16 minutes | Nov 7th 2020

Len Gibson and the Sunderland Remembrance Service

This is Len Gibson, BEM. He’s reading from his collection of poetry, which he’s compiled over the past hundred years of his life.  You heard that right, Len Gibson turned 100 years old on the third of January this year. Len’s regarded as not only a hero to Sunderland, but also a national hero.  During the second world war, Len was a member of the 125 Anti-Tank Regiment Royal Artillery. Between 1942, and 1945, Len was held as a Far East Prisoner of War - he was forced by the Japanese Empire to work on a railway which stretches between Thailand and Burma - the “Death Railway”, as it’s come to be known.  Len was one of an estimated 180,000 - 250,000 prisoners of war who were subjected to forced labour on the railway. Len’s a well-known figure here in Sunderland.  Usually, Len would be delivering a reading at our city’s Remembrance Parade.  It’s one of the biggest parades in the UK, the biggest outside of London. This year, because of the ongoing lockdown, the Remembrance Parade it’s moving online.  Sunderland City Council are creating a series of short films alongside the day. --- --- --- Speak Up Sunderland is a podcast proudly produced in Sunderland, for Sunderland. Our hosts Betty Ball and Stevie B, and our producer is Jay Sykes. Our music was created by Timecrawler 82, and our logo and branding by Jorge Vinicio. This episode features recordings of the Sunderland Remembrance Parade by Mike Walker Camera, and additional music by Andy G. Cohen. Join us on our journey: Our website - SpeakUpSunderland.com Twitter - @SpeakUpSun Instagram - @SpeakUpSun or join us on our Facebook and YouTube!
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