Remembering our missing colleagues on Workers’ Memorial Day

Published Tuesday, 16th April 2024

Trade unions in Hartlepool are inviting the local community to join in a special remembrance event in the town on International Workers’ Memorial Day.

The annual Workers’ Memorial Day Remembrance Service and Wreath-Laying Ceremony takes place this year on Sunday 28th April.  

It commemorates those who have been either killed or injured in workplace accidents and aims to raise awareness among employers of the importance of effective health and safety procedures.

In a change of venue, this year’s service will take place in Hartlepool College of Further Education in Stockton Street, TS24 7NT, at 12.30pm.

The event will conclude with the wreath-laying ceremony at the Workers’ Memorial in Church Square.

A lone Scottish piper will be playing at the College from 11.45am and will pipe people into the building at 12.20pm in time to take their seats for a one-minute silence at 12.30pm.

The speakers will include Fran Heathcote, General Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, Paul Shevlin, Regional Managing Partner (North-East) and Head of PRC at Thompsons Solicitors, and Karl Wager, Cleveland Fire Brigades Union Chair and North-East Region Health and Safety Official.

Paul Goffy Gough will give a eulogy to the late John Brookes, North-East Organiser, NASUWT, a longstanding attendee at the Workers’ Memorial Day events and advocate for health and safety in the workplace.

Special guest at the service will be Alan Mardghum, General Secretary of the Durham Miners Association.

Following the service, approximately 60 wreaths will be laid at the Workers’ Memorial in Church Square by organisations and members of the public attending the event, including the Ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool Councillor Shane Moore.

The ceremony will end at about 1.45pm. Light refreshments will be available from 12 noon in the Flagship Restaurant in Hartlepool College of Further Education prior to the service and a light buffet will be available in the Flagship Restaurant following the laying of the wreaths. 

Edwin Jeffries, President of Hartlepool Trades Union Council, said: “Whether or not they have been affected by a tragedy at work, we hope that as many people as possible from across the region will join us to pay their respects and add their weight to the ongoing campaign to make all workplaces safe for workers.

“Once again, we will be providing individual flowers so that anybody attending the service can lay a flower in memory of a loved one.

“On Workers’ Memorial Day, as our slogan for the event each year reminds us, we ‘Remember the Dead and Fight for the Living.’ ”

For more information about the event, please contact Edwin Jeffries on 07813 073186 or email


* In a further ceremony to mark Workers’ Memorial Day, there will be a lowering of flags and wreath-laying ceremony in front of Hartlepool Civic Centre on Friday 26th April at 11am. Taking part in the event will be Councillor Brian Cowie, the Deputy Ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool, Denise McGuckin, Managing Director of Hartlepool Borough Council, and Edwin Jeffries, Secretary of Hartlepool Joint Trade Union Committee.