Sun 05 Nov 2023 17:57

This Saturday (4 November) saw Whitley Bay Rockcliff unveil and dedicate its new war memorial which honours - for the first time - the club's players who fell in World War One, alongside those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in World War Two.

The memorial, which was unveiled by Deputy Lieutenant for Tyne and Wear, Commander Ed McNaught RD DL,was dedicated in a formal ceremony led by the vicar of St Paul's Parish Church, Reverend John Vilaseca in the presence of invited guests from the civic and community organisations in the town including Tynemouth MP, Sir Alan Campbell, members of the Army Cadets and with the support of the Royal British Legion.

The memorial honours for the first time 14 players who lost their lives in World War One but were not recognised on the clubs memorial board which focused solely on World War Two. Members of the club formed a History Society in early 2022 who set as their first goal tracing the players who died or were killed serving in World War One, a project they titled 'We lost them. We've found them. We've brought them home.'

A final roll call for the 14 fallen was called by members of the club's age grade section, aged from five to 18.

The wider Remembrance Commemorations on the day included Rockcliff's Colts playing against Northern, with the First XV hosting the annual Poppy Sword Challenge fixture against Counties 1 league rivals, Hartlepool Rovers.

The day was covered by BBC North East, and you can see the coverage broadcast on Look North here.

More details on the 'We lost them. We've found them. We've brought them home' project, including a booklet with details of the 14 men honoured can be found here.

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