13 NOVEMBER 2020
2 NEW SECTIONS have been created to pay respect to our fallen of WW2, those who returned and those on the Home Front. Please go to the main menu and click on WW2 Roll of Honour or WW2: Some Stories. You could scroll down on this page until you get to NEW PAGES, click on it and a checklist of new contributions will come up. Sadly, I can not find details of 20 local men who died in the Second World War on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website therefore I have no information on some men. If you can provide details then I’d be pleased to hear from you.
There are 87 men featured in the Roll of Honour and 50 stories relating to the Second World War as it affected the Gaunless Valley.
Back to the First World War, there are some additions to:
Other Servicemen Researched and
Lest We Forget
ANOTHER ANNOUNCEMENT 23 MARCH 2020
Evenwood & Ramshaw History Society was planning a display to commemorate the 75th ANNIVERSARY OF V.E. DAY. Because of the coronavirus problem, this isn’t going to happen now. We think that it is important to do what we can to remember the events of 75 years ago. On this website, we will add a number of pages relating to WW2.
1] WW2: THE ROLL OF HONOUR
2] WW2: SOME STORIES. This will concentrate on the Returned Servicemen and the Home Front.
Simply go to the WW2 Roll of Honour page and scroll down to your village war memorial and click on your serviceman. It will take some time for us to upload information so details of the person of your interest may not be available just yet.
Any contributions are most welcome, my email address is below and we can be contacted through the “I Come From Evenwood and Ramshaw” Facebook page.
The website was initially designed for WW1. Other sections still relate to WW1.
The website now gets loads of spam which is emptied regularly. Apologies if you’ve tried to contact me – I don’t know what’s genuine so it all gets deleted. If you have any comments please contact me at the address below.
Now onto the WW1 part of the website
St. Helen’s Auckland, West Auckland, Etherley/Toft Hill, Evenwood, Cockfield, Butterknowle, Copley and Woodland are villages located to the west of Bishop Auckland, County Durham in the north east of England. The river Gaunless flows through the locality and into the river Wear to the north of Bishop Auckland. The area is sometimes referred to as “the Gaunless Valley.” When coal was king, it was part of the Great Northern Coalfield, the Auckland Coalfield and prior to the Great War, 1914-1918, the vast majority of men worked in the pits and coking plants. These villages were pit villages, the men were pitmen and their wives dutifully served their husbands and children. All was to change.
There are 266 names on these village war memorials, some of whom are commemorated on more than one memorial, Behind every inscription there is a man who was a son or brother, husband or father and the purpose of this website is to tell their story. It is hoped that many will be able to connect with these men which will go some way to ensure that they will never be forgotten.
The general idea is to provide details of the servicemen commemorated on each of the war memorials located in St. Helen’s, West Auckland, Etherley, Evenwood, Cockfield, Butterknowle, Copley and Woodland. Details about the war memorials will be given and a list of those commemorated so click on the village memorial then find the person with whom you have an interest, click on the name and (hopefully) a specific page will pop up. I intend to post as much information as I have but initially I’ll provide the basic details. It would be great if others could contact me and contribute, particularly with the 4 men who we have not yet identified. They are:
- Butterknowle: Leonard Appleby – we have the person identified but not his service details
- West Auckland: John Bolton, Edward Lockey and Robert Henry Thomas.
and 1 man is not yet 100% confirmed:
- St. Helens: J. McQuire [McGuire]
Thanks to research undertaken by Karen Roberton in the USA and Bob Dixon I am pleased to confirm that a Cockfield soldier has now been correctly identified. He is:
Private Ralph Kirkup, 4th Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, American Expeditionary Force died 13 October 1918 and is buried at Meuse-Argonne American Military Cemetery, Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, Department de la Meuse, Lorraine, France.
There will be a photo gallery showing memorials, portraits of servicemen, headstones, commemorations, rolls of honour, village scenes etc. Details of other memorials in each village will also be provided. In the specific case of the Parish of Evenwood and Barony, my book, “Evenwood Remembers” (2010) contains details of 13 soldiers born in the Parish and commemorated on village war memorials outside of the Gaunless Valley. In time, this information will be added.
For any regular visitors to this website, if you click on;
I will provide an update of recent material, as from 27 April 2016. Any questions/comments or corrections will be responded to. There may be some inaccuracies for which I apologize, only further research can eliminate errors and I will gladly amend where required. I invite contributions to this work. I can be contacted at:
I acknowledge the research help of Paul Simpson and Bob Dixon, the website assistance of Nat. Clark and patience of my wife Kathryn.
References and sources of information have been provided where ever possible. Should anyone wish to use any information provided by the website then there is no objection but an acknowledgement of the source would be appreciated.
Lest We Forget