Tributes to brothers-in-law

The programme to install Blue Plaques marking the former homes of men from the Borough of Tynemouth who died during service in the Great War is nearing completion.
The programme to install Blue Plaques marking the former homes of men from the Borough of Tynemouth who died during service in the Great War is nearing completion.

The programme to install Blue Plaques marking the homes of men from the Borough of Tynemouth who died during service in the Great War is nearing completion.

The last of the homes where they can be installed have been identified and consents to place them obtained.

On Sunday, November 26, two plaques were placed at the site of 7 and 9 Tynemouth Road, now numbered 190, opposite the Magistrates’ Courts. Family descendants of Sgt Charles Henry Atkins and Private James Raeburn Limbrick were present.

The tragedy of loss at No.7 was compounded for Jane Elizabeth Atkins (nee Limbrick) whose brother James had been killed in the fighting at Mametz Wood on the Somme in July 1916. In October 1917 she learnt that her husband, Charles Henry Atkins, a veteran of the Boer War, had died of wounds received in the fighting at Passchendaele.

The story of Sgt Atkins can be read in detail at www.northumbriaworldwarone.co.uk

Descendants allowed the project to copy and publish the affecting letters he wrote home whilst training for the war at York.

Already 33 when war broke out, Sgt Atkins was recalled to the colours whilst on the National Reserve of former soldiers. His services were terminated in December 1914 when his eyesight was deemed inadequate. At that stage the army still felt able to enforce high standards of fitness, which would soon be relaxed considerably in the interest of increasing recruitment.

Notwithstanding this setback, he was able to re-enlist and found himself at York in training just before Christmas 1915, when he wrote letters to his daughter at home.

He died at No 44 Casualty Clearing Station on October 19, 1917, of injuries received in the Third battle of Ypres, which raged from July to November 1917.

The plaques placed for these brothers-in-law brings the total to nearly 300.

In response to suggestions from some of our volunteers and others, we are beginning to develop Blue Plaque Walking Trails, which will create interesting routes around the streets that have plaques.

Details of the trails will be on our website and made available through an app for mobile devices, which will allow users to read stories of the men as they stand outside their former homes. More information will be published in due course.

The project will have a stall at North Shields Victorian Christmas Market on December 9 and 10 when our beer Tyneside Tommy, brewed by Three Kings Brewery, and other products and publications will be on sale.

New volunteers are welcome to join the project, the commitment is entirely at your discretion. To find out more contact tommy@northumbriaworldwarone.co.uk