South Tyneside to Pay Tribute on Anzac Day
South Tyneside will pay tribute to members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps with a special ANZAC Day service on Monday (25 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 Pay Hay will lead a one minute silence at 11am. There will also be a rendition of The Last Post before wreaths are laid at the foot of the memorial. She will be joined by the Mayoress, Jean Copp.
The service will be led by Father Mark MahWhinney and will be attended by local dignitaries, military organisations and children from Lord Blyton and Stanhope primary schools.
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 quite 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 including Kirkpatrick.
"Kirkpatrick was also a son of South Shields and we are extremely proud to honour him and all the other service personnel who lost their lives during the First World War.
"I am sure it will be a poignant event as people gather to recognise the contribution and sacrifices which members of the Armed Forces have made, and continue to make, in conflicts around the globe."
Everyone is welcome to attend the service and pay their respects.