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Field of Remembrance for fallen loved ones
A VICTORIAN park in the North-East is to host a Field of Remembrance to honour servicemen and women who have fought and died for their country.
Saltwell Park, in Gateshead, will form the backdrop for a sea of thousands of wooden crosses that bear a personal message from loved ones to commemorate lives lost.
It was first held last year, will be the only one in the north of England and has been brought to the region as part of a campaign by Anne Turner to pay tribute to fallen military men and women.
Her son, Rifleman Mark Turner, from 3rd Battalion The Rifles, was 21 when he was killed on patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in 2010.
Mrs Turner, from Gateshead, said: “I’m very honoured to once again dedicate a cross in Mark’s memory and also to be remembering the sacrifices made by all those men and women whose lives were cut short in the line of duty.
“I’ve no doubt that like last year; it will be a very emotional day, but a very proud one for us.
“We will never forget the sacrifice Mark, and so many brave heroes like him, have made.”
Alongside Mrs Turner will be Vicky Dunn, who is dedicating a cross for her son, Corporal Steven Dunn, who was from Gateshead.
The 27-year-old served with the 216 (Parachute) Signal Squadron, attached to 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment Battle Group, and was killed in Afghanistan when the armoured vehicle he was travelling in was hit by an improvised explosive device.
Crosses will be planted on Friday at 10am and the North Field of Remembrance ceremony will take place on Saturday at 10.30am with a dedication service conducted by military chaplain, The Reverend James Breslin, Chaplain to the Royal British Legion, Northumbria.
A two-minute silence will be observed at 11am, after which military chiefs from across the region representing the Royal Air Force, Army and the Royal Navy will dedicate a remembrance cross in the field.
The events will be attended Sharon Turton, 40, from Darlington, who lost her husband in Iraq in 2007.
Trooper Kris Turton, 27, of the Queen’s Royal Lancers Battle Group, was killed alongside his comrade, Corporal Ben Leaning, when their tank was hit by a roadside IED as they drove through the Maysaan Province.
Mrs Turton, who is secretary of the Darlington branch of the Royal British Legion and launched the Poppy Appeal 2013 at Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland, on Friday, said: “The service is about making sure soldiers who gave their lives for the country, no matter when they fought, should never be forgotten about.
“We should all remember them.”
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