RESIDENTS of an east Durham community marked the Great War centenary with a parade followed by a picnic – building up to a candlelit vigil this evening (Monday, August 4).

Among those taking part in event in Seaham was 91-year-old Jack Watson, who laid a cross at the town’s war memorial, in memory of his father Jacob Watson - a member of the Royal Army Medical Corps during the First World War.

Mr Watson, of Silksworth, Sunderland, served with the Shropshire Yeomanry during the Second World War, seeing action in Sicily and Monte Cassino, among other.

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Today’s parade included members of the Seaham Air Training Corps and Seaham Cadets, who marched down Church Street to Terrace Green, where David McKenna played a lament on the bagpipes.

The commemoration took place in the shadow of a giant soldier, which the community raised £85,000 to buy in just 12 weeks.

The sculpture called Eleven “O” One but nicknamed Tommy was created by artist Ray Lonsdale.

Seaham deputy town clerk Paul Fletcher said a picnic involving all generations of the community is being held on the green in the build-up to a candlelit vigil at 10pm.