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Builders merchant honours war dead

North East independent builders’ merchant Thompsons will see its efforts unveiled on Remembrance Day with the unveiling of a memorial wall to honour Wearside’s war dead.

Builders merchant honours war dead

The structure commemorates those who have fallen in battle since World War II and its completion in time for this year’s Remembrance Sunday is due in part to support from Thompson Building Centres.

Intended to resemble soldiers standing in line, the curved wall, which encircles the existing war memorial in Sunderland’s Mowbray Park, is the brainchild of Brothers in Arms, a group set up by five Wearside families who lost loved ones in armed combat and training.

As well as serving as a dedicated area of respect and remembrance for all those that have fallen in training, conflicts, non-conflicts and operations, the wall has also been designed as an educational resource for future generations and features details of all 22 conflicts involving British troops since 1946.

Thompson Building Centres have been involved in the project since its infancy 18 months ago, creating a board of advisors, including a solicitor, architect and chairman to steer the project, assisting with events to help raise the money needed, giving Brothers In Arms free office space at its headquarters and offering full administrative support.

Thompson’s transported the 20 marble plinths for the wall to site and also provided skips courtesy of the company’s waste management arm. The company then supplied the remaining building materials, plant and machinery needed to complete the wall, which is believed to be the country’s first dedicated memorial to heroes killed fighting in, or training for, recent battles.

Anne Ganley, chief executive of Thompson Building Centres and TAPS, who also made a personal donation of £10,000 to the project, said: “This has been a cause that has not only been close to my heart and that of my staff but which has also been supported by our customers.

“Everyone using our trade counters got fully behind Brothers In Arms and it created a great buzz at all of our branches.

“It’s been a real privilege to have played a part in constructing something so beautiful and so necessary.”

She added, “Sunderland has the largest Remembrance Day service outside of London and this wall will stand as a tribute to the bravery of its men and women in recent conflicts.”

Not only did the company raise funds through its individual branches but Ganley also raised money for the memorial by participating in many events, including a sponsored climb to Everest base camp.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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