Many towns and villages mark the 100th anniversary of the Armistice

Hundreds of people attended the Remembrance parade and service in Morpeth. Picture by Maureen Davison.
Hundreds of people attended the Remembrance parade and service in Morpeth. Picture by Maureen Davison.

Thousands of people across Northumberland took the opportunity to remember the fallen at various services.

There were also parades in Morpeth and Ponteland on Remembrance Day and various other events and activities took place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.

Ponteland service at the War Memorial. Picture by Trevor Walker (The Image Farm).

Ponteland service at the War Memorial. Picture by Trevor Walker (The Image Farm).

As well as members of the public, those who attended the services included Armed Forces, Air Training Corps and Army Cadet Force representatives, civic contingents, veterans, Freemen, Aldermen and past mayors, representatives from the Royal British Legion, community organisations and members of the clergy.

In Morpeth, the parade marched to and from the cenotaph and when it returned to Bridge Street, commanders called ‘eyes left’ for Mayor Jack Gebhard to take the salute outside the Town Hall.

Coun Gebhard said: “The importance of 2018 as the centenary of the Armistice clearly meant a great deal to the people of Morpeth.

“I was honoured to be a part of it and it was overwhelming to see the thousands of people who turned out to remember the sacrifice of our forebears.

Pictured are some of those who attended the Remembrance service in Longhirst on Sunday.

Pictured are some of those who attended the Remembrance service in Longhirst on Sunday.

“People of all ages joined the parade to the cenotaph, where Rev Simon White delivered a moving service about the poppy as a symbol of hope and that remembrance helps to ensure peace in the future.

“We were joined by the Duke of Northumberland on Sunday, who praised Morpethians for turning out in such numbers to give the service due recognition.”

A Civic Service of Commemoration of Armistice Day took place in St James’ Church, Morpeth, on Sunday afternoon.

The Mid Northumberland Chorus, under the direction of Paul Toward, led the singing and featured three choruses – the Kyrie, Sanctus and Better is Peace – from The Armed Man, a mass for peace composed by Karl Jenkins.

The cast of Alfie's War that was performed in Pegswood.

The cast of Alfie's War that was performed in Pegswood.

Popular hymns included O God Our Help In Ages Past and Now Thank We All Our God, while the National Anthem was sung and The Last Post played.

The commemorations in Ponteland started on Friday morning with a church service for schoolchildren at St Mary’s Church, following which 40 crosses, each bearing the name of a man from Ponteland who was killed in action, were planted around the fountain in the churchyard.

The turnout on Sunday for the service that was held outside the Memorial Hall following the parade which marched from the leisure centre appeared to exceed all previous numbers.

The lighting of the beacon on St Mary’s Church tower took place at 7pm on Sunday. The church bells then rang out and those present sang some well-known songs from the First World War and Second World War periods.

Ponteland Mayor Alan Varley said: “I would like to say a very humble thank you to all of the residents of Ponteland who turned out in such enormous numbers on Sunday to participate in the commemoration of the centenary of the end of the First World War.

“It was heartening to note that there were so many young people involved in the procession.

“I would like to thank all those who were involved in the planning of the commemorations and I need you to know that the success of the occasion is entirely due to the commitment of the organising committee – our town clerk Kath Mavin, Coun Karen Overbury and Rev Paul Allinson.”

The activities in Pegswood included Alfie’s War, a play portraying life during the First World War with old time music hall entertainment, a tea dance, an exhibition at Pegswood Community Hub and a church service.

Almost 100 residents gathered for the Remembrance service at the war memorial in Longhirst Village led by Rev John Park.

Schoolboy Will Cottis and Longhirst Parish Council clerk Ian Thompson rang the bells in St John’s Church for 20 minutes from noon as part of the national peal of bells.

In addition, a Remembrance service took place outside County Hall in the Loansdean area of Morpeth last Friday morning.

See more pictures from Remembrance services and events in this week’s Morpeth Herald paper.