Ceremony to mark new memorial to Hartlepool’s war casualties

North Cemetery gates. Jesmond Road entrance.
North Cemetery gates. Jesmond Road entrance.

The completion of a major project to commemorate victims of both world wars will be marked at a special ceremony this weekend.

A Service of Dedication will take place on Saturday at 11am at North Cemetery, Hartlepool, where a total of 81 victims of the First and Second World Wars are either buried or remembered.

Work to reinstate war graves in North Cemetery began last year through the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) working in partnership with Hartlepool Borough Council, the Friends of North Cemetery Group and Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.

The project involved construction of a new memorial to commemorate 40 war casualties.

Phase two of the development has recently seen the erection of new headstones on 41 graves.

CWGC Commissioner and North Durham MP Kevan Jones said: “The CWGC is extremely grateful for all the help and support it has received, and it is deeply rewarding to see the work complete and to give these brave individuals a commemoration worthy of their sacrifice.”

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, the leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “The new memorial and headstones in North Cemetery are a fitting tribute to the victims of war, and I hope people will come along to Saturday’s Service of Dedication and share in what is sure to be an emotional occasion.”

Jane Shaw, the chair of the Friends of North Cemetery, added: “The group has a long-standing commitment to protect and develop the historic North Cemetery.

“I hope people will come along to Saturday’s service, and, in particular, we would give a very warm welcome indeed to any relatives of the war dead.”

Saturday’s dedication service will include an introduction by the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham Sue Snowdon and Mr Wright will carry out a “Reading of the Names”, followed by a minute’s silence.