NEWMP News - See also WW1 Noticeboard
Janet Brown - Lifetime Achievement Award
Our Unsung Hero!
On Saturday 3rd June 2017 at the Local History Day held by the British Association for Local History in London, Janet Brown was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by Professor Caroline Barron, Chair of BALH.

Janet Brown is a local historian who has dedicated many years to a number of projects and organisations in the North East.

Here is a list of some of Janet's commitments:-

Association of Northumberland Local History Societies - Member; Hon. Secretary; Coordinator of War Memorial Project 1988 – 1993; Honorary Life Vice-President.

British Association for Local History - Founder Member;

Morpeth Antiquarian Society - Member since 1980s; secretary for 13 years; former keeper of Museum holdings; author and editor of several books; Vice President;

Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering - Hon Treasurer for over 30 years;

North East War Memorials Project - Founder; Chair 2004 -present; Web site Controller 2004 to date

Northumberland Archives Consultative Committee - Member since 1999

Northumbrian Language Society - Founder member since 1980s - Vice President

War Memorials Trust - Regional Volunteer for over 20 years

Janet Brown has worked tirelessly for all the Northumbrian organisations she has been involved with over the years. It would be hard to quantify the number of hours Janet has dedicated to her Local History interests. Her knowledge of the Morpeth area and the War Memorials of the North East is phenomenal and North East Local and Family Historians owe much to her work, perseverance and dedication.

Her meticulous recording of War Memorials long after the original project finished means that the North East War Memorials Project is the envy of many areas of the country as uniquely it covers two large counties with Newcastle upon Tyne area in between.

Congratulations Janet - this is well deserved recognition for all your work.

YouTube- Always Remembered Film
Our Heritage Lottery Funded film Always Remembered - The North East Memorials of the Great War was launched at St. Mary's Heritage Centre Gateshead on Tuesday November 8th 2016.

Copies of the DVD are available at £5 plus p&p of £1.50 from

Total of memorials at 8th December 2017
On 1st March 2018, the total number of memorials in Northumberland, Newcastle and Co. Durham recorded by NEWMP is 4,825

There are also 66 more for which we do not have sufficient information to create a file.

This does not include headstones, which are in the Every Name A Story section for each place.

AGM New Information
The re-arranged AGM will take place on Saturday April 28th at 11 am:-

New Venue

Whalton Village Hall,
Whalton. Northumberland.
NE61 3XA.


1. Apologies

2. Minutes of the fourteenth Annual General Meeting March 27th 2017 (Copy attached)

3. Matters arising

4. Reports
a. Chairman
b. Treasurer
c. Website
d. Raise Your Glass
e. 70th Brigade
f. Over the Tees

5. Election of:-

6. 1914-1918 Commemoration and Update Reports of activities in 2017/2018

7. Any Other Business (to be received in writing by April 26th 2018)

Reports -It would be appreciated if a short report from any interested groups/individuals could be submitted about activities undertaken in 2017 and those proposed for 2018 to be circulated before the AGM. Thanks

Following the AGM there will be a showing of our film "Always Remembered"

AGM Minutes 2017

Research in Progress
As we move towards the conclusion of the Commemorations of the First World War in November 2018 NEWMP are inquiring-

1. Are you still researching the names on your local war Memorial/s?

2. Have you published your findings?
If so could we have sight of a copy and can you give details as to where the publication is available to add to the NEWMP web site files.

3. Have you set up your own web site?
If so we can hyperlink to the web site if you send us details. We would also like you to hyperlink to us!

4. What are you intending to do with your research?
Our Every Name a Story section attached to each village or town is a way of making your research accessible to the public.
The NEWMP website is archived by the British Library and the results of all your work will be there for future generations.

5. War Memorials files – Do you want your contact details to remain/ to be added to Research in Progress?

6. What Next?
Our website continues!

We are always looking for Volunteers –
• to research the history of your Memorials,
• locate new Memorials,
• find missing Memorials,
• update us with what is happening to your War Memorials,
• retake Memorial photographs,
• as well as researching names.

We do need your help!


Newcaste United and the Great War
To the Glory of God

Front Cover

Paul Joannou the Newcastle United Historian is producing a book on over 150 contributions from Newcastle United football club of those who were involved in the Great War and are also listed on the Newcastle United War Memorial. He would be most interested in any contributions, memories, photos memorabilia or any relatives that can contribute.

150 United players and officials traced who served in the terrible conflict. There are 23 footballers (either current players at the time, including reserves, or ex-players) who lost their lives in the war. In addition, there were also many other names of football from St James’ Park who worked in the essential industries of munitions and the like, especially on Tyneside.

The book will also relate how Newcastle United coped with the difficult war years, initially playing through a whole season as war raged on the Continent and elsewhere, then just about shutting up shop completely.

At the moment Paul want to make a plea to any relatives of Newcastle United's men who served in the conflict to get in touch with him.


South Tyneside Remembers
On Tuesday 12th December 2017, South Tyneside Council launched their website, South Tyneside Remembers. The Heritage Lottery funded project produced a searchable database, researched by volunteers to commemorate the lives of the men and woman who served during Wold War One.


Roland Boys Bradford
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Roland Bradford’s death on 30 November 2017:

See links below

Commonwealth War Graves Commission – The Story of the Boy Wonder

Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Casualties of Cambrai

Durham County Record Office – Roland Bradford

Durham County Council
Roland Boys Bradford Boy Wonder

Rededication of Burnhope War Memorial
Lest we forget
Burnhope War Memorial was re-dedicated at 2.00 pm, Friday 10th November 2017.

On a sunny but chilly, windy afternoon Burnhope War Memorial, after much renovation and conservation work was re-dedicated. The service was attended by over 50 people. The introduction was spoken by Mr H Barron, Founder of the Friends of Burnhope War Memorial, and welcomed by Mr D Coates Chairperson Burnhope Parish Council.

See NEWMP ref B153.01

70th Brigade Milestone
A major milestone has been reached in the research work being carried out into the 70th Infantry Brigade.

One of the agreed objectives for the work was the processing of the War Diaries for not only the Brigade, and its three Battalions, but also every other unit which supported the Brigade during its five-year existence.

That task, involving typing and uploading some 7500 pages of text, was completed this weekend.

Each unit's Diary is accompanied by a list of the men known to have served within its ranks. The supporting units include Artillery, Engineers, Transport, Indian Mule Companies and Provost.

Local Family Historians are invited to access the Website and see if any of their relatives served in the Brigade - lead researcher John L Dixon would be delighted to hear from them - contact details are on the Website.

Much more work remains to be done, but a key task has now been completed.

New Memorial at Hesleden
At 10 am on Wednesday the 4th October the new memorial at Hesleden was unveiled and dedicated.

This memorial replaces the brass plaques which were in the Parish Church, now closed.

The moving ceremony attended by members of the families of those named on the memorial, the D.L.I. Association and the children from Hesleden Priamy School.

Dorothy Hall NEWMP's Secretary presented scrolls to the families.

A display of work by the school children and research by Blackhall's History group was in the Methodist Church.

A specially made cake was cut by children from the school.

The three battlefield crosses which were in St. John's Church are now on display at the Methodist Church.

Lanchester War Memorial Names
Village Green War Memorial

Lanchester Parish Council are leading on a project to put the names of fallen soldiers on the War Memorial on the Village Green. A working group comprising of members of the community has been established to carry the project forward.

It is important that the names included are correct and accurate.

Our starting point in compiling a list of names was the list of 99 names read out at the Remembrance Service. In addition we have identified a further 22 names from war memorials in the Parish and from the community.

The group would like to include all 121 names on the War Memorial.

We want to ensure that the list is as complete as possible before we commission the new plaques. So we would like your help. The list of 121 names is shown below and can be viewed on the Parish Council notice board on the Village Green. If you think that you have a relative or know of someone from Lanchester Parish who died in WW1, WW2 or later conflicts and they are not on the present list of names or you think there is a spelling mistake of a name, please contact the Clerk on 01207 520146.

World War 1

George Anderson, Margaret A. Barrow, John R. Bateman, Francis E. Bell, Walter Bell, George Y Sadler Blair, James Brankston, Henderson Brankston, Alexander Brankston, William Britton, Thomas R. Buckham, Albert Bulleyment, Thomas Cheston, John H. Clough, Alexander Coates, Michael Collin, William Costello, Frederick Coult, Sidney Duke, Simpson Dunn, James H Dunning, Ernest Fallon, Robert B. Farbridge, Thomas Farrey, Marmaduke Featherstonhaugh, William Featherstonhaugh, Lancelot Ferguson, Joseph M. Fletcher, James Foy, Alfred E. Gibson, Harry Hampton, Bertie Hampton, William Harrison, Duke Harrison, James Harwood, John Hasson, Frederick Hattams, Eric Heatherington, James Hodgson, William Hunter, Thomas Jackson, William Jarvis, John Burgoyne Johnson, Stephen Kelly, George Kirtley, Lisle Lathan, Vivian Lathan, Michael Leonard, Samuel W McClay, George McDonald, Joseph McElhatton, John H. Myers, Thomas W. Nicholson, William O'Brien, John Pinkerton, William Pratt, Stephen Ramsay, John H Reynolds, James Richardson, Thomas Robinson, William Ross, Alfred Rowe, Gerald Sadler, Michael Salmon, Wilfred Salmon, Arthur Sargeant, John Sargeant, Joseph Norman Scott, Luke Smith, T. Henry Smith, Harry Spence, John H. Spence, William Spence, John Stephenson, Newton Storey, Tom Storey, J. Herbert Swain, John R Swinbank, George Tapp, Joseph H. Teasdale, P. Henry Thompson, William Thompson, Luke Thornton, Joseph Tomlinson, Thomas Henry Turnbull, Walter Veitch, Robert Wainwright, John B. Walker, George Wardle, Thomas Wardle, Thomas Whittaker, Isaac Wilson, John Wilson,

World War 2

William Blackett, Thomas Cheston, Edward Cowan, James Dobson, Leo Doran, John Martin Finch, John Gamlin, George Green, John Halpin, William Charles Hill, George William Laykin, Michael Luxmoore, Anthony McGeary, Vera Mace, Donald MacMillian, Michael O'Brien, Robert Reay, John Wardle Scott, Percy Stoker, Robert Bell Smith, William Keith Thompson, Nathaniel Thornton, Alan Tomlinson, John Tomlinson, Robert William Tonks, James Stratton Wardle,

Falklands Campaign

Stewart Ian Laing


Gavin Peacock

Sleep Lightly Lad
“Sleep lightly lad.
Thou art for King’s guard at daybreak.
With spotless kit turn-out
And take a place of honour”.

Does anyone know where this poem comes from?

It is used on a number of North East Memorials.




Whitley Bay

Rauray Anniversary
On 1st July we mark the Anniversary of the Battle of Rauray in 1944, when troops of the 70th Infantry Brigade Group defended this Normandy village and the 110 Ring Contour against repeated German assaults.

The 1st Tyneside Scottish and 11th Durham Light Infantry were supported by 24th Lancers, 2nd Kensingtons, 217 Battery of the 55th Anti-Tank Regiment, and the tanks of the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry. The battle is documented in detail in Kevin Baverstock's book "Breaking the Panzers".

It is estimated that at least 30 German tanks were destroyed during the engagement and significant casualties were suffered on both sides. This battle saw the final attempt of the German forces to prevent the onward movement of Allied forces in Normandy thwarted. The Brigade was awarded the battle honour "Defence of Rauray".

70th Brigade Anniversary 1940
On 20th May each year we mark a sombre Anniversary as far as the North East of England is concerned. This is the date of the Battles of Ficheux and Mercatel, in Northern France in 1940, when the three Battalions of the 70th Infantry Brigade faced an assault by multiple Panzer columns, one led by Erwin Rommel, and, despite delaying the German armoured advance by 5 hours in a heroically desperate action, were eventually overwhelmed - losing many men killed and many more wounded and captured.

The men of the Brigade could now perhaps be regarded as having a very special musical Memorial, in the shape of the haunting song "Piper to the End" by Mark Knopfler, whose uncle - Lance Corporal Piper Laidler was killed, his pipes with him, as a member of 1st Tyneside Scottish on that day.

Visit the Brigade and Battalion War Diaries on the Website to read the stories of this local disaster.

Aden Veterans to be Remembered
The Northumberland Branch of the Aden Veterans Association have commissioned a Stone Memorial in remembrance of all who were tragically killed on the 20th June 1967. This Memorial will go on the wall in St Thomas the Martyr Church (next to the Civic Centre) in Newcastle. This won't happen until the 20th June, which is the actual 50th anniversary of that tragic day.

See NUT269.

New location for Carrshield memorial
The memorial which honoured the pupils who attended the school at Carrshield has found a new home, having been kept in private hands for several years. It is now in the church at Ninebanks.

The memorial at Carrshield

Bradford VC Memorial Stone
Service of Dedication

Bradford VC Memorial Stone

On Saturday, 11th March 2017 at 10.30 am, a service took place at Witton Park, to honour Roland Boys Bradford, VC, MC., with the dedication of the VC Memorial Stone, and the Memorial Garden recently constructed.

The event was well attended by over 200 people. The Standard for the DLI Association, Bishop Auckland Branch was dedicated. The 'Reflection' speech was given by General Sir Peter de la Billiere, KCB, KCB, DSO, MC*, DL which was well received.

The unveiling of the VC Memorial Stone was carried out by Mrs Sue Snowdon, Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of County Durham and Councillor Edward Bell, Chairman of Durham County Council. DLI association Chaplain was the Revd Kenneth Crawford who gave the Address and Dedication. Prayers were read by the Revd Elishava Mechanic, who is the female priest in change of St Paul's at Witton Park. The unveiling of the statue by Ray Lonsdale [Tommy of Seaham fame], with the theme of 'Brothers in Arms' was performed by Councillors Robert Yorke and Christine Wilson. The proceedings were finished with the singing of the National Anthem.

The area designated a Memorial Garden has two wooden benches flanking the Statue and a Memorial plaque.

There will be a second Bradford VC Stone placed next to Roland's in April 2018 for his brother George.

See NEWMP ref W125.10

Tyne Tees ITV report

New War Memorial at Jarrow

Unveiling of the New War Memorial

On Saturday, 4th March 2017, a new War Memorial was dedicated and unveiled at Jarrow Town Hall.

It is dedicated to everyone from Jarrow who laid down their lives for their country in any conflict .

The service commenced at 10.50 and was attended by about 50 plus people. The Mayor, Cllr Alan Smith, welcomed the assembled crowd and made a special comment about the Latin top line on the Memorial. This was followed by Father Adrian Dixon who read the dedication, and the Reverend Gillian Maude with the Act of Remembrance. The Last Post was played by DLI Bugles with a minutes silence following.

Cllr Norman Dick read the Exhortation.

The President of the Royal British Legion Jarrow and Hebburn Branch laid a wreath.

Everyone was then invited to the Council Chambers for refrshments.

See our file J2.50

Durham St Margaret's
On Sunday morning 29/01/2017 at 10am there was a service to mark the centenary of the Organ which was dedicated as a war memorial 31/01/1917 and the 25th anniversary of organist Allan Coombes.

The preacher was the Right Reverend David Stancliffe the former Bishop of Salisbury.

The service was followed by an organ recital by Allan Coombes at 11.45am.

Representatives from the North East War Memorials Project, Durham School and Harrison and Harrison attended the event.

Civic Voice Condition Survey Workshop


Did you know that it is estimated that across England, 10,000 war memorials are at risk? Did you know that there is no complete database of all the country’s war memorials and their current condition? Did you know training and funding was available to help change this?

It is over two years since the Prime Minister announced a national programme to survey and restore many of the country’s First World War memorials and about 18 months since the First World War Memorials Programme began.

Civic Voice is hosting a free workshop on February 10th from 09:45 to 13:00 in Middlesborough, North East . Come and find out more about the programme and how you can help record the condition of your local war memorials and access funding.

Help us save the hundreds of war memorials located across the North East!

If you are interested in coming to the workshop you can reserve your free place by visiting Eventbrite

The workshop will cover:

- Background information about the programme - Training to undertake a simple condition survey - Training on how to record survey results on the War Memorials Online website - Information about funding available for war memorial repairs and conservation - A resource pack containing all the necessary information to get you started.

If you are interested in coming to the workshop you can reserve your free place by visiting Eventbrite

Dorothy Hall will speak about the work of NEWMP and the new project "Over the Tees".

Family research
We have had several queries recently which are purely on family research. We cannot always help. We are a small group with outside helpers. We cannot undertake to do family research.

All the information we have on any one person is on the website, uploaded as quickly as we can after it has been received. Sometimes it is only where he is buried and remembered. There is also an invitation to submit anything to add to this. But we do not have the time to spend doing in depth research. Sorry!

YouTube - Raise Your Glass Campaign 2016

Watch the Story of the 2016 Raise Your Glass Campaign.

Congratulations Ian Johnson for another successful year!

Memorial to RAF Morpeth at Stannington
A new memorial has been placed to commemorate RAF Morpeth which was based at Tranwell. It takes the form of a skeletal Spitfire, to scale, by the grandson of the man who founded the first aircraft model shop in the world in Newcastle. The file is listed under Stannington, because the memorial is located near the former administration building, now St.Mary's Public House, at the former St.George's Hospital.

The memorial file

A.N.L.H.S. closes down
The 50th and final A.G.M. meeting of ANLHS.
The 50th and final A.G.M. was held on November 5th 2016. The decision to close the Society was taken with heavy heart but acceptance of the fact that few people would take office.

The ANLHS was started as the Northumberland Local History Society by Mrs. Ellen Mitchell assisted by Robin Gard, then County Archivist, helped by Dr. Constance Fraser. There were very few local history societies in existence at the time, and the NLHS sent people to various parts of the county in order to start societies and help them with legal advice and speakers. This meant that the new societies became members of ANLHS from the very beginning. Other county societies which tried to get local societies to join them found great difficulty, trying to catch free range chickens after they were hatched, where the ANLHS had laid the eggs from which their members sprung!

After a few years the name was altered to reflect the changing nature of the society. Each year there were two meetings to study a given subject. Also, once a year one society would organise a day for others to visit them and be given the chance to learn about the local history of the host society.

A magazine called "Tyne and Tweed" was issued containing articles of local interest. A few other books were also published. There were projects in which members could take part, such as recording headstones in churchyards, or taking photos of their locality on a given day.

The Society was also represented on various local bodies such as archives groups and reports from these were received at the AGM.

ANLHS played a part in other events. The Standing Conference for Local History grew from the national Community Council and in time it became the British Association for Local History. ANLHS was represented from the outset. They also were founder members of the now defunct North East Environment Education Forum, which was a meeting place for those interesting in teaching or studying local subjects from green issues to local history.

In 1988 ANLHS took up the idea of the project to record all the war memorials in Northumberland. This was six months before the Imperial War Museum started their list, and the ANLHS worked hard with them. A group was later started by the Imperial War Museum to do a similar job in Co. Durham. These two bodies of work were finally pulled together and the North East War Memorials Project was started, and is now a registered charity in its own right.

It is sad that the ANLHS has had to close, but there can be no regrets. It has done a magnificent job in the last half century, but it has come to the decision to go out with head held high and with pride in what it has achieved.

DLI Collection
DLI Collection, Sevenhills, Spennymoor

Pre-bookable viewings and on demand service every Tuesday and Thursday from 10am to 3pm as from October 11th

DLI Digital Collection

Second 18th Battalion DLI 'Pals' Memorial Unveiled
18th Battalion Second 'Durham Pals' Memorial

18th Battalion Seat Memorial

On the 26th September 2016, the unveiling of the 2nd Seat to the 18th Battalion Durham Light Infantry took place. Located near the Bandstand at the Race Course, the bench is one of a pair recently unveiled. [see previous news story], it is identical to the earlier seat.
The benches are a joint initiative between the DLI Trustees, Durham County Council, the University, Cathedral and the Northern Echo and were funded by public subscription. The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett dedicated the bench.
The ceremony ended with the bugler's Reveille echoing off the tree-lined slopes of the Wear. Councillor Edward Bell and Colonel James Ramsbotham unveiled the memorial.

Thanks to Chris Lloyd, Chester-le-Street Advertiser 1st October 2016.

Half Shilling Curate
Account of a Curate in WW1

Half Shilling Curate Front Cover

There is a new book being launched on the 17th October 2016, titled 'The Half Shilling Curate' a remarkable true story of the Reverend Herbert Butler Cowl who served in World War 1, written by a relative. This well researched book gives an insight to what chaplains endured along with the ordinary fighting soldier. There is strong evidence that this man was the Chaplain that presided over Lieutenant Philip Anthony Brown's burial service in France when he died after being rescued by Private Kenny V.C under fire. The author Sarah Reay has spent many hours researching this man, and visiting many sites, over many years. A Highly recommended read. It includes photographs not seen by any one. A discounted price if the book is purchased via the website Half Shilling Curate and the author might sign it for you.
18th Battalion "Durham Pals" Memorial
18th Battalion 'Durham Pals' Memorial
The 18th Battalion "Durham Pals' now have a Seat as a Memorial to the Battalion within the shadow of the Thiepval monument at the Somme.

The Seat which has the name of the 18th Battalion Durham Light Infantry wrought on the seat was unveiled on Monday the 19th September 2016.

The funding of this memorial was raised by a number of Durham organisations including the Northern Echo, the County Council, the DLI Trustees, Durham Cathedral, and Durham University. Honorary Colonel James Ramsbotham, also a DLI Trustee, said "We wanted to make sure the Durham Pals were also commemorated and a public appeal has paid for this memorial and an identical seat will be in place in Durham later this week."

A party of 30 DLI veterans and their families attended Monday's ceremony.

"It means everything to us" said Major Chris Lawton, the Rifles Regimental Company secretary - the successor organisation to the DLI Association. "Our own County Durham Pals battalion, which was not recognised at the end of the First World War, is finally commemorated. I hope thus is just the beginning and in time we shall get a full stone memorial to them".

The leader of the Somme Regional Council, Laurent Somon, said "The unveiling of the bench takes on a very special meaning during the centenary year of the Battle of the Somme. The bench here mirrors its English twin in Durham and is a metaphor for the unique Franco-Brittanic friendship which links us together."

Source : Chris Lloyd Durham Advertiser 24th September 2016.

See NEWMP ref D47.159.

Project Octagan
The Somme Remembered 'Project Octagan'
On Friday 1st July, 2016, whilst you were travelling, shopping, or commuting to work, you may have witnessed many WW1 soldiers dressed in the Great War uniforms moving and mixing amongst you. These 'Ghosts' soldiers represent a soldier who died on the Somme, each soldier carried a card of someone they represented. This was an evocative experience which moved some people to tears. They said nothing but occasionally burst into song. We're Here Because We're Here.

Many people remember the Blood Swept Lands and Seas display at the Tower of London, which marked the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the War in 1914. So another extraordinary event was planned for the Somme.

The commemoration was conceived and created by Jeremy Deller, the Turner -Prize winning artist, in collaboration with Rufus Norris, the Director of the National Theatre, and produced by the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, in total secrecy, with the help of 27 organisations.

They were seen all over the North East. There were 1,400 volunteers involved to bring this unique event to the UK.


Houghton-le-Spring: Our War Memorial-Our Families
is the title of a booklet produced by the Houghton War Memorial group of researchers.

There is a brief history of the memorial, followed by the names and stories of the men who fell. There is also a list of those for whom they could find no information.

This nicely produced and well-written book costs £4.99, of which £4 goes to SSAFA and 99p to Houghton Racecourse Community Association.

They can be contacted on

18th Battalion "Durham Pals"
The Durham Advertiser series is helping to raise money for a Memorial at the Somme in tribute to the 18th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry - The Durham Pals. To donate, visit or send a cheque made payable to Former Charities of the Durham Light Infantry to the Rifles Durham Office, Elvet Waterside, Durham DH1 3BW.

See also

Somme Tribute event
A veteran soap star is to narrate an emotional tribute to the fallen at a cathedral concert. Emmerdale star Charlie Hardwick and former Coronation Street actor Phil Corbitt will tell the story of the sacrifice, courage and endurance of the people of County Durham during the Somme offensive in a special performance at Durham Cathedral.

The Durham Hymns has been specially written for the centenary of the battle, with lyrics by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.

The work will be given its premiere in the magnificent setting of Durham Cathedral on Saturday, part of this year's Durham Brass Festival. The concert will be repeated in the Chapel of Ushaw College on September 24th, with further planned performances Sunderland Minster, St Hilda's, Hartlepool, and St Joseph's in Felling. Tickets start from £13 to £20. Available from the Gala Theatre box office.

Trio of Memorial Crosses

King visiting the Butte de Warlencourt

A trio of Memorial Crosses from the Somme Battlefield were re-united at Durham Cathedral as part of the commemorative events being held to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. The three crosses were placed on the Butte de Warlencourt, a 60 feet high burial mound, as a Memorial to the 1/6th 1/8th and 1/9th Battalions of the Durham Light Infantry.

The King himself visited the Butte, and in 1926 the three crosses were taken from the Butte and placed separately in the parish churches of St Andrew in Bishop Auckland, St Mary and St Cuthbert in Chester-Le-Street and in Durham in Durham Cathedral in the DLI Chapel.

See This is the second time all of the crosses have been collected together for display. The last time was in 2006 for the 90th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

Illustrated Chronicle on Flickr
An item in the Northumberland and Durham Family History Society Journal - 9000 or so photos published on Flickr by Newcastle City Library of local men and women who died or were injured in the First World War taken from newspaper reports in the Illustrated Chronicle. There are also occasional reports of those setting off to war and of their families. Illustrated Chronicle.
Successful Launch of WW1 Centenary Charity Beers
On Sunday 8th May 2016, the successful launch of a series of Charity ales, the proceeds of sales of which will go towards the 2018 celebration of peace took place in the Banqueting Hall in the Civic Centre in Newcastle.

The beers, created by Hadrian Border Brewery, are:

Newcastle Commercials, a brown ale;
Tyneside Scottish, an amber coloured ale;
Tyneside Irish, a dry dark and rich stout, and
Durham Light Infantry, a pale ale.

Cases of 12 x 500 ml bottles, and boxed gift sets.
Sets of 4 beer mats, one for each battalion, costing £2.

Stockists of the WW1 Centenary Ales are:-

Alnwick Castle
Artique Amble
Beamish Museum
Daniel Farm Wylam
Fenwick Dept store Newcastle

The project is backed by NEWMP and the Royal British Legion.

Contact: Ian Johnson:-

Listing of war memorials
Heritage England have started a project to have all the free-standing war memorials from the Great War listed. They stress that this will not be a hindrance to any plans for restoration.

The following memorials have been granted Grade II Listed status:

New Brancepeth - Sherburn Hill - Newcastle St. Cuthbert's - Greatham - Keenley & Broadside - Knarsdale - Stillington - Kirk Merrington - Horncliffe - Lambley & Hartleburn - Pelton Fell - Langley Park - Matfen - Lemington - Leadgate - Leasingthorne - Lanchester - Lucker - Ludworth - Humshaugh - High Spen - High Etherley - Heighington - Houghton-le-Spring - Helmington Row - Howden-le-Wear - Hawthorn - Haughton-le-Skerne - Hamsterley - Haswell - Hallgarth - Greenside - Cleadon - Gosforth - Escomb - Fir Tree - Ferryhill (East Howle) - Esh Laude - Fence Houses - Fatfield - Gainford - Hallington - Embleton - Greenhead - Felton - Cornhill - Corbridge - Chevington and Broomhill - Chatton - Eastgate - East Ord - East Boldon - Easington Colliery - Castleside - Cambo - Eaglescliffe - Denwick - Castle Eden - Aycliffe - Belmont - Birtley Cenotaph and shelters - Bishop Middleham - Bishopton - Blackhall - Blyth Submariners (in cemetery) - Blyth WWI - Brancepeth - Brandon - Brunswick Village - Burnopfield - Butterknowle - Byers Green - Byker - Dipton - Haltwhistle - Horsley - Newbrough - West Rainton - Westoe

The commemoration of the Centenary of the Great War and the resulting publicity about War Memorials has resulted in the small team of North East War Memorials Project members being inundated with new information about our 4,600 plus War Memorials and stories about the people named on them.

NEWMP is seeking assistance from family and local historians or other interested people who have the time, patience and stamina to work with us!

We need individuals who can follow the precise instructions and lay out necessary for preparing material for uploading onto the NEWMP web site.

Good basic English and Internet skills are needed for research into names and where people are remembered.

We also need people to keep us updated about memorials in their locality.


Please contact to discuss/arrange a meeting. Contact:

Air crashes in Northumberland
"Almost Forgotten (Volume 2) The Search for Aviation Accidents in Northumberland" has now been published.

It costs £12.99 per copy, inc. p&p, and is available from:
Chris R. Davies, Allerhope House Guest House, 2 Walby Hill, Rothbury, Northumberland, NE65 7NT.

Missing but Not Forgotten
This book is timely, with the centenary of the events which led to the building of the Thiepval memorial falling in 2016.

This is a well written book. At the beginning it is stated quite clearly that it is not a military history of the Battle of the Somme. It is about the 72,000 young men involved who never returned, and whose bodies were never found. It explores the reasons for the memorial’s erection, the building of the edifice itself, and explains the layout. It tells why, despite so many fatalities and woundings, the battle paved the way for eventual victory for the Allies.

The main content, however, is the 200 biographies of men from all the regiments which fought on the Somme in 1916, including photographs. There are four stories from each face of the memorial, and each has been chosen to bring out a different facet. These young men had promising careers ahead of them. The impact on the families is unimaginable. In the preamble to the biographies the question is asked: “What might have been had they lived?”

The book is also designed so that visitors to the memorial can find the names on each face and read the story.

Pam and Ken Linge have spent ten years working on the records of all the men named on the Thiepval memorial, prompted in the first instance by the discovery that Pam’s family had lost members during that battle. This book is a credit to their work, and helps to bring home the individual cost of war of each man and family involved.

Missing But Not Forgotten by Pam Linge and Ken Linge, is published by Pen and Sword and is priced at £25. ISBN 1473823587.

Shipping Lists
For most people, the emphasis of the Great War has been on the men who fought in the trenches. We hear little about the men who served on the high seas, with either the Royal Navy or the Merchant Navy.
For some time now we have been compiling a list of ships and the men from the North-East who served in them.
This is merely just that - a list - and when we have an "Every Name A Story" page for a man, this has been added to the list. There are a lot of names for which we do not yet have the "Every Name A Story" information.
The lists can be found under "North East Notes" accessed from the Home Page on the left hand side.
If anybody wishes to add anything, or do any work on this aspect of the war, please contact
Poems and their sources
We've been asked if we know the source of the following verse:

Shall we not offer up our best and highest ?
When duty calls can we forbear to give ?
This be thy record where in peace thou liest
“He gave his life that England's soul should live."

If you help, this would be very useful. The only instances of it on the Internet do not give the author.

On our Quotations page, there are a lot of gaps in the information on where these came from. Some of them will have been made up for the purpose, and will be one-offs, but others are obviously taken from somewhere. Help with these would also be useful. Please send any help to
Korean War names appeal
United Nations Memorial Cemetery
An appeal has gone out on behalf of the United Nations Memorial Cemetery at Busan, South Korea for photographs of serviceman interred there, and also of those who died but have no know grave.

The photographs will be attached to their records and will be displayed on to the walls of the Cemetery Hall of Remembrance for all time.
The following names are just some of the young men from the North East who gave their lives in Korea.
Fusilier Alexander Brotherston
Fusilier Isaac Corbett
Private John B. Straughan
Driver Nicholas Robson
Private Gordon Shiell
Fusilier Thomas H McNally
Private Leslie Jackson
Warrant Officer 2 James Morris
Private Robert Smith
Lieutenant Brian Swinbanks
Private Leonard R Turnbull
Gunner Ralph J Barwick
Sergeant Alfred Wilson
Private Ronald Leggett
Lieutenant John T Mc Gregor (RN).
Any family who lost a loved one in the Korean War 1950-53 and wish to take part can send the photograph to me.

James Grundy, 102 College Croft, Eccles, Manchester, M300AN or for further details phone 0161 789 7633 or email:

Talks in schools
We have been asked by one or two schools to give talks and/or arrange workshops to the children on the theme of the Great War.
Sadly, we have come to the conclusion that we cannot take these on. There are only a few of us, and there is a lot of work already to do.
However, we are more than happy to advise. If we cannot, we could pass your message on to somebody who can help.
We can also advertise what you are doing. This could result in people from anywhere in the world providing you with that little piece of information you are lacking.
We are also prepared to house the results of your project, or to arrange a mutual hyperlink if you have your own website.
Why only the dead?
It is becoming obvious that most projects regarding the centenary of the Great War are concentrating on the fallen, and sometimes on those who served. But the war affected everybody. Is there any reason why studies in other subjects could not be made?
For example, in Newcastle General Hospital there is a bedspread made by injured men. NUT013. We know the bare outlines of the story, but what other projects were set up for occupational therapy for wounded men?
We have files on several animals who went to war. There is Peter the Cat L27.03; Sammy the dog H51.32; not to mention the famous donkey which helped John Kirkpatrick move injured men from the battlefield S86.014. See the story of Blind Billy. What other animals showed helped in any way? Regimental mascots, for example, - or anything else from pigeons to elephants. Sometimes animals were welcomed as a diversion from the horrors of war. The Dickin Award wasn’t set up until the Second World War, but there must have been many animals to whom it would have been awarded had it been available in 1914-18.
What about the work groups who set about raising money for comforts for the troops? What hopes and tribulations did they encounter? There were people raising hundreds of pounds before ever war memorials were found to be needed. How did people cope on the land and in the factories? We know about these in general, but where are the individual stories?
There are hundreds of stories to be told. We will happily house them for you on our “Every Name A Story” page for every place.