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Final Resting Place for Seafront War Memorial

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Richard Porthouse, and Councillor Ed Malcolm pictured with the Gallipoli plaque at Littlehaven Promenade

A war memorial that commemorates the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign has become a permanent fixture on South Tyneside's seafront.

The plaque was first unveiled during a special ceremony in May on the 100th anniversary of the death of Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick which was attended by the Australian High Commissioner the Hon Alexander Downer AC

The war memorial now sits in a prominent position on Littlehaven Promenade that boasts spectacular views of South Shield's beach where Kirkpatrick once worked on the donkey rides during the summer holidays as a young boy.

This year's Remembrance Day offers people the first opportunity to commemorate all the World War One veterans including those who fought at Gallipoli 100 years ago at the seafront memorial.

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Richard Porthouse, said, "It is wonderful that this war memorial is now a fixed feature on South Shields seafront.

"This is a very special year for remembrance in South Tyneside as Kirkpatrick lost his life 100 years ago and this plaque offers people the opportunity to remember the courage and determination of John Simpson Kirkpatrick and all his comrades on Gallipoli's frontline. As well as the sacrifice of all those who died fighting in World War One and all conflicts past and present."

Kirkpatrick risked his own life to rescue wounded Australian and New Zealand soldiers from the frontline at Gallipoli using his trusted donkey. He was killed by a sniper's bullet aged 22 on May 19 1915, but his legendary bravery continues to inspire people to this day.

Councillor Ed Malcolm, Chair of South Tyneside Armed Forces Forum, said: "John Kirkpatrick is a local hero and we are proud to have this memorial at such a beautiful location in South Tyneside. It was an honour to have the Australian High Commissioner visit the Borough to join us for the unveiling of the plaque at the very place Kirkpatrick worked as a child.

"The plaque at Littlehaven is just one of many memorials across the Borough that offers people an opportunity to reflect and commemorate our Armed Forces this November."

The memorial commemorates the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign and acknowledges all of the men across the North East, including more than 100 men from South Tyneside, who were killed in action.

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