Carol Ann Duffy writes poem for road crash victims’ memorial service at Durham Cathedral

RoadPeace North East is holding its fourth annual memorial service for those who have lost their lives on the road in the region on Saturday 4 November 2017 at Durham Cathedral.

This year, the Poet Laurette Carol-Ann Duffy has been commissioned to write a poem for road crash victims, which will be read at the service. Senior fire officers, paramedics and police officials from the region are also expected to be in attendance to pay their respects. The Bishop of Jarrow, Rt Rev Mark Bryant, will be leading the service, and music will be performed by the Cleveland Police Community Band and a youth choir.

From 2006 to 2015 almost 62,000 people have been killed or seriously injured in work-related crashes alone[1], with the annual total figure of those killed or seriously injured last year at over 25,000[2].

David Robinson, Chairman of RoadPeace North East and a serious injury solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “There is not a great deal published on the subject of grief following a road crash; families and friends of the victim are left to deal with the shock and pain of losing someone so suddenly. Carol-Ann Duffy’s poem will hopefully be a source of some comfort that loved ones can refer to in future”.

The poem, entitled Grief, will be published on the RoadPeace North East website after the service.

The Lord-Lieutenant of County Durham, Mrs Sue Snowdon, will be joining with the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones.

RoadPeace North East has been campaigning to protect road users in the region for four and a half years, and is one of several charities and campaign groups who have arranged remembrance services.

Anita Thompson, from County Durham, will be at the service to remember her son Nick. Nick Davidson died three years ago at the age of 27, as a passenger in a car that collided with a tree near Whorlton.

Anita said: “The service will be a way to remember and honour the memories of those we have lost. It will always be a struggle without Nick, but we can take comfort in events like these, where we can join with others and pay tribute to those who are no longer with us. We would like to invite everyone from across the region to join us at Durham Cathedral to remember the lives of those lost on our roads.”

Mrs Thompson now works alongside initiatives such as WiseDrive, sharing her story with young people and educating them on road safety.

The service will take place in Durham Cathedral on Saturday 4 November 2017 at 10.30am. The service is designed for everyone, whether people have a faith or no faith. Everyone is welcome.



[1] Strategic Review of the Management of Occupational Road Risk, TRC and UCL (2014)