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Remembering War Heroes this ANZAC Day

South Tyneside will pay tribute to members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps with a special ANZAC Day service on Tuesday (25th April).

ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance commemorated in Australia and New Zealand to honour members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought in the battle of Gallipoli during the First World War.

To mark the occasion, a service will take place at 10.45am at the John Simpson Kirkpatrick memorial statue in Ocean Road in South Shields Town Centre.

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Alan Smith, will lead a one minute silence at 11am and rendition of The Last Post before laying a wreath at the foot of the memorial. He will be joined by the Mayoress, Councillor Moira Smith.

The service will be led by Father Michael Weymes and will be attended by local dignitaries, military organisations and children from Lord Blyton and Laygate primary schools. The High Sheriff of Tyne and Wear, Lt General Robin Vaughan Brims and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant Colonel Varn Jassal will also lay wreaths.

South Shields-born John Simpson Kirkpatrick, known as 'The Man with the Donkey', risked his own life to rescue more than 300 wounded Australian and New Zealand soldiers from the frontline during the Gallipoli campaign of 1915. He carried the soldiers to safety using his trusted donkey until he was killed aged 22 by a sniper's bullet on 19 May 1915. A special memorial was unveiled at Littlehaven Promenade to mark the 100th anniversary of Kirkpatrick's death and the Gallipoli campaign.

His legendary bravery has inspired generations of people and he is still highly regarded in Australia where his amazing story is told to school children.

The Mayor said: "John Simpson Kirkpatrick is rightly a national hero in Australia for his bravery at Gallipoli.

"The Gallipoli campaign was one of the Allies' great military disasters in the First World War, but it also stands out for the immense bravery of the Anzac troops, of whom John Simpson Kirkpatrick was one.

"Kirkpatrick was also a son of South Shields. He is a local hero and we are proud to honour him and pay tribute to all those service personnel who lost their lives during the First World War.

"I'm sure it will be a very poignant event as the people of South Shields gather to recognise the contribution and sacrifices of all those who have served their country in times of conflict."

Everyone is welcome to attend the service and pay their respects.


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