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Post Info TOPIC: Red Duster veterans urged to join parade

Prince of Wales Sea Training School

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Red Duster veterans urged to join parade

Merchant Navy veterans are being urged to join the ranks for this year's Remembrance Parade.

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Wearside's merchant seamen were among the thousands from across the country who transported vital supplies in wartime.

A total of 44,969 of their number died from British, Commonwealth and neutral countries in the two world wars.

Organisers of Sunderland's annual remembrace service and parade want Merchant Navy veterans to join military veterans and 200 serving forces personnel for the march-past on Sunday, November 9.

Parade co-ordinator and retired firefighter Arthur Lockyear said former members of the Merchant Navy would be paying tribute to the thousands of seamen who perished helping keep the free world fed and supplied during two world wars.

Mr Lockyear said: "The North East has a long tradition of seagoing service, and we would like more representation from the Merchant Navy on this great parade.

"Our veterans' group voted a number of years ago to have the Merchant Navy share precedence on our parade with the Royal Navy as a mark of respect for their outstanding contribution to the war, yet to date no merchant seamen have joined us.

"We very much hope that as many former merchant mariners as possible might be with us on Remembrance Sunday."

This year's annual Remembrance Parade is being led by the Band of the Light Cavalry, Esh and Bearpark Colliery Band and the Pipes and Drums of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service.

Contingents are also expected from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines Reserve, the Household Cavalry, the Royal Dragoon Guards, Royal Military Police, Sunderland's adopted regiment 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, the Army Air Corps, Parachute Regiment, the Rifles and Royal Air Force Leeming.

The Coldstream Guards, who have just completed a tour of duty in Afghanistan, are providing eight guardsmen in distinctive bearskin caps and red tunics, and the Scots Guards a thirty-strong detachment, in addition to the Pipes and Drums of their 1st Battalion.Also joining the Sunderland Remembrance Parade this year will be detachments from the Rifles and Parachute Regiment Companies' Infantry Training Centre, Catterick Garrison.

The parade is followed by the annual Service of Remembrance and wreath-laying and culminates in a march-past of veterans and serving members of Her Majesty's Forces.

Members of the public who wish to pay their respects to all those who died in past and present conflicts are welcome to attend.

Anyone thinking of going along is advised to dress up warmly and asked to be in place at the Burdon Road War Memorial by 10.15am.

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