Remembrance Day parade

Sunderland 2017

The annual Remembrance Day parade took place on Sunday November 12.

The Sunderland Remembrance Day Parade is one of the largest parades outside of London. The tradition to remember the fallen in the wars in this particular way started at the end of the first world war. 

This year’s event had spectacular attendance with thousands of people coming to pay their respects to the fallen British soldiers in the recent and not-so-recent wars.

The weather during the parade was very harsh .Cold temperatures of the air outside were observed - it was between 2 and 4 degrees. However, that did not force away any of the people who came to pay their respects to the fallen service men.

A large screen on which people could observe the event broadcasted live was present.

The parade was led by the Bearpark and Esh Colliery Band and the Royal Signals (Northern) Band. This is the third year the band of the Royal Signals leads the parade. The R SIGNALS band is one of 19 Army Reserve bands. The members of the band currently are 28 both male and female and are both ex-regular forces and civilians.

The biggest participant in this year’s parade have been the 4 Regiment Royal Artillery. The 4th Regiment Royal Artillery are based in the Alanbrooke Barracks in Topcliffe.

A famous war poem - “For the Fallen”, written by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943) and published in The Times newspaper on September 21, 1914 has been recited by a WW2 Veteran.

The first four verses of the war poem were recited by veteran George Waller, who served in the RAF during World War II.

After the recitation the usual two minute silence began.

Later on, commenting on the parade Mr. Waller said: “It was a brilliant parade. I felt really proud for such a good turnout.”

Throughout the parade the phrase “Lest we forget” was repeated numerous times. The commonly used phrase was first used in a 1897 Christian poem called “Recessional” by Rudyard Kipling.

The Commemorative Address during the service was given by the mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Doris MacKnight.

Additionally, Mayor Doris MacKnight said: "I was very emotional, because Sunderland is very fond of the Armed Forces and the turnout we've had today, I think, must be the biggest turnout we've ever had."

There were some seats available next to the memorial, but they were very limited. The majority of people who were visiting the event were standing on the sidewalks. Additionally people have been watching from the flyover above Burdon Road.

The parade originally started at the beginning of Burdon Road and then, after the service, continued down towards the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens. At the intersection the parade took a right turn onto Borough Road and continued on for a little while before coming to a stop.

Several roads were closed off during the event - Borough Road, Park Road and Burdon road were all closed from 11 am to 2pm. During that time access to the Mowbray park was also partly limited. Parking in the Civic Centre Car Park was available free of charge.

Above you can find a visualization of the event. A quiz has also been made available below.