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Ponteland Online News has a number of contributing authors, all of whom will add their own posts on various aspects of village life, from the housing market to events and public meetings. If you are involved in a business or organisation, be it a school, church or a club in the Ponteland area and would like to contribute to the blog on a regular basis or just from time to time please email Ponteland Online Admin You must put the story title in the email subject line and the story itself in the main body of the email, add any picture attachments and send as normal.

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Monday, November 15, 2010


On Remembrance Sunday the largest gathering for years stood silent under the iron-grey sky around the Memorial Hall and filled their thoughts with personal memories during the two minutes silence.  Then Dr Caroline Pryer, representing the Queen laid a wreath and thirty two more wreaths were added by organisations in Ponteland.  There was a complete cross-section of the community from the Service organisations and the uniformed youth to the pupils and staff of the High School.  Remembrance crosses at the side of the Memorial were more personal and remembered Dad, the Burma campaign and Dunkirk.

This year it is also 90 years since the Lutyens-designed Cenotaph in Whitehall was unveiled as a secular monument to commemorate the dead of the First World War.  Cenotaph literally means an empty tomb and none of the combatants killed abroad were brought back to Britain.  To remember as well in a more Christian manner a scheme was hatched to bury an unknown soldier in Westminster Abbey.  Four bodies were unearthed from the four main battlefields of the Western Front, completely unidentifiable, and brought back to England with full military pomp and ceremony.  One was chosen to be buried in Westminster Abbey and we know it as the tomb of the Unknown Warrior.   The bereaved mothers and families of those killed felt this was personal to them and thousands gathered, with wreaths, to honour the dead at 11am on the eleventh day of the eleventh month.  The ceremony we attended today was almost exactly as it was 90 years ago. 

The stories behind the names on our Ponteland Memorial were researched in 2005 for the commemoration of 60 years since the end of WW2 and written up into a 60-page book.  It is still available from the Town Council office for £5.
By Muriel Sobo