THE Shields Daily News reported that the Foundation Stone of the Whitley and Monkseaton War Memorial was ‘well and truly laid’ on Saturday, October 1, 1921, by the chairman of the war memorial committee, Mr J Noble and the chairman of the Urban District Council, J Walton Hill.
The ceremony was well attended and the crowd were packed into the ringed enclosure which surrounded the site, while scouts and guides paraded around the area.
The original intention was to raise £10,000 for the widows and children of ex-servicemen in distress and the residue to be used to erect a suitable memorial, but in the event, some £7,000 had been raised and an appeal was made for a further £700 to prevent a shortfall.
On July 15, 1922, the completed granite memorial, with bronze decorations and plaques which bore the names of the dead of the Great War, was unveiled by the Duke of Northumberland, who earlier that day had also symbolically opened, with a key, 16 Dowling Avenue, one of the first council houses built on the Hillheads Estate.
As a mark of respect, while the unveiling of the cenotaph proceeded, the Whitley Bay Pleasure Gardens closed down as did the Spanish City and the amusements during the period of the ceremony.
Included in the ceremony was a firing party and band from the Northumberland Hussars and a full parade of the 2nd Cadet Battalion of the Whitley Bay and North Shields Fusiliers.
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