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Services to remember those who have fallen
As people across the country start wearing poppies in memory of men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice, services of remembrance have been held in the North-East. Gavin Havery reports.
CEREMONIES to dedicate two Fields of Remembrance to those who have died in conflict have been held across the region over the weekend.
Thousands of crosses have been planted in Saltwell Park, Gateshead and a smaller shrine has been set up at Darlington Memorial Hospital.
The Tyneside service was conducted by The Reverend James Breslin, chaplain to the Royal British Legion, Northumbria, before a two-minute silence was observed at 11am on Saturday (November 2).
Military chiefs from across the region representing the Royal Air Force, Army and the Royal Navy attended along with Sharon Turton, who lost her husband, Kris, six years ago in Iraq.
The 27-year-old trooper was serving with the Queen's Royal Lancers Battle Group when he was killed along with his comrade, Corporal Ben Leaning after their tank was hit by a roadside IED.
Mrs Turton, 40, from Darlington, said: “We need youngsters to come and recognise that every one of these crosses represents the life of someone who has died for this country. They should not be forgotten.”
The North Field of Remembrance at Saltwell Park was started last year following a campaign by Anne Turner, from Gateshead. Her son, Rifleman Mark Turner, from 3rd Battalion The Rifles was 21 years-old when he was killed on patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan in 2010.
Mayor of Gateshead, Councillor Jack Graham, said: “I hope that the park will provide a fitting and memorable location for everyone in the region to pay tribute to those no longer with us.
“It is a chance to honour some of the bravest men and women who have fought and died for their country.”
The Mayor of Darlington, Councillor Charles Johnson, also opened a dedication service at the Field of Remembrance at the cenotaph at the town’s hospital on Saturday.
He urged people to pay their respects to those who had lost their lives in battle, and said: “It was an honour to have been invited to do the event.
“I am of an age where it is still real. I was born opposite the hospital and I remember as a youngster during the war seeing all the aircraft. Those are the memories that never leave you.”
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