Joining forces to remember them

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A town united to pay respects to the war-dead during a poignant church service.

Leaders of the four main churches of Peterlee took part in a service to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.

Mayor of Peterlee, Councillor Don Milsom, and other town council representatives were also at the service, at St Cuthbert’s Church, in Manor Way.

Reverend Elaine Jones, of St Cuthbert’s said: “It was very well-supported by the Mayor, town councillors, members of the congregation and members of the community.”

Around 120 people attended the service, which included a sermon by Padre KevinTromans, who is attached to the Cleveland Army Cadet Force.

Rev Jones said: “It was nice to have someone connected to the forces in that way.”

Rev Jones joined Reverend Susan Richardson, of Peterlee Methodist Church, Reverend Derick Sutton of Peterlee Christian Mission Church and Father Frank McCullough of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in delivering different aspects of the service.

These included the Coventry Litany of Reconciliation, two bible readings, prayers and a poem from the First World War.

Hymns were also sung during the hour-long service.

Those who attended were presented with a replica St John’s gospel, similar to those given to troops during the Great War.

Rev Jones said: “The service was in part to commemorate 100 years since the start of the First World War but it was also a reminder, bringing to some people’s minds the horrors – particularly the story behind the poem, and hoping we will never go there again.”