YOUNG people from County Durham and Germany will be delivering messages of peace at a festival of remembrance which marks the centenary of the end of the First World War.

They will be joined by Harry Oliver, a 99-year-old Durham Light Infantry veteran and Bev Palin, a musician who restored an original trench organ from the First World War, for the concert at Durham Cathedral.

The annual festival, which is in aid of ABF The Soldier’s Charity, takes place on Saturday, November 10.

During the concert, 200,000 poppies will be dropped from the cathedral tower, to commemorate the 200,000 North-East soldiers who died during the four-year conflict.

Organiser Major Eric Ingram said: “We will be knee deep in poppies because there are so many of them but it brings home the scale of it.

“This year is particularly poignant because it’s the centenary of the end of World War One and the foundation of the RAF.”

As part of the event this year, pupils from County Durham will be joined by young people from Georg Forster Gymnasium, in Kamp Lintfort, near Dusseldorf in Germany, to light candles and deliver a message of peace.

Jamie Atkinson, 17, from Leeholme, near Bishop Auckland, and Molly Raine, 17, from Hamsterley, in Teesdale, both pupils at St John’s School, Bishop Auckland, will lead carry a “peace globe”, which was made several years ago and was taken to France as part of events to commemorate the centenary of the Somme in 2016.

They have been finding out more about soldiers from Bishop Auckland, and have created an exhibition to display in the cathedral.

Molly said: “We think it’s quite important for young people in our community to remember the sacrifice that people have made.”

Among the performers will be Bev Palin, from Amble, in Northumberland, who will be playing an original trench organ, which she bought several years ago for £40 from a second hand shop in Lyme Regis.

She said: “I like unusual instruments so it was a bit of fun. It was riddled with woodworm but I’ve done a bit to restore it. I believe there are three of them left in the country but it’s the only one that’s working.”

She added: “People find it quite emotional to listen to. It makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

“It’s a haunting sound. It’s like a voice that reaches out across 100 years. It’s the last voice that can speak for itself. It’s spine tingling.”

Special guests include Countess Haig, who is married to the third Earl Haig, grandson of Field Marshall Haig, who commanded the British Expeditionary Force from late 1915 until the end of the war, and Mr Oliver, from Sherburn, who was a miner prior to being called up at the age of 20.

He served with the Durham Light Infantry and was a prisoner of war for five years after being captured months after the outbreak of the Second World War.

He said: “It’s difficult to improve on last year’s concert but it means a lot to me personally and with it being the centenary year it’s very important for me to take part.”

There will be performances by The Band of The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, 102 Battalion REME Pipe Band, Durham ACF Band and Bugles, Enter CIC, and the North East Hindu Cultural Trust with speaker Lieutenant General Robin Brims.

It will be narrated by Alasdair Hutton, the voice of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.