Janet to give talk at pub about war memorials

Our next speaker for our very popular talks at the Low Lights Tavern in North Shields is Janet Brown, chairman of the North East War Memorials Project.

She will give a talk at the Brewhouse Bank pub next Tuesday at 7.30pm on war memorials throughout the region.

The efforts of the Tynemouth World War One Project from 2011 to the present and the continuing research of the Northumbria World War One Project now ongoing have benefited from the enormous amount of work carried out by the North East War Memorials Project.

It has been recording and displaying online the details of more than 4,000 war memorials of every description in the region from Berwick in Northumberland to Richmond down in North Yorkshire.

Its records for hundreds of individual communities, large and small, tell of the origins of the memorials in each district and the names of the men and women commemorated.

War memorials can take many forms, from statues and columns to extensions to community hospitals and charitable institutions, homes for district nurses, as in Burradon, and plaques on church walls or in working men’s clubs, as at West Allotment.

Some clubs were formed as a result of the war, such as the Comrades of the Great War Club in Eastbourne Gardens, Whitley Bay, and Wallsend Companions Club.

Janet, following on from her role with the Association of Northumberland Local History Societies, has been researching war memorials since she began of cataloguing those in Northumberland county memorials in 1988.

The pioneering Northumberland group has expanded by co-operation and merger with a similar body in County Durham, and it has built up links to national organisations engaged in preserving and recording the history of our war memorials and the stories behind the names recorded.

Janet’s talk will tell how the scope of her group’s work is being expanded to encompass gathering the stories of victims of all the wars of the 20th century up to the present.

Once again, on Remembrance Sunday, the project was permitted to read aloud the names of victims of the war for the centenary year of 1915 – some 260 in total – from the steps of the North Shields war memorial in Hawkey’s Lane.

At the same time, at St George’s Church, Cullercoats, other project volunteers were present as the addition of doors to the crucifix war memorial for those killed between 1914 and 1918 were dedicated. The doors now record 119 victims of the Great War, 36 more than are listed on the bronze memorial plaque outside the church on the seafront.

Working with a history detectives group at Marden High School, the project’s IT leader, Steve Young, and genealogist Marie Caffrey uncovered the additional names now added to the Tynemouth victims’ database.

A memorial roll of honour has also been prepared and published. Copies with information on all of the 119 casualties can be obtained from the church.

The Northumbria project’s information centre in Front Street, Tynemouth, is open on Sundays until the end of the year.

Anyone with information about any North Tynesiders killed in the First World War, or who died later as a result of it, is asked to contact the project.

The project workroom at Linskill Community Centre, in Trevor Terrace, North Shields, is open from 10am to 4pm each weekday for visitors and for anyone wanting to learn more about the project or how to get involved.

The memorial garden at the Linskill Centre is open for public visits from 9am to 5pm every day.

Royal British Legion Poppy crosses can be obtained at the Project Workroom to place in the garden in memory of casualties of the Great War.