How the North East honoured war heroes on Remembrance Day despite lockdown

It was a Remembrance Day like no other – with no parades and scaled-down events.

But the people of the North East made sure they paid tribute to fallen war heroes in special ways on Sunday despite lockdown restrictions.

The region paid its respects through online services and commemorative videos, and families stood on their doorstep to hold a two-minute silence.

In Seaham, veterans held a 24-hour vigil at the Terrace Green to honour fallen comrades, from 11am on Saturday to 11am on Remembrance Sunday.

They took it in turns to be on watch in one-hour stints to commemorate the nation’s war dead and help raise money for this year’s poppy appeal.

On Sunday, people paid their respects at the Tommy statue in Seaham. Wreaths and commemorative crosses were also placed at the war memorial.

In Newcastle, there is normally a big event with a military parade and service of remembrance at Old Eldon Square. But this year, the Civic Centre was lit up in red, white and blue and a pre-recorded service was broadcast on social media.

Poppies made by residents to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War were again on display.

A veteran salutes and pays his respects on Remembrance Sunday in Seaham
A veteran salutes and pays his respects on Remembrance Sunday in Seaham
(Image: PA)

Similar services were put online for people to watch in Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Durham, Gateshead and Sunderland.

And although Gateshead’s Field of Remembrance was not planted in Saltwell Park this year, the Royal British Legion ensured that people could remember loved ones by contributing to its virtual Field of Remembrance.

Other landmarks across the region were also illuminated including Durham Town Hall, Penshaw Monument, the Northern Spire bridge in Sunderland and Gateshead Millennium Bridge.

In addition, people created their own displays. Staff at a Sunderland firm painted a stunning mural on the side of a 20ft storage container.

Two team members at the Mobile Mini UK branch, based at North Hylton Enterprise Park, hand painted the mural to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Chronicle Live – Sunderland