12 January 2021

William Ernest Barnes, Royal Engineers served in Africa during WW1. Relatively little has been written about this campaign and the 1951 film, “The African Queen” is probably the most publicity it ever received. Starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn, the film was adapted from the 1935 novel by C.S. Forrester and is set against the backdrop of the beginning of the First World War in East Africa. It is highly likely that Sapper W.E. Barnes contracted malaria in German East Africa and this illness probably contributed to his death in 1953 at the age of 55. Thanks to Caroline Milne, William’s granddaughter for providing information.

8 December 2020

George McCutcheon, 1st [Regular] Battalion, The Green Howards from West Auckland and cousin of Evenwood’s Tom McCutcheon was captured in Norway and was another to be held at Stalag XXB.  Thanks to Anthony McCutcheon for providing information.  His details can be found under WW2 Stories.

30 November 2020

John Mooney from St. Helen’s Auckland is not commemorated to the best of my knowledge on any memorial in St. Helen’s or West Auckland.  I understand that St. Helen’s church did have a roll of honour but I have not seen it.  He may be recorded there.  I was informed by Coleen Doughty that the Bolckow Vaughan & Co.Ltd. memorial housed at Kirkleatham Museum, Redcar listed men from its West Auckland Colliery.  Recorded was John Mooney.  I have since researched him and he can be found on the West Auckland page.

13 November 2020

New Sections at:

  • WW2: Roll of Honour: 87 men of the Gaunless Valley have been researched and details posted.  Sadly, I have not traced information for 20 men.
  • WW2: Some Stories: There are 50 stories relating the the Home Front, POWs and returned servicemen

Sergeant SANDERSON John Evenwood War Memorial – new information has been received relating to the circumstances surrounding his death.  The post has been amended in response to this.

WW1:  Details have been added:

  • COATES James:  Howden-le-Wear War Memorial under Other Servicemen Researched
  • SMILES Thomas:  a railwayman, originally from Barnard Castle then Evenwood Mill under Returned Servicemen
  • STEEL Fred from Evenwood: additional information under Returned Servicemen

11 September 2020

FRANKTON John Bernard Staindrop War Memorial under Other Servicemen Researched


There are plans afoot to organise a War Memorial for the Village Hall at Lands.  The Chairman, Glen Reffin, asked me and Bob Dixon for assistance in compiling a list of names of servicemen who had connections with the village of Lands and the surrounding area which the village hall [formerly the Institute] served.



Due to the covid 19 restrictions, any commemorations associated with the 75th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War have been cancelled.  Our own plans for VE Day and VJ Day have been scuppered.  Over recent weeks, I have added 2 sections to deal with the Second World War: a Roll of Honour which provides profiles for many of the men and women who lost their lives in WW2 and a series of WW2 related stories.

19 February 2020

COCKFIELD R.A.M.C. PHOTO: A photo was published in the Northern Echo 24 June 1915 which showed 6 Cockfield soldiers serving with the R.A.M.C.  This page provides details.  It can be found under Miscellaneous Details.

11 February 2020

SALLY’S LAMENT: Rosie Anderson wrote and performed this song, a tribute to Sally Smith at several of our “In the Pink” film screenings – delighted to say that 8 February 2020, Rosie was awarded FOLKLUB NEWCASTLE SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR 2020.  Have a listen:


After having this photo since 1986, we think that we’ve finally identified all the lads.  Have a look at Miscellaneous Details.

23 January 2020

Frank Mattimoe [Middlesbrough]  Formerly of Gordon Gill, Ramshaw.  My thanks to Philip Lees who published , “Little Ireland” 2004 and undertook extensive research into Frank Mattimoe and his family particularly the Ramshaw connections.

6 December 2019

Since we have sold all the DVDs & complimentary booklets, the text of the book has been published here together with amendments, notably the correct details for Private Ralph Kirup from Cockfield.

6 September 2019

Frederick Maxwell BRITTON 1893 – 1977 born Evenwood and lived for many years at Cockfield, awarded MM and Bar – featured in the Returned Soldiers section.

22 August 2019

Harry MONK [West Auckland] photograph of his headstone and a report of our visit to the cemetery added

12 July 2019

Some of the men commemorated on St. Helens Colliery Memorial Cottages are also commemorated on the memorial which was located in St. Luke’s church, Tindale Crescent.  This memorial is now in St. Andrew’s church, South Church, Bishop Auckland.   St. Luke’s church was demolished many years ago.  Details will have been added to the St. Helens page.

4 July 2019

John Walton GILL [Woodland] photograph added, kindly provided by Hazel Carter [his niece].

18 MARCH 2019

EVENWOOD NATIONAL SCHOOL A.F.C. 1910-1911: Those on the photograph have been researched and fortunately none were lost during the War.  Search under Evenwood at War.

7 MARCH 2019

WEST AUCKLAND MEMORIAL HALL: photographs of documents added – Bills of Quantities, Specification and Articles of Agreement dated 11 March 1924.  Courtesy of  WAMH Committee.

28 FEBRUARY 2019

Edward LASKEY [West Auckland] Additional details added.  Thanks to Neville Laskey.

14 FEBRUARY 2019

West Auckland Memorial Hall – the minutes of the West Auckland Heroes Fund Committee have been examined, selected notes made and added to the previous submission.  Thanks to the WA Memorial Hall committee.


George Arthur HOWSON [Fieldon Bridge, Tindale Crescent] the cousin of J.S. Howson buried in West Auckland cemetery, we have not found a local memorial for this soldier.  Thanks to Colin Howson.

Sydney MONK [West Auckland] a profile for Second Lieutenant S. Monk, 10/DLI formerly 4/Royal Fusiliers and later Managing Director of  West Auckland Brewery Co.  is found in the Personalities section.  Details courtesy of Peter Monk.

20 JANUARY 2019

Luther Dixon KIRBY [Cockfield] Details from the 21/Manchesters War Diary have been added.

Ralph KIRKUP [Cockfield] The correct details have been added.  Research undertaken by Karen Roberton and verified by Bob Dixon confirm that Ralph DIXON served in the American Expeditionary Force and died 13 October 1918.

Harry MONK [West Auckland] A photograph and obituary provided by Peter Monk have been added.

15 NOVEMBER 2018

During the screening of our film “In the Pink” we have received a number of photographs and information.  We are grateful to the following people for sharing their family possessions – Lynda Clark [W.A. Moses], Judith Parker [Percy Little], Leanne Jamieson [Bill Weatherald], Pat Clarey [George Spavin], Savanna Marie Singleson-Fletcher [Ralph Hodgson], Colin Howson [Joseph Howson], Lily Vardy [Jim Wilkinson], Audrie Bestford [John Bestford], Suzanne Tate [W. Polkingthorn], Neville Davison [George W. Davison], John Clark [J.J. Jackson], Katy Hebdon [John Sewell], John Wray [W.R. Storey] and Mark Dowson [J. Jackson KOSB]. Details of the above soldiers have been updated.

24 APRIL 2018

Photographs for GEORGE MEADS & ROBERT BAYLES [West Auckland] JOHN HODGSON [St. Helens] and ALFRED BROWN [Others Researched]

11 APRIL 2018

Private PERCY SANDERSON [West Auckland] details of 1/9 Highland Light Infantry War Dairy added

8 APRIL 2018

Private JOSHUA PARKER [Witton Park] new details.  Thanks to Alan Sewell.

2 APRIL 2018

Second Lieutenant J.G. STOBART [Fir Tree] details provided

26 MARCH 2018

New service details for GEORGE NIXON DENT [Butterknowle & Copley] and THOMAS HUBERT GIBSON [West Auckland]

19 MARCH 2018

New service details for GEORGE WILLIAM DAVISON [St. Helens & West Auckland]

18 MARCH 2018

New service details for JOSEPH GUY [Cockfield]

12 MARCH 2018

Amended details for RICHARD WILLIAM BAKER [St. Helens], EDWARD MASON [St. Helens & West Auckland] JOHN BARCLAY [West Auckland] and GEORGE HARVEY [Cockfield] have been posted.

27 FEBRUARY 2018

New details for Lieutenant J. EDEN [Other servicemen researched], Private S. TEASDALE, [Cockfield], Serjeant J. BARCLAY [West Auckland] and Private G. HARVEY [Cockfield] added.


WEST AUCKLAND BREWERY [Miscellaneous Details] 5 men with connections to the brewery were killed during or shortly after the war.  Some details are given.

18 JANUARY 2018

Corporal W.R. STOREY [Evenwood] photograph added, source Illustrated Chronicle 25 November 1916.


The Zeppelin Raid on Evenwood & Ramshaw, 5/6th April 1916: amended details provided by Colin Turner added.

29 NOVEMBER 2017

80111 Private THOMAS SMITH, 31st Battalion, Canadian Infantry has been identified.  He is commemorated on the West Auckland War Memorial.  There are 2 men on the memorial named Thomas Smith.

19 NOVEMBER 2017


Comprehensive research has not been undertaken.  Any new details would be gratefully received.


17th Durham VA Hospital

Patient R. MOTHERSHAW – Details from his death certificate added


Lieut. J. EDEN: Further details

Midshipman W.N. EDEN: new details

20 OCTOBER 2017


A new article which includes new research taken from the Red Cross website and photographs courtesy of the Stobart family descendants has been added to replace the previous article.


W. LOWTHER: photograph when he was at Officer Training School

5 OCTOBER 2017

The following photographs have been added

CLARK. J. Headstone; CAMPBELL J. Inscription; WILSON W. Inscription; THOMPSON R.H. Inscription; SIMPSON C. Inscription; GREENWOOD J. Headstone; HEPPLE J. Headstone; DOBBIN H. Headstone; GUY J. Headstone; DENT G.N. Headstone; SHAW R.B. Headstone; BESTFORD W. Headstone; WOODING J. Headstone; REWCASTLE G. Headstone

DIXON H. Family member’s visit; WATSON S. Family member’s visit and possible wedding photograph

23 AUGUST 2017


30238 Lance Corporal John Clarke, 1/6th Battalion, the Durham Light Infantry died 27 March 1918 and is buried in Namps-Au-Val British Cemetery[1] and is commemorated on the Billy Row War Memorial near Crook, the Etherley War Memorial and the roll of honour in St. Cuthbert’s Church.


27 April 2016:

The Toll; Some Analysis:  Burials & Commemorations: Additional details are provided which relate to the 12 men who were buried in Germany, Salonica, [Greece], Italy, Gallipoli [Turkey], Norway, the 20 UK burials and 1 Australian burial.

12 May 2016:

West Auckland: ARMSTRONG William

Cockfield: ELLERTON Joseph & KIRBY Bertie,

The above soldiers are buried in Salonika Greece.  Photographs of their graves, Sarigol and Struma Military Cemeteries have been added.  My thanks go to Martin Gibson, Alan Wakefield and members of the Salonika Campaign Society and Minas and his daughter for taking the time and trouble to take these photographs.

Evenwood: WREN John William

Chatham Naval Memorial: inscription of his name photographed by William Clark RE

14 May 2016:

Cockfield: HOLLIDAY James: photographs added

Other Soldiers Researched: BEST Henry: photographs added

27 May 2016:

The Evenwood lads have enjoyed their annual battlefield tour and visited a few of the Gaunless Valley men – Bestford J; Robinson B; Gaskin F; Watson T; Brunskill F; Watson S; Hodgson JA; Robinson J; Featherstone JR; Hodgson JE; Wilson W; Davidson W; Eales W; Baker RW; Neal T; Harrison JC; Bowron JW; Best H; Vickers TH; Gardner W; Laskey E; Jackson EH; Jackson J; Brown W; Thompson F; Hobson G; Davidon GW and some of Tom Rowlandson’s friends, Venn T; Garbutt W; Armstrong WG; Johns W; Olsen H.  Photos will be provided on updated pages.  We’ve also visited the Bradford brothers – Roland Boys; James Barker and George Nicholson Bradford.  A page on these heroic Durham men will be posted in due course.

31 May 2016:

Cockfield: WALKER Betram Ralph: Following up on information provided by Helen Morton we found the parentage of BRW and amended his entry accordingly.

14 June 2016:

Butterknowle & Cockfield: APPLEBY Leonard & SMITH John Robert: Following up on information provided by Helen Morton and Brian Carter we have made entries for these 2 servicemen.

25 June 2016:

Personalities: Dr. A. Campbell; Joe Blenkinsop; Wade Emmerson; J.F. Steel [Evenwood] & James H. Nutter [Evenwood & Cockfield]  

8 July 2016:

Miscellaneous Notes: the Lost Generation – examines the 3 fallen officers and the Vane, Eden, Stobart and Innes-Hopkins families, the “leading families” of the area

1 – 8 August:

Cockfield Schools: some details – brief notes on those on the Roll, teachers and pupils.  Research provided by Rachel Wood

18 August:

Cockfield: WALKER B.R.: Photographs of his headstone in Manchester Southern Cemetery.

Evenwood: WREN J.W.: Photograph of HMS BLACK PRINCE ribbon

Other Servicemen Researched: SALTMARSH F.: Teesdale Mercury report of his Military Medal

5 October 2016

Other Servicemen Researched: Details of ARNISON A.; CANT J.T.; COOKE E.E.J. &


6 October 2016

Other Servicemen Researched: Details of HIRST F.; MARSHALL J.; METCALFE R.T.;


12 October 2016

Other servicemen researched: Details of ROBINSON E.; SMITH W. & WARDLE J.A. added

20 October 2016:

West Auckland: CASTLING J.F. further research added

28 October 2016:

Miscellaneous Details: St. Helen’s Colliery Institute Football Team 1909-10 Details of players including Wylam Blenkin, Percy Little & Thomas Hindmarch all KIA

7 November 2016:

We visited Soissons and Thiepval Memorials and various CWGC cemeteries – photographs of inscriptions and headstones were taken for the following servicemen – FIELD J.R.; LITTLE P.; SMITH T.; TYMAN H.R.; HUTCHINSON W.; OATES R.; LOWTHER W.; RILEY S.; TEASDALE S. AND SUMMERSON H.W.  On the 100th anniversary of the engagement at the BUTTE DE WARLENCOURT where the 6th, 8th & 9th Battalions of the DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY suffered over 1000 casualties, we commemorated the occasion by visiting the Butte, Warlencourt CWGC cemetery and Thiepval Memorial.  We also visited an exhibition prepared by the residents of the village of Warlencourt-Eaucourt to commemorate this and the sacrifice of the British and French forces on the Somme and the effect on their community – see Miscellaneous Details: the Butte de Warlencourt commemoration.  

16 November 2016:

Details of the 17th Durham Voluntary Aid Hospital: The Red House, Etherley, Bishop Auckland can be found under Miscellaneous Details

17 November 2016:

RAINE J.H. [Evenwood] – addition of family photographs

1 December 2016:

Photographs for R. Hebden, W. Siddle, F.L. Wilson, J. Campbell &  J.W. Spence [St. Helens, West Auckland, Evenwood & Butterknowle] were uploaded, sourced from the Illustrated Chronicle :

7 February 2017

E.A. Oliver aka E.O.Kirby [Cockfield] – information was received regarding Edwin’s family and has been included in his profile.

2 March 2017

L. Appleby [Butterknowle] & H.G. Lennox [Other Servicemen Researched] – additional family information added

24 April 2017

J. Wardle [Chilton born Lands] Other Servicemen Researched – photos of the memorials in Chilton WMC & St. Aiden’s Church, Chilton

J. Eden & W.N. Eden [Windlestone Hall] The Lost Generation – photographs of commemorations situated in St. Helen’s Church vestry.

J. Heseltine [Evenwood] photograph of family headstone commemoration in Evenwood cemetery.

St. Helen’s Church – photographs of the memorial windows & the Eden brothers memorials

26 April 2017

J. Eden [Kirk Merrington] details of his service published in Other Servicemen Researched

12 June 2017

H.R. Tyman [Other Soldiers Researched] New information provided by David Gibson gives details of his tank [9049] and a battle map to show its movement ad the location where it took a direct hit [Bois du Harpon]

16 August 2017


WILSON Robert: photograph added

CLAY Norman Andrew: details from Death Certificate

JOBLING Thomas Joseph Thubron: details from Death Certificate

McKEALEY Robert James: details from Death Certificate

MAUGHAN Thomas Preston: details from Death Certificate


HARVEY Stephen: details from Death Certificate

SEWELL John Cecil Abraham: details from Death Certificate

SMITH John Robert: details from Death Certificate