Darkest month reveals communty loss

THE details of casualties in the list provided by the Tynemouth World War One Commemoration Project this week is drawn solely from men of the borough who were killed or died in the month of July, 1916.

Although the slaughter of the first of July, 1916, would never be repeated on a single day, the toll of casualties in the continuing battles on the Somme, and campaigns elsewhere, as well as deaths following injury on that fateful day continued to mount throughout the month.

The total number of deaths recorded for July 1916 in the Roll of Honour produced by The Shields Daily News in 1923, far exceeds the total casualties for any other single month of the war.

Public interest in the borough project continues to grow, producing new materials and insights into the individual loss of families as well as the community as a whole.

In the past month, two important items have been handed in or brought to the project’s attention.

Firstly, a local resident has donated a list of employees of Smith’s Dock Company Limited who were serving at the end of October, 1915, including details of 12 men who had been killed by that date.

This is an important item, previously unknown, and not listed in the regional inventory of war memorials and associated documents.

It provides an insight into the numbers of men who had volunteered for service before conscription was introduced in January, 1916.

The project will be using the document for a number of research activities into the general effects of the FIrst World War.

Secondly, information has come to hand about a war memorial plaque which was moved from a local church in the 1950s to the new Methodist Church built in Chirton Grange estate and subsequently closed in the 1970s.

The plaque is in the possession of a local resident who is keen to have it placed somewhere appropriate, and the project will be taking steps to assist him in finding a suitable location for the memorial which was created in the aftermath of the war.

We will be bringing further news of these items as the project proceeds.

THIS week’s casualty list is of men from the borough who were killed in the month of July 1916.

Angus, John Collingwood, age 24, Private 28th Battalion, Australian Imperial Forces, DOW, 6th, son of Thomas and Jane Edna, of 65 Howdon Road.

Balmbra, Thomas, Lance Corporal, 9th Battalion NF, KIA, 7th, 12 Church Way.

Beales, Thomas C, 1st Battalion NF, KIA, 23rd, 61 Coburg Street.

Bennett, Edwin, Private 10th NF, KIA, 7th, 50 Ropery Banks.

Bolam, John, age 24, Private, 11th NF, KIA, 12th, 9 Waldo Street.

Brink, Robert, NF, KIA, 12th, 7 Walker Place.

Chambers, Robert, age 21, AB, Anson Battalion, RND (RNVR), KIA, 30th 52, Blyth Street, son of Matthew.

Charlesworth, T S, 2nd Lieutenant, 25th NF, KIA 10th, of Tynemouth.

Clark, William, age 29, Private, 21st Battalion NF, DOW, 7th, 29 Beacon Street, son of James Henry and the late Sarah.

Clark, William, age 49, Engineman HMPRS ‘Eridge’, RNR, died in hospital, 12th, brother of Frances Caroline, 92 Elsdon Street.

Garrity, Andrew, Private, 9th Battalion NF, DOW, 8th, 8 Robson’s Row, enlisted 18th Battalion.

Grey, James William, Royal Engineers, died on active service, 11th, Dial House, Tynemouth.

Harbron, William ‘Scotty’, Private, 21st Battalion NF, KIA, 1st, Elsdon Street. A well known footballer, he was scouted by Everton FC but his mother refused to allow him to sign. A testimonial match held in the 1960s and was well attended by those who knew and respected him.

Holden, George F, Lance Corporal, 1st Battalion Seaforth Highlanders, 15th, Basra War Cemetery, Mesopotamia (Iraq).

Mainger, John, 11th Battalion NF, 7th, employee of Smiths Dock Co Ltd, details needed.

Myock, Michael Edward, Gunner 119th Battery, 7th Brigade RFA, KIA, 27th, 51 Prudhoe Street.

Pearson, Robert, Private, 9th NF, KIA, 5th, details needed.

Sherrington, William Marshall, age 21, Private C Company 16th NF, DOW, 14th, son of Mr and Mrs W M Sherrington.

Thompson, Albert Edward, age 24, Stoker 1st Classs, HM S/M ‘E’ 26 RN, lost in submarine, 6th, 2 Oliver’s Court, Tynemouth, son of the late Angus, husband of May Taylor (formerly Thompson) of Well Square, Percy Street.


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

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