Hundreds expected to turn out to see DLI memorial unveiled in Durham

Dedication ceremony for the statue in Durham’s Market Place will take place on Sunday during a weeked of WWI commemorations

CIC student Cameron Gough
CIC student Cameron Gough

Hundreds of people are expected to turn out for WWI commemorations in Durham this weekend, culminating in the unveiling of a memorial to the Durham Light Infantry.

Broadcaster Kate Adie will speak about women during the war on Saturday, while a theatre group will showcase their musical about the conflict.

And on Sunday, the dedication ceremony will be held for a new statue in Durham’s Market Place, after the Durham Light Infantry annual Association Parade and Review.

The DLI Memorial statue is a bronze sculpture of a single soldier. Designed by Edinburgh sculptor Alan Herriot and created by Powderhall Bronze, it symbolises the poignant moment after DLI buglers sounded the ceasefire in Korea in 1953. This was the Regiment’s last battle honour.

Kate Adie
Kate Adie
 

The ceremony will be carried out by the Lord Bishop of Durham, the Right Revd Paul Butler and VIP include General Sir Peter de la Billiere, former Director of the SAS and Commander-in-Chief of British forces during the 1990 Gulf War, and Lieutenant General Tim Evans, Commander of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps.

They will be joined by the Mayor of Durham and Chairman of Durham County Council, Coun John Robinson, the Lord-Lieutenant of County Durham, Sue Snowdon, Colonel The Hon James Ramsbotham, Chairman of the DLI Charities, HE the Ambassador Sungnam Lim of the Republic of Korea and civic leaders from around the North East.

The day will also include the DLI Reunion Service in Durham Cathedral, which, this year, will also commemorate the start of the First World War.

Members of the public are invited to attend the Dedication Service, but should arrive by 9.45am at the latest. The Service will also be relayed live to a marquee on Palace Green, open all weekend.

Special activities on Saturday will include the chance to meet broadcaster Kate Adie, who will be talking about the legacy of women in World War One and signing copies of her new book at 2pm.

Enter CIC Youth Theatre Group will perform Home Fires, an original musical commemorating the war, between 3pm and 4.30pm.

People can also have their First World War memorabilia and Edwardian collectibles valued by professional auctioneers from Anderson & Garland between 10.30am and 2.30pm, and there will be live music from Pittington Brass Band from 11.30am.

There will also be displays from Durham County Record Office, the DLI Museum and Durham Art Gallery, Durham University, Beamish Museum and Bowes Museum.

Pictures and poems produced by local schoolchildren as part of a competition run by the DLI Museum and Durham Art Gallery and sponsored by the Gillian Dickinson Trust will also be on display.

On Sunday, the Band of Durham/Northumberland Wing ATC will perform in the marquee at 1pm followed by Durham Cathedral Young Singers at 2pm.

Fundraising for the DLI Memorial has been led by The Regimental and Chattels Charity of the former Durham Light Infantry and the DLI Association with support from Durham County Council, local businesses and the community in Durham.

The sculpture mirrors one unveiled at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire in 2012.

For updates on the weekend’s events, visit www.dlidurham.org.uk

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