DOZENS of youngsters brought innocence and emotion to an Armistice Day service in Hartlepool.
Children from the town’s Brougham Primary School attended the commemorative event to mark the anniversary of the First World War armistice, at the war memorial in Victory Square.
Carrying symbolic wreaths of bright red poppies made from simple but effective tissue paper, the boys and girls brought a tear to the eye of many of the older folk paying tribute to those who had sacrificed their lives at war.
They all behaved impeccably at the service and marked the two-minutes silence with their teachers and other members of the public.
Afterwards the children spoke to Falklands veteran Tug Wilson, of the Hartlepool Combined Ex-Service Association, and asked him questions about his medals and the standard he was carrying.
“It’s absolutely brilliant to see them here,” he said. “They were all taking a real genuine interest, which is so lovely to see, and they also asked some really good questions.
“One of my favourites, which was quite humorous, was ‘where’s No Man’s Land, because I can’t find it on the map?’
“They’re so innocent and it was emotional to see them all.
“It’s good for them to be aware of what did go on and how their lives are shaped now because of it.”
Headteacher at the school Julie Thompson said: “We always do something for Remembrance Day but we have never been to the war memorial for this service.
“The children have been learning about why we celebrate it at school, and it’s particularly important for us because a former teacher at our school, Bombardier Joseph Jobling, died in the First World War.
“We have made wreaths and the children have been very involved with that, and they’ve also been to the Heugh Battery. It brings it home to them.”
Harry Hardy, from the Royal Artillery Association, lead the service and said: “It’s been a great turn-out and especially with the children here.
“It’s fantastic. The more they know, the less they will want to go to war and to appreciate what they have now.
“If you have peace you get a good life.”
Once the service was over, the children spoke to the veterans and then walked onto the war memorial to look at the wreaths that were laid on Remembrance Sunday.
Meanwhile at NatWest Bank on York Road, the branch’s former boss Edgar Atkinson, who managed the bank from 1972 until retiring in 1984, called to lay a wreath in the banking hall in memory of the fallen at 11am as staff and customers stood silent for two minutes.