NEWMP News
Update on new website for NEWMP May 2024
Our website has been full to overflowing for some time now. You may have noticed that some pictures are sideways, and some of the hyperlinks do not work.

We are in the process of having a new website created which will last for the next few years. We are going through everything with a fine toothcomb, making all kinds of adjustments. We hadn't appreciated the sheer quantity and variety of information we had amassed over the years, not to mention the new stories being received now. This overhaul is taking longer than anticipated.

You can still access the present site, but it is not being updated. All new information is being placed on the new website and will only be accessible once the new site is up and running.

Apologies for this are freely offered, but we think that you will find the new site even more interesting and informative!

Total of memorials at 20th May 2024
On 20th May 2024, the total number of memorials in Northumberland, Newcastle upon Tyne and Co. Durham recorded by NEWMP is 5,019, with new ones to add.

The total does not include CWGC or family grave headstones, which are in the "Every Name A Story" section for each place.

The total of "Every Name A Story" entries is 19,088

84th Anniversary Battles of Ficheux & Mercatel
84th Anniversary of the Battles of Ficheux and Mercatel 20th May 1940 – Northern France

On the 20th of May we mark the disastrous engagement near Arras in Northern France in 1940 when the three Battalions of the 70th Infantry Brigade – the 10th and 11th Durham Light Infantry and the 1st Tyneside Scottish – the Black Watch (formerly the 12th Durham Light Infantry) were ambushed by several German armoured columns.

The Panzers struck unexpectedly while the Battalions, minimally equipped and under-trained, with no Artillery or Signals support, were in the course of moving between defensive locations in accordance with orders from Higher Command.

Essentially these 2500 men were sacrificed, with the vast majority killed or wounded and captured – spending the next five years as Prisoners of War - or hastily buried by local French civilians, for later recovery and interment in Cemeteries such as Bucquoy Road, near Beaurains.

Only a few hundred escaped via Dunkirk, having delayed the German advance for some five hours, to reform the Brigade at Launceston with many new recruits.

They moved on, from defending the coast of South Devon in Summer and Autumn 1940, to garrison the rugged fastness of Iceland until Christmas 1941 and eventually returned to Western Europe to deal a critical blow to Panzer forces on the left flank of the Allied advance at Rauray in July 1944 – described in detail in the War Diaries set out on the Website at www.newmp.org.uk/70brigade under the List of Units. The price they paid was always high and will never be forgotten – the local War Memorials scattered throughout the North East pay testimony to that sacrifice.

Did you have a relative who served in the Unit? Search the database of names at http://70brigade.newmp.org.uk/wiki/Main_Page and let us know of any more information you have on him – contact 70brigade@newmp.org.uk

We would be very pleased to hear from you.

Do you want to help with our project?
Our Project started in 1988 and covers the whole of Northumberland, Newcastle upon Tyne and County Durham - Tweed to Tees.

The past few years has produced a lot of research into the two Great Wars and also into the names of those who fell and/or served.

We now feel that the time has come to pull all information together in a way that recognizes the work done by people over the past few years as well as our own over 31 years.

New memorials have been created, and older ones have been restored. Some have even been rediscovered! We need the public to keep us informed of these, and we appreciate photos and copies of unveiling service programs. Everything is acknowledged by the sender.

We also need funds, as our website is creaking at the seams and needs to be updated. Our group members all work voluntarily.

We are also seeking help from people as the workload piles even higher. We can explain what we need.

Please tell us about your own work and we will see how we can bring it all together into one tribute to all who suffered through the war in the northeast of England, whether they served, fell, or were left to pick up the pieces.

Women on War Memorials
Finding Women on War Memorials @ www.newmp.org.uk

Go to Home Page

Surname box

Suggested Search Terms

Nurse; Miss; Sister;

V.A.D;. Red Cross/R.R.C./RRC;

Q.M.A.A.C.; N.A.C.B.;

Munitions; Munitionettes;

Worker; Land Army

Thomas Young VC

Photo : Peter Hoy

The Thomas Young VC Memorial stone dedication service took place on the 27th March 2018 at Boldon. See Thomas Young Every Name A Story entry.
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.

Burnmoor

Medomsley

Newcastle

Whitley Bay

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!

DLI Collection
DLI Collection, Sevenhills, Spennymoor

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

DLI Digital Collection

Missing but Not Forgotten
This is a well-written book. In 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, and the building of the edifice itself, and explains the layout. It tells why, despite so many fatalities and wounds, 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 that 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 of best crossbow, the question is asked: “What might have been having 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 for 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, the link 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 : janet@newmp.org.uk
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 enquiries@newmp.org.uk