armed forces day largeArmed Forces Day is being marked with events at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens commemorating the forthcoming 100th anniversary of the bloody Battle of the Somme.

There are opportunities to learn more about the First World War with Somme Fest activities at the museum on Saturday 25 June between 11am and 3pm.

They include: the chance to get up close and be photographed with Wallace the Lion who took part in Sunderland’s First World War Victory Parade. Wallace is being moved from his glass case for the first time in 16 years as the museum prepares for further exhibitions

You can also gain a Discover Family Arts Award in a day by finding out facts about the Battle of the Somme, try different art activities and discover more about artists and how they work.

Visitors can:

* Make a War Horse themed puppet with the Creative Learning Team from Sunderland Empire

* See First World War inspired theatrical performances from No Limits Theatre

* Create amazing art inspired by wartime artists with the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art

* Make a model tank with the Museum Learning Team and explore objects from the war with a costumed soldier.

Councillor John Kelly, the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Health, Wellness and Culture, said: “As centenary events for the First World War continue, we are linking up on Saturday with Armed Forces Day where all our visitors can explore the events of 100 years ago.

“It promises to be acolourful event and there’s plenty of hands-on opportunities to get involved and contribute. On a lighter note, Wallace is being moved out of his case so everybody is welcome to have themselves pictured just that bit more closer to him.”

To find out more about the Battle of the Somme Mini Festival please contact the Museum Learning Team on 0191 561 2323 or e-mailmuseumlearning@sunderland.gov.uk

More events to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Somme are planned in the coming weeks.

Wallace the Lion is being moved from his case in the Time Machine Gallery to the museum learning rooms for the event on Saturday 25 June, then is moving to a temporary new home in the Art Gallery on Level 2 to make way for the Nissan is 30 exhibition.