Geordie philanthropist, Brian Burnie, has organised an epic 21-mile walk from Sunderland to Newcastle to mark VJ Day and honour all Far East PoW’s and the memory of his “great friend” Mr Len Gibson – Join us, Sunday 11th August 2024.
The memorial walk will start in Sunderland Cenotaph at 6.30am, Sunday 11th August 2024 and travel 21.6 miles through South Tyneside, Gateshead ending in Newcastle Civic Centre, honouring Far East PoW’s and Sunderland war hero Len Gibson. At 11am, there will be a special service at South Shields Town Hall. Mr Gibson supported the cancer charity, Daft as a Brush Cancer Patient Care, who named one of their Ambulances in his honour ‘Len Guitar Gibson’. The anniversary of Japan’s surrender marks the end of World War II. Working on the infamous Burma Railway, only a fraction of the Far East PoW’s survived starvation, torture and Malaria.
The free event, which is open to everyone, will begin with a short service with military piper and bugler. Charity volunteers, supporters, 80 year old Brian Burnie will be among the lead party from the Sunderland Cenotaph over the Wearmouth Bridge (Itinerary to follow).
Remarkable Sunderland war veteran Len, who was awarded the British Empire Medal, died in 2021 at the age of 101 – after years spent promoting remembrance of World War 2 – and in particular the sacrifices of those who fought in East Asia like himself.