A POLICE community support officer will pay homage to fallen heroes in the run-up to Remembrance Day.

Northumbria PCSO Jim Tuckwell has patrolled the streets of Sunderland for 13 years, but when not on the beat he is a keen historian.

He has extensively researched the Durham Light Infantry regiment during the period between the end of the First World War and 1946.

In the lead-up to Remembrance Day– which this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Armistice– he will remember some of the region’s policing casualties by sharing the story of an officer who lost their life in the line of duty on Twitter account @NPSSunSW.

He said: “It’s never been more important to remember those who fought to defend our country, and I thought this would be a good way to pay tribute and extend my personal gratitude to those who gave up their freedom to ensure the freedom of future generations.

“My research into police casualties during the wars came about as a result of my research into the DLI. I feel the period between 1920 and 1946 is a neglected period of British military history, and I have an interest because of my own family connections.

“My uncle was killed on June 14, 1944 serving with the 6th Battalion of The Durham Light Infantry. My father also enlisted into the DLI and was due to join the 2nd Durham Light Infantry in Burma, but was transferred to another unit when the war ended.

“I was brought up on stories of my uncle, and feel it’s important to keep those stories alive.”

PCSO Tuckwell has scoured county records, newspaper archives, spoken with the families of former servicemen and created a website to share the history of those who served their country.

He added: "Every soldier who served had a different story to tell, many never spoke of their experiences and others told only the humorous tales, avoiding the horrors they often encountered. The reluctance of these men to speak to their families of their time in the DLI leads to a natural curiosity into what their relatives actually did and that`s where my research actually comes to the fore.

“Families contact me and ask me what their relatives did and I do my best to help them. In return, their stories are added to my website and together we build a history of the ordinary soldier who served in the ranks of the DLI during the given time period which you will find in no published work.Some colleagues and many local residents are aware of my passion and have asked me to research their relatives, which I have done with various degrees of success. I have over the years found details of many soldiers for local residents and even restored a photograph of a Merchant Navy Captain killed in action in 1940, who was the father of an elderly gentleman who resides on my foot beat.”