­ith, Area Man­ager for the Royal Bri­tish Le­gion in the North East, said: “We are de­lighted to work with Gateshead Council to host the Field of Re­mem­brance again this year. The ser­vice is an op­por­tu­nity for the pub­lic to pay their re­spects and also re­flect on the sac­ri­fices made by so many men and women who gave their lives for the free­dom we en­joy to­day.

“In this poignant year which marks the cen­te­nary of the First World War, we hope more peo­ple across the North East will visit our Field and pay trib­ute to those we must never for­get.”

This is the sev­enth year the park has hosted the Field of Re­mem­brance, the only event of its kind in the whole of North­ern Eng­land.

IAIN BUIST

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