Category Archives: News

Witton Gilbert War Memorial Awarded Listed Building Status

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has decided to add Witton Gilbert War Memorial to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. The memorial is now listed at Grade II.

Please follow the link below to download a copy of our advice report, which gives the principal reasons for this decision. The List entry for this building, together with a map, has now been published on the National Heritage List for England, and will be available for public access from tomorrow. This List can be accessed through The Historic England website.

Witton Gilbert War Memorial

Histioric England is considering Listing the war Memorial as part of the commemoration of the centenary of the First World War.

This has prompted us to record some of the details, and we would like to ask the families of those who lost their lives in the conflicts commemorated on the memorial if they have photographs or family stories they can recount. Please use the contact form below. Also we hope that all of the detail in this post are correct, please let us have any corrections or futher information.

The Memorial in its current location

The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across England. This was the result of both the huge impact on communities of the loss of three quarters of a million British lives, and also the official policy of not repatriating the dead which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised at Witton Gilbert as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 43 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War..

222 men from Witton Gilbert joined up to serve in the war, of whom nearly 20 per cent fell. The memorial was originally erected in the Graham Memorial Park in Witton Dene. It cost £400 which was raised by public subscription. The designer was JG Burrell of Durham. It was unveiled on Saturday 2 September 1922 by Lt Col JR Ritson, TD. Large numbers of
representatives from parish and district organisations were also present.

The memorial park provided work for the unemployed but sadly suffered from vandalism even before the unveiling. After the Second World War the names of ten casualties of that war were added. During the C20 much of the old village was demolished leaving the memorial somewhat isolated. It was relocated in 1978 by members of 105 Squadron, 72 Regiment the Royal Engineers with support from the local community, and rededicated on 5 November that year. It was unveiled in its new position by Capt D Brown and rededicated by Fr Ian Hoskins.

The memorial’s original height was 23 feet, but a photograph taken in its original location shows it had a three-stepped base. It is not clear if the lower step survives in the new location, but if so it is buried beneath the paving surrounding the memorial. The relocation revealed that the memorial comprised 28 pieces, the largest of which weighed 2,800 lbs (more than 1.2 tonnes). The memorial was cleaned and the inscriptions recut in 2000.

The Memorial in its original location

A First World War memorial of 1922, by JG Burrell, with later additions for the Second World War, and relocated in 1978.

MATERIALS: Stainton sandstone.
DESCRIPTION: standing in a small memorial garden accessed from Briar Lea.

The memorial faces west and comprises a cross of St Cuthbert on a tapering octagonal column with a square pedestal set on two octagonal steps. The pedestal has stopped chamfers and a hollow-moulded, tapering top. The cross-shaft has an elaborate moulded foot with recessed panels to each face and a tetrahedral band. The abacus is also moulded, and the cross has a three-stepped octagonal foot.

The inscriptions are incised. Around the bottom of the cross-shaft foot is inscribed:

The rolls of honour are inscribed on the north and south faces. The names are listed by the year of death (which continue to 1920), then alphabetically by surname with rank and regiment. The east face is inscribed with the dates 1939 – 1945 and ten names listed alphabetically by surname without ranks or units.

                                         North face


PTE                     George                   Moody                                   8th  D.L.I.


PTE                     Gilbert                 Hodgson Robson                  8th  D.L.I.


PTE                     Joseph                  Armstrong                              2nd  E.Y.

PTE                     Joseph                  Beardmore                              6th   E.Y.

PTE                     Cuthbert             Carr                                          15th D.L.I.

PTE                     Matthew             Cumming                           18th D.L.I.

PTE                     Thomas               Guy                                            27th N.F.

PTE                     Charles Joseph  Graham                                     5th   D.L.I.

PTE                     Thomas James  Goodwin                                    2nd  D.L.I.

PTE                     Herbert             Cill                                              13th D.L.I.

LCE CPL             George              Jackson                                        2nd   D.L.I.

BOMB               Richard               Lisco                                             8th   E.Y.

PTE                     Roger                 Parkin                                         20th D.L.I.

PTE                     Gibson              Snaith                                          13th D.L.I.

SERGT               Robert               Yule                                              19th D.L.I.


SERGT               Arthur Ernest Clark                                       2nd   D.L.I.

PTE                     George          Craggs                                            1st    Worcester

STOKER             Thomas        Davison                                         H.M.S  SUPERB

PTE                     Arthur              Edmundson                                6th    BORD

PTE                     Ernest              Hunter                                           9th    W.Y.

PTE                     Tom Allanson Hardy                                            19th  N.F.

PTE                     Robert              Knowlson                                      8th    Y.

                                                 South face


LCE.CPL             Owen William Maule                                            25th N.F.

PTE                     Jacob              Martin                                              1/4th K.O.Y.L.I

PTE                     Alexander Logan McDonald                                   8th E.Y.

GUNNER          William Thirkell Pratt                                               5th D.L.I.

PTE                     John James      Smeatham                                    6th YORKS.

PTE                     Albert Moyes Walker                                            19th Y.

PTE                     Thomas             Brown                                              3rd N.F.

LIEUT                 William Henry Brown                                           18th D.L.I.

PTE                     John                  Godfrey                                           15th D.L.I.

PTE                     George              Johnson                                          16th CHES.

LC CPL            Thomas Gadstone Martindale                                14th D.L.I.

PTE                     Charles              Metcalf                                            20th D.L.I.

GUNNER          Simpson Turnbull Parkin                                          R.G.A

PTE                     George               Roe                                                    2nd D.L.I.

PTE                     John                   Roe                                                      A.S.C.

PTE                     George Cuthbert Raine                                          18th D.L.I.

PTE                     John                   Walton                                            15th D.L.I.

PTE                     Frederick        Wardman                                          R.C.A.


PTE                     William            Wise                                                 8th D.L.I.


PTE                     Henry               Overton                                           2nd  YORKS.

PTE                     Robert Wilkinson Yule                                            8th   D.L.I.

                                           East face

                                                    1939   –   1945

Bramfitt E.                                             Kelsey  G.

Burdon J.W.                                            Plank  G.W.

Carroll J.                                                 Reynolds  J.G.

Denton T.W.                                           Swinton  T.

Farnsworth R.                                      Waterson  J.W.

Full details from the North East War Memorials Project, accessed 12/11/19 from

Closure of Wallnook Bridge

Durham County Council release the following press release on 8th August.

Wallnook Bridge

“Wallnook Bridge, over the River Browney near Langley Park, closed to vehicular traffic in March 2013 but remained open for use by pedestrians and horse riders.

However the structure’s condition has now deteriorated further and we are to close it to all traffic in the interests of public safety. 

Signs will advise pedestrians and horse riders of alternative routes where possible.

Short diversion routes are already in place for vehicles.

Letters advising of the full closure have been sent to residents living close to the bridge.

Committed to new crossing

We are committed to providing a new crossing over the River Browney at Wallnook subject to funding being obtained.

Options for a new crossing are being considered.

Brian Buckley, our strategic highways manager, said: “The bridge is being closed in the interests of public safety and people will not be able to cross it on foot, by bicycle or on horseback.

“We are working to provide a crossing at this point in the long term and thank people for their patience in the meantime.”