A COMMUNITY which has seen scores of its residents injured and killed in conflicts over the centuries is marking its historic heroes as part of a drive to combat loneliness.

Mayor of Darlington Councillor Nick Wallis opened the five-day Poppies for Remembrance exhibition at Haughton-le-Skerne Methodist Chapel yesterday, which tells the story of selected residents from the parish who fought in battles more than 200 years ago to the present day.

The exhibition’s organiser Carol Atkinson said it had created “a real community event in which many people had volunteered” and included an original portrait of In Flanders Fields poet by artist Anne Smith.

Cllr Wallis said: “Anyone with an interest in the sacrifice made by men and women in conflicts from the Napoleonic Wars to recently in Afghanistan should certainly come along.”

Fellow Haughton councillor Chris McEwan said: “This event is much more than the exhibition and Remembrance weekend because if you look at loneliness, it is a killer, and one thing we can do to tackle it is have more community events that are really inclusive and give people a purpose in their community.”