Hartlepool to remember fallen during International Workers’ Memorial Day

IN MEMORY: Maria and Trevor Burden with family members and a wreath in memory of their son Jason.
IN MEMORY: Maria and Trevor Burden with family members and a wreath in memory of their son Jason.

DOZENS of wreaths will be laid as Hartlepool once again remembers all those who gave their lives while at work.

The town will play its part in International Workers’ Memorial Day, with a comprehensive programme organised by Hartlepool Joint Trades Union Committee (HTUC).

Christchurch will be the focal point of the town’s commemorations with Hartlepool College of Further Education also getting involved.

The theme for this year’s event on Tuesday, April 28, will be removing exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace.

The slogan for the day is Remember the Dead, Fight for the Living.

Edwin Jeffries, President of HTUC, said in a letter to councillors: “Employees who have died through industrial accident or disease whilst trying to earn an honest living for themselves and their families are not publicly remembered on any other day.

“The purpose of Workers’ Memorial Day is two-fold. First, we remember the dead, because those who have died, been injured, or made ill through their work; deserve not to be forgotten.

“Secondly, we fight by campaigning for the living, so that people can go to work and provide for themselves and their family, without risk to their health and safety. The service is especially open to all family, friends, colleagues who wish to remember loved ones who have died or been injured, or made ill through their work.”

The service will be led by Reverend Janet Burbury and Reverend Chris Collison and bereaved family member Trevor Burden, whose 19-year-old son Jason, from South Shields, was killed in an industrial accident in 2011 will speak and lay a wreath.

Guest speakers will include Hugh Scullion, general secretary, of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions; Glen Williams, Chair, Unison SGE; and Fintan Hurley, scientific director of the Institute of Occupational Medicine.

A minute’s silence will be held at 12.30am and in all public buildings and flags on public buildings will be lowered.

Iain Wright MP, Shadow Minister for Competitiveness and Enterprise, will give a reading and more than 30 individuals and organisations will lay wreaths.

Folk singer Rosie Upton will perform three songs 
specially chosen for the occasion.

Earlier in the day, a memorial service for students will be held in Hartlepool College of Further Education at 11am.