Generations coming together to remember Zeppelin attack on Sunderland

A German airship, Graf Zeppelin, which is NOT linked to the Sunderland attacks.
Stock image: A German airship, Graf Zeppelin, which is NOT linked to the Sunderland attacks. Picture by: PA / PA Archive/Press Association Images

Generations of people are coming together to remember those who lost their lives in the First World War Zeppelin attack on Sunderland.

A programme of centenary commemorations of the First World War air raid attack which killed 22 people and injured many more takes place this week.

One of the sites bombed on April 1 was Monkwearmouth Station.

The station museum will give people the chance to see the displays commemorating the event and make a model of their own Zeppelin to take home on Thursday, March 31.

The following day, (Friday, April 1) on the 100th anniversary of the attack, there is a public unveiling of a memorial bench at the Wheatsheaf Green at 10.30am by the Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Barry Curran.

The Mayor will then travel to Monkwearmouth Station Museum to join Wearside primary school children at 10.45am for the launch of the Zeppelin art structure they have created in class.

The mayor of Sunderland, councillor Barry Curran, said: “It is hard to imagine what people must have experienced at the time with bombs raining down on their communities, and we need to commemorate both their suffering and their bravery facing such an attack.

“The memorial bench provides the opportunity for people to sit and reflect on what happened, while our young people have used their creative talents to capture the emotions children must have experienced a hundred years to create the Zeppelin artwork.”

The centenary commemoration project is funded by Sunderland City Council’s North Area Committee and led by Museums, Heritage and Library Services working with Infinite Arts.

As part of the project, year five children from Grange Park Primary in Swan Street have been inspired by historic re-enactment sessions and talks from the Time Bandits to think about how they would have felt during such a deadly attack on their community.

Subsequent workshops at the school with Infinite Arts, have translated the children’s thoughts into the paper artwork and creative writing, which forms part of the skin of the Zeppelin model being unveiled and put on display at Monkwearmouth Station Museum.

On Saturday, April 2, there is the chance for everyone to take part in a guided walk through the city centre between 9.30am and 11.30am, to learn more about how the First World War affected Sunderland.

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