Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Memorial to war heroes

Statues to be erected.

Now and then we see very heartening news emanating from the corridors of power at South Shields town hall, and this news released yesterday by South Tyneside Council is particularly welcome and well timed to fit in with the appropriate mood of the marking of the Armistice.

The South Shields branch of the Young Firefighters Association has added 250 pounds to the appeal launched by the Mayor, Cllr. Ed Malcolm and the D.L.I. to raise funds to erect two statues to commemorate the achievements of Richard 'dickie' Annand V.C. and Thomas Young V.C. The statues will stand on the rather grand staircase inside the town hall which leads to the public reception rooms, mayor's parlour, committee rooms and council chamber.

Richard Annand was born in South Shields and was the first recipient of the Victoria Cross during the Second World War, he died at the age of ninety in 2004. You can read all about his achievements during the war - here.

Private Thomaspicture of private thomas young Young was born as Thomas Morrell in Boldon Colliery and earned his Victoria Cross in 1918 whilst serving in the 9th Btn. D.L.I. for repeatedly going into no man's land under heavy enemy fire to rescue nine of his comrades. You can read more about him - here

I think it is absolutely great that some of the younger members of our community have taken the time and interest to answer the D.L.I.'s Victoria Cross Appeal, and have helped to bolster the funds for this very worthwhile cause. Many of South Shields, and South Tyneside's youngest and finest young men made that most dreadful of sacrifices by laying down their lives in the two great wars against tyranny and aggression. We owe so much for our freedom of expression and democratic values to those generations who went before us, and whilst the statues to commemorate Annand and Young will highlight their individual efforts, they will be seen as representing all the finest of South Tyneside's young men during our darkest of hours.

The Mayor said:

"Our local DLI branch is determined that the bravery and resolution of our war heroes will not be forgotten. Its members are determined that those who have shown outstanding valour - as evidenced by the fact that they are Victoria Cross holders - will be the subject of special tributes."


South Tyneside Council

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