A VILLAGE has unveiled a new war memorial to honour its war dead.

An £8,000 8ft high granite monument inscribed with their names of 51 men who died in the First and Second World Wars was dedicated in the cemetery at at Hesleden, east Durham.

The service brought together generations of residents, campaigners, community leaders and children from the village primary.

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Seven of the Durham Light Infantry’s standards were present for the event, which was led by Methodist minister Reverend Susan Richardson and Reverend Roger Davies, of St Andrew’s Church in Blackhall, with the day opened by Gaynor Crute, chairman of Hesleden Parish Council.

The project was backed by Durham County Councillors Rob Crute and Lynn Pounder, who helped fund the monument, with support from the parish council.

Blackhalls Local History Group treasurer Stan Gray said: “There are 51 names on those two plaques and now this memorial from the First and Second World Wars.

“When we were talking about it, we said how many there were just from this small village.

“We thought the cemetery was the best place for its because when people come into the village, it will be one of the first things they see.

“It was absolutely wonderful to see it in place and it now means we will have somewhere to gather and remember those lost when it comes to November 11.

“We have been working on this project for more than a year now I feel very proud and happy that we have finally got our own memorial.

“I feel pride on behalf of the Hesleden community that this has happened and now we can look to Remembrance Day and holding our own ceremony."