A WAR memorial garden in the North-East played host to a wreath that is touring the UK to commemorate men who and women who have fallen in battle in the last 100 years.

Starting at the National Memorial Arboretum, in Staffordshire, the Wreath of Respect is on an eight-day motorcycle journey covering more than 1,250 miles – and visited Washington on Wearside, at the weekend.

Other places included in the tour include Glasgow, York, Liverpool, Cardiff, Plymouth and Oxford before the wreath returns to the National Memorial Arboretum on Saturday, August 23.

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The purpose of the nationwide wreath tour is to honour and to thank all those who have suffered and died, not just in two world wars but in conflicts up to and including the present day.

It is to acknowledge not just the pain and loss of service men and women themselves, but also of their loved ones and also to raise money for the Royal British Legion.

Darren Burton, who is himself ex-forces and who brought the wreath to Washington, said: “It is my way of remembering the people who have gone before. It is our way of showing respect and saying thank you.”

The Reverend Canon David Glover, British Legion chaplain for the area and rector at Holy Trinity Church Washington Village, said that the event was given special meaning because of the Great War commemorations but that it remained relevant because of more modern conflicts as well.

He said: "It is a poignant thing for us because even in the past few years we have had deaths.This event reminds us that we are not forgotten and that we are part of something bigger."

Richard Bell, parade marshal of the Washington branch of the Royal British Legion said: “It is a real honour that the gentlemen have stopped off here on their journey."