This year is the 50th anniversary of 'Operation Banner' which began on 14 August 1969, when British troops were first deployed onto the streets of Northern Ireland.

Operation Banner lasted almost 38 years between 14 August 1969 and 31 July 2007 - with more than 300,000 members of the UK Armed Forces deployed, during which time 1441 serving personnel died on deployment or in related paramilitary acts.

On Saturday 17 August the Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor David Snowdon, and the Mayoress, Cllr Dianne Snowdon, will be joined by civic guests including Colonel Ann Clouston, (Ret'd) OBE, ARRC, TD, DL, VR, and the Mayors of Hetton, Peterlee, South Tyneside, Shildon Hartlepool and Barnard Caste at the Cenotaph on Burdon Road for a commemorative service and ceremonial laying of wreaths in memory of all those who lost their lives.

The parade will be brought to attention at 10.50am, after which the Mayor, Cllr David Snowdon, will then be invited to give a welcome speech to those assembled before the service begins.

The reading of a poem at 10.55am will be followed by the raising of Standards, sounding of the Last Post and two minutes silence beginning at approximately 11am.

A roll-call of those who lost their lives serving during Operation Banner will then be read, followed by the ceremonial laying of wreaths at the Cenotaph before the parade is dismissed at 11.15am, will all those present then invited to the Gunners Club in Mary Street for refreshments.

The service is among a series of commemorative events being organised by veteran's groups including those from the Gunners Club based in the city centre and Veterans in Crisis.

The Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor David Snowdon said: "I was honoured to be invited to attend this commemoration event, paying tribute to all those involved in the longest continuous operation in British military history.

" I hope people will come along to join us, and would like to thank everyone involved in organising the commemoration particularly Mr Ger Fowler of Veterans in Crisis, Mr Alex Bonallie from the Gunners Club, and the Captain of the Standard Bearers Mr Robbie Robson who will also be Parade Marshall at the service.

"Many service people and their families from across our community will have their own memories of Operation Banner, and this is our opportunity to show our appreciation of their efforts on all our behalf."