The importance of retaining mementoes

The Tynemouth project is regularly approached by relatives bringing items held in their families for generations.

The importance of some of this material is sometimes not realised, but the project is able to explain its significance and the story it relates.

In the future much of this valuable legacy will be lost if current family members do not bring it to attention now so that it can be copied and, if agreed, passed to museums and other institutions where it can be a valuable resource.

Two weeks ago the project told the story of a letter written by Lady Hood, widow of the commander of HMS Invincible and sent to each family of the more than 1,000 killed when the ship blew up at the Battle of Jutland.

Now, a North Shields couple has brought a picture of a Roll of Honour which stood in premises at the Port Sunlight works of the Lever Brothers together with a letter of commendation to an employee noting that his name had been added to the roll of those who had gone forth to serve their country and wishing him success and a safe return.

The couple are not aware of the connection of the material to their relative who had it in her possession.

The man named on the picture of the roll, mounted on an impressive wooden stand and topped by the flags of the allied nations, is not known to them or the Tynemouth project.

It would be likely that he enlisted into the Cheshire Regiment, possibly a ‘Pals battalion’ associated with the famous Port Sunlight factories.

The project is seeking further information but already, placing details of this find onto the @tynemouthWW1 Twitter site, has produced an immediate response from interested persons in the Wirral area of Merseyside.

The project will now enquire about other examples of the Roll of Honour depicted and offer it to the Port Sunlight Museum.

A fascinating aspect of this find is the signature on the note which accompanied the picture – ‘William Hesketh Lever’ – one of the founding brothers of the famous family firm.

The project is now encouraging readers with items of possible interest to get in touch.

Tickets are available for the next talk at the Low Lights Tavern, Brewhouse Bank, Fish Quay – entitled ‘Cruelty and Compassion a review of the literature of the Great War, and to be given by Ian McArdle at 7.30pm on Tuesday, July30.

Tickets can be obtained from the Low Lights Tavern, Keel Row Book Shop and the project workroom.

Anyone with information on this week’s casualties or anyone killed or died as a result of the war is asked to contact the project.

The project workroom at Room B9 Linskill Community Centre, Trevor Terrace, North Shields is open from 10am to 4pm each weekday for visitors and for anyone interested to learn more about the project or how to get involved.

This week’s casualty list gives details of men from the former Tynemouth Borough who were killed or died in July 1916.

Myock, Michael Edward, age 25, Gunner, 119 Battery RFA, KIA, 27th, 51 Prudhoe Street, formerly at Armstrong’s Munition Works, son of Ann and late John.

Nichols, William John Winter, age 36, Lance Corporal, 17th Battalion NF (NER) Pioneers, DOW, 16th, son of Susannah and late CJ, 71 Washington Terrace, enlisted Hull, railway worker.

Redpath, Harold Edwin, age 28, 2nd Lieutenant, 1st Battalion NF, KIA, 15th, Newcastle Arms, Fish Quay, enlisted 1903, RE, served as regular until February 1914, reserve until

June 12, 1916, granted permanent commission, 1st Battalion NF June 13, 1916, listed London Gazette, July 15, 1916, the day of his death in action.

Key:

KIA – killed in action; DOW – died of wounds; LAS – lost at sea; NF – Northumberland Fusiliers; DLI – Durham Light Infantry; RND – Royal Naval Division; RNR – Royal Naval Reserve; RFA – Royal Field Artillery

Anyone with information on this week’s list or who wants to find out more about the project, should visit www.tynemouth
worldwarone.org, e-mail contact@tynemouth
worldwarone.org or write to Tynemouth World War 1 Commemoration Project, c/o Essell, 29 Howard Street, North Shields, NE30 1AR.