Durham MP Kevan Jones in call for troops to be honoured with plaque

Shadow defence minister Kevan Jones is leading calls for soldiers who die in battle to be given the special sign setting out what they have given for their country

Kevan Jones has called for blue plaques to mark the homes of soldiers killed in action
Kevan Jones has called for blue plaques to mark the homes of soldiers killed in action

Troops killed in the line of duty should be honoured with a blue plaque on their homes, Labour has said.

Shadow defence minister Kevan Jones is leading calls for soldiers who die in battle to be given the special sign setting out what they have given for their country.

The Durham MP wants the armed forces to benefit from the same plaques currently used to mark the home of famous musicians, sportsmen and politicians.

He said: “It is right that we commemorate the fallen in meaningful and innovative ways. Those who are killed in service make a sacrifice that should never be forgotten.”

The North East has seen dozens of young men killed or injured as a result of fighting in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with the region historically providing thousands of troops for the armed forces.

Labour wants to see local authorities and English Heritage, which manages the scheme in London, to offer the plaques to the families of soldiers, sailors and airmen killed in the line of duty.

It would be made available to those who have won bravery honours, though the exact criteria would be left to English Heritage and the Armed Forces Covenant Reference Group.

The final decision on whether to erect a plaque, and where to put it, would be left with the families of those who have died.

Those receiving the honour would see their loved ones’ names recognised in the same way as other North East plaque holders. In Newcastle, Chas Chandler, founder member of The Animals, has a plaque at a house he once lived at, while Gateshead Council has seen George Stephenson honoured for the High Level Bridge.

Across the region many councils have signed up to Armed Forces Covenants in which local leaders and their staff promise to consider the unique challenges facing those fighting abroad and their families left at home.

Gateshead added its name to the �30m Armed Forces Community Covenant, pledging to support current and former members of the services. The council will work with local charities, voluntary groups and businesses to provide housing and employment support to the troops.

In Newcastle the council has promised that all organisations will commit to work together to improve the help given to those who are currently serving in the armed forces and also the city’s veterans.

The likelihood of the armed forces plaques call being backed is further increased by support from the Labour-dominated Association of North East Councils, which last year signed up to a charter of support.

It is right we commemorate the fallen in meaningful ways

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