Newcastle’s MP attends wreath-laying at Cannock war memorial
20 Aug 2014Newcastle’s MP Paul Farrelly joined young people from Staffordshire and Germany in a wreath-laying ceremony at the war memorial at Cannock Chase today as part of events locally to commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War.
Armed forces veterans, mayors from Newcastle Borough and all the County’s districts gathered with representatives from the German War Graves Commission, too, to honour the fallen from both countries at the Commonwealth and German Military Cemeteries on the Chase.
The event took place during the 53rd annual exchange of youngsters from the north German city of Bremen, who are spending part of the summer with teenagers from the County tending the war graves at a youth camp at the cemeteries.
‘This exchange began over half a century ago now to foster reconciliation after the Second World War and it is really fitting that it has carried on to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the tragic great conflict that preceded it,’ Paul said.
‘I took part in these exchanges when I was growing up locally, 35 years ago now, and I still have friends from all over Europe, not just Germany, who took part.
That shows their real lasting value and I hope the connection - and the spirit of reconciliation - lasts for many more years to come.’
Pictured: Newcastle’s MP Paul Farrelly with Ian Dudson, the Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire, at the Commonwealth War Memorial at Cannock Chase.