Memorial Details

NEWMP Memorial Image
Photo: Dorothy Hall


Obelisk Joyce 1918, 1940 Loud Terrace





Map ref

NZ 159515

Original Location

Opposite Loud Terrace

Which war


Dedication, Creation or Publication date

Unveiled 14th May 1919 by Mrs. Mackay, wife of the headmaster of Greencroft School, dedicated by Rev. Fisher Ferguson, Vicar of Collierley.
Rededicated 12th July 1959

Memorial Description

Obelisk of roughened stone set upon a two tiered base and surrounded by rough-hewn stone wall. The wall bears three stone panels situated behind the memorial.
The memorial itself has a badge of an eagle with a crown above on the front face and below that a shield raised in carving with details of the crash. The dedication is on the front face of the plinth. Further lettering is on the front face of the lower plinth. All lettering is in sans serif capitals.
The monument is flanked on both sides by flower beds.

Materials used



was here
Sergt Pilot
met his death
on the night of
March 13th
Upper base :
This monument is erected by the
inhabitants of Annfield Plain and
District in grateful recognition
of this gallant airman’s
great sacrifice
in his own words, “our lives are not
our own, they belong to our country”.
Lower Base:
Dedicated 14th May 1919
renovated & rededicated 12th July 1959
Let us also remember his son
Sergt Obs. Dennis Arthur Joyce
missing believed killed on the night of
12th – 13th September 1940 over Germany
aged 22 years.


See above

Who commissioned

Inhabitants of Annfield Plain



How money was raised

Public donation mostly raised by local children.

Present condition

The memorial is in reasonably good condition, although it is covered in a little moss due to dampness and is starting to show signs of weathering.

Sculptor, Artist or Designer

Messrs. W. Ayton and Sons, Blackhill.
Fencing provided by Lord Roberts’ Memorial Homes, Newcastle.


1. It would appear from a set of three holes to either side of the obelisk at its pinnacle that there has been something fixed to the memorial at some point in the past.

2. There was an iron railing round the memorial, which was removed during 1939-45.

3. A black and white photograph shows Sgt.Pilot Joyce standing in the cockpit of an FE26, made by Royal Aircraft Factory), which he had just crashed, seemingly unscathed. The FE2B carried a 120 hp Beardmore engine, which powered the propeller which was situated to the rear of the plane. The gunner sat at the front with the pilot in the cockpit behind him.

4. The Memorial was renovated and an ornamental surround added - the rededication taking place on 12 February 1959 and carried out by Air Marshal Sir Geoffrey Bromel KBE CB DSO. West Stanley RAFA did the work on the surround in memory of all ranks of the RAF.

5. “On the night of 13th March 1918 the military authorities received information that an air raid was imminent on the north coast, and it was necessary for air patrols to be sent out to save the people from danger as far as possible. Their departed friend was one of a number of patrols that went out. In the course of his duties something occurred which caused his machine to crash to the ground just at the spot on which they were standing, and resulted in the death of that brave man.”

6. A crowd of between 2-3,000 gathered for the unveiling ceremony. Among them were Sergt. Waterman and Sergt. Harvey, from Hylton aerodrome, the only two airmen left on the Wearside Station who were comrades of Sgt.Pilot Joyce.

7. A letter to the Committee secretary published in the Press was from Sgt.Pilot Joyce’s widow, writing from Clapham Common, London, and reads:
"Dear Sir, Please accept my deepest regret at being unable to be present at the unveiling of the memorial on Wednesday. I intended being present, and daresay there will be some disappointment among you good people of Annfield. There seems to be no-ne who can manage to get the time free to go with me, and I feel that the ceremony will be too much for me alone, I found it so hard to bear. If you will kindly permit me I would like to come up to see the memorial soon when I can go quietly to it. I hardly know how to express my gratitude to you all for the honour you have shown to my dear husband’s memory; it is very comforting to know that the great sacrifice he made was so appreciated by the people. My thoughts will be with you all on Wednesday and I shall hope to see you soon. I enclose photos of my two little ones. I am, yours sincerely, F.A. Joyce.”

8. The son, Sgt. D.A. Joyce was serving with 44 Sqdn. He was a crew member of Hampden I X2913 KM- which took off from Waddington a mission to Bremerhaven. The aircraft crashed into the sea after being hit by flak. Three of the four crew members were buried in Soltau. The body of Sgt.Joyce was never found. He is commemorated at Runnymede.

Newspaper cuttings, photos or archival material

Photos: R. Carson; Simon Raine; Dorothy Hall; Photo of Sgt.Pilot Joyce in FE2B plane: Anon donor; Old postcard: George Nairn; Poem: George Nairn

Northern Echo 15/05/1919 reports unveiling

Consett Guardian 23/05/1919 reports unveiling.

Blaydon Courier 23/03/1918 tells the story of the crash; 30/03/1918; 24/05/1919 reports unveiling

Durham Advertiser 01/11/1957 tells the story.

Annfield Plain and District by Jack Hair (People’s History) 2002

The story of Annfield Plain and District F.J. Wade contains a lot of information about the crash and the raising of the memorial.

Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War, 1939-1940; W.R. Chorley; 1992; Midland Counties Publications; ISBN 0 904597 85 7

Britain’s Aviation Memorials and Mementoes (1992) David J.Smith, Patrick Stephens Ltd.; ISBN 1 85260 395 X

Northumbria at War Derek Dodds, Pen & Sword Military, ISBN 1 84415 149 2 has on pages 153 to 156 an account of the circumstances of Sgt Joyce's death, including a photo of the type of plane he was flying at the time of his death, together with a photo of Loud Terrace and a photo of Sgt Joyce's memorial.

External web link

Links to Source Material :

Additional Research documents (click to download)

Research acknowledgements

Ron Carson; Errol Broomfield; Fitzhugh Collection, Middleton in Teesdale; Dorothy Hall; Jennifer Britton; Tony Harding; John & Mavis Dixon; George Nairn

Research In Progress

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Obelisk Joyce 1918, 1940 Loud Terrace (A38.06)

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