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Missing plaque given pride of place at Town Hall thanks to eagle-eyed ex-serviceman

Heritage and history

Monday, 01 July 2024
Durham Light Infantry veteran Terry Gilbert presents a DLI regimental plaque to Middlesbrough Mayor Chris Cooke for display in the Town Hall

A military omission at Middlesbrough Town Hall has been put right thanks to an eagle-eyed ex-serviceman.

Durham Light Infantryman (DLI) Terry Gilbert was attending the Citizen of the Year award ceremony for fellow standard bearer Ron Barber in 2015 when he noticed the absence.

The veteran was admiring a panel of regimental plaques in the Civic Suite when he realised the DLI one was missing.

Terry, who as a Stockton resident spent his two years of National Service with the DLI from 1957, made it his mission to track one down and complete the collection.

And thanks to another standard bearer acquaintance Roy Smith he was able to do just that.

Terry, 85, said: “When we were in the Civic Suite for Ron Barber’s Citizen of the Year ceremony, we were looking at all the regimental plaques on the wall and I noticed there wasn’t one for the DLI.

“The regiment wasn’t able to help, but fortunately Roy had one which he was happy to donate.

“The DLI plaque should be there with the others, so I’m pleased to have been able to make that happen.”

Terry carried the DLI regimental standard for many years and still meets up with old comrades to share reminiscences

He added: “It’s like being a part of a great old club and you never forget the people you’ve served with down the years.

“It’s only right to see their service and sacrifice honoured and remembered, and I’m grateful to Middlesbrough Council for playing its part in that.”

Middlesbrough Mayor Chris Cooke welcomed Terry to the Town Hall and accepted the plaque on behalf of the town.

He said: “We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to all our armed forces personnel, both serving and veterans.

“The DLI is an important part of the region’s history and heritage, and its members have laid down their lives to protect the freedoms we all too often take for granted.

“It’s only right that we should honour them as a Council and as a town, and I’m delighted to add the Durham Light Infantry plaque to the Town Hall collection.”