Family gathering as blue plaque is placed on home

The programme of placing blue plaques to commemorate men who lived in still surviving houses in the borough continued on Saturday, November 22, when 11 members of the family of 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Stephens Charlesworth were present in Hotspur Street, Tynemouth.

A plaque was placed at his last home before he enlisted into the 13th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers and then taking a commission in the 25th Battalion of the regiment.

Representatives of the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade, which he had joined in 1912, formed up in front of the house alongside members of the Monkseaton detachment of the Northumbria Army Cadet Force.

The Chairman of North Tyneside Council, Coun Tommy Mulvenna, and local MP for Tynemouth Alan Campbell attended the brief ceremony as Dr Dan Jackson, from the project, gave a short address telling of Thomas Charlesworth’s life and military action which led to his death from wounds received in the advance of the Tyneside Irish Brigade at La Boisselle – Contalmaison on July 1, 1916.

A piper played a lament on Irish pipes as the family met with the current residents at the house.

A visit to the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade Watch House gave his nephew and younger descendants an insight to his involvement in the community 100 years ago.

Having travelled from as far away as Warwickshire and Dorset, the family expressed their appreciation for an emotional coming together for them and thanks that the sacrifice of an earlier generation is being commemorated in a tangible and visible manner.

A generous donation from the family has been received and will aid the progress of the project’s programme of placing plaques.

Donations are always welcome for the special fund the project has established to fulfil the aim of placing up to 600 plaques and a memorial to all the war casualties in the Memorial Garden at the Linskill Community Centre.

Donations can be made online through the website or at the workroom.

The series of war themed talks will continue on Thursday, December 4 at North Shields Customer First Centre when Ian McArdle MA will deliver a talk entitled ‘Cruelty and Compassion – French WW1 literature’.

The series runs until Thursday, December 11.

The talks, from 6.30pm to 7.30pm, are free but prior booking is essential either by calling (0191) 643 5270, e-mailing or in person at North Shields Library.

The project’s Information Centre in Front Street, Tynemouth, is open on Sundays only from noon to 4pm until spring 2015.

Anyone with information about 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.

The address for correspondence is c/o Essell, 29 Howard Street, North Shields NE30 1AR.

To access the project database and website visit