The oak tree replaces an older elm which was planted in 1755 in the memory of Tom Brown, apparently marking the site of his fathers cottage.
Tom Brown was born in Kirkleatham in 1705, he is known for his role in the Battle of Dettingen which took place on 27 June 1743 in Bavaria during the War of the Austrian Succession.
His regiments standard was captured and while recovering it he received terrible injuries to his face including his nose being cut off. He is said to have been given a silver nose by King George II.
He retired to Yarm with a pension of 30 shillings from the King, as two shots from the battle could not be safely removed from his back, he died there in 1746.
Some account state he was knighted on the battle field by the king although this could be doubtful, as could the date of his birth, there some investigation on this here
Update 2013 : Located a photo of the damaged original