Swinsty Cross

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This remote cross is a memorial to Probationary Flight Officer Francis Holt Yates Titcomb of the Royal Naval Air Service.

Memorial cross for Probationary Flight Officer Francis Titcomb

Flying a Maurice Farman Longhorn, he took off from the RNAS training airfield at Redcar on his first solo flight on 15 April 1917. He crashed after encountered snow clouds over the moors and died aged 19.

He is buried in Brompton Cemetery in London

Memorial cross for Probationary Flight Officer Francis Titcomb

The cross was erected by Mr J K Foster JP of Egton Manor in 1929 and sculpted by Mr J.W. Hill of Whitby.

Memorial cross for Probationary Flight Officer Francis Titcomb

Based on the design of a wayside cross near Vittel in the Vosges designed by Sir E L Lutyens

Bombardment of the Hartlepools

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On my previous visit to the site in mid-2014 this monument did not exist, it appeared a few months later.

Bombardment of the Hartlepools

It commemorates the death of 114 civilians, 9 soldiers and 7 sailors killed in the Bombardment of the Hartlepools on 16th December 1914.

Bombardment of the Hartlepools

It was erected to mark the 100th Anniversary and unveiled on 16th December 2014 by the Lord-Lieutenant of County Durham Sue Snowdon.

Bombardment of the Hartlepools
Engraving on rear of monument

The engraving is tricky to photograph, but it a reproduction of the painting The Bombardment of the Hartlepools by James Clark, painted in 1915.

The Bombardment of the Hartlepools by James Clark, painted in 1915

A huge amount of information about the events of that day is on display in the nearby Heugh Battery.

Bombardment of the Hartlepools Fragment
Shrapnel from December 16th 1914

Carlin How War Memorial

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1914 – 1918

Carlin How War Memorial
Carlin How War Memorial
Carin How War Memorial

2nd Lt G Mason
Sergt. F Hutton
Sergt. J Williams
Corp. W Cherry
Corp. J W Stephenson
Corp. A Teasdale
Corp J Thomas
L. Corp. A Cudd
L. Corp. J Elliott
L. Corp. J H Wisbey
L. Corp. T Wood
Gunner J H Medcalf
Driver D E Robinson
Private J Burnett
Private H Bury
Private J Clarke
Private F T Crossman
Private J H Cryer
Private W Defty
Private R G Elliott
Private P Flynn
Corp. J J Clough

Carlin How War Memorial

Private A E Glover
Private T A Goldby
Private G Hicks
Private L C Hodgson
Private J Jefferson
Private W Kemp
Private W Long
Private E Loughran
Private G R Mainforth
Private G G Price
Private J Rafferty
Private J Richardson
Private J Shaw
Private J H Shepherd
Private P Walker
Private J Ward
Private E Welham
Private J Welham
Private J Wickham
Private E Wood
Private J Jose

Carlin How War Memorial

1939 – 1945

J A Auckland
F Roper
A W Clayton
D W Stewart
F Faye
R Winspear
R Locke
J W Brackley
J R Appleton
H Cocks
A F Brackley
E Welham
A E Harrison
L Richardson
W Page
F Miller
H Miller

Dunsdale War Memorial

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With just two rows of ironstone miners cottages in Dunsdale, I thought it would be straightforward to track all of the names down, but it’s never that simple. I would love to hear from anyone who has already done any investigation into the memorial or men named.



1939-1945 Herbert Gazzard, Harold Husband, Charles Wilfred Moore, William Moore, Reginald Shaw, Norman Edwin Weighell, James Bennington Wilkin

Dunsdale War Memorial
Memorial in 2020

William Henry Boyes – In 1911 lived at 14 Redcar Road, Dunsdale and was a Horse Driver (presumably in the ironstone mine with his father and brother)

He served with the 1st Gordon Highlanders and died on 28/12/1914, his name can be found on the Menin Gate with 54000 others with no known grave.

In 1911 John George Gazzard was a 14 year old living at 9 Redcar Road

His military record suggests he was discharged on 16/3/1919, however his death was registered in Guisborough in July 1919, so its unclear what happened here, perhaps he died from war related injuries or illness ?

On the 1911 Census the Goody family are living at 9 New Row. However 14-year old Wilfred Thomas Goody is listed as an ‘Inmate’ at Kirkleatham Hospital.

Wildred was in the Durham Light Infantry and was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal and 1914-1915 Star.

He was also discharged, in Februrary 1917, but again died a few months later around July 1917. His service record suggests he had health problem with diabetes.

John William Wilson was a 14 year old grocers errand boy living at 8 New Row in 1911 (next door to the Goodys and the same age as Wilfred)

He served with the Machine Gun Corp and died of malaria in Alexandria, Egypt on 15/10/1918. He is buried in Hadra War Memorial Cemetery in Alexandria.

Death certificate John William Wilson

Herbert William Windross was a 12 year old living at 19 New Row in 1911

Herbert served with the Royal Scots and died in Germany 18/07/1918, buried in Cologne. His death certificate lists him as a P.O.W. and a miner.

Private Herbert William Windross. 271234.
15th Battalion Royal Scots, formerly 3518 the Yorkshire Regiment. Son of Mr. H. W. Windross, of 19, New Row, Dunsdale, Guisborough, Yorks. Killed 18 July 1918. Aged 19.
Death Certificate Herbert William Windross

Herbert Gazzard is the younger brother of John George Gazzard, the family were still living at 9 New Row in 1939.

Harold Husband served with the 4th Bn.Green Howards (Yorkshire Regiment) he died between 29/05/1940 and 30/05/1940. Buried in Marquise Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France

The Moore Family lived at Dunsdale Lodge in 1939

William Moore died on 17/01/1941 and is buried in the Freetown King Tom Cemetery, Sierra Leone

Died on HMHS Oxfordshire (Hospital Ship)

Charles Wilfred Moore served with the 83 Field Regt. Royal Artillery and died on 13/10/1944.He is buried at the Uden War Cemetery. Charles had left Dunsdale by this point, but his parents were living at 17 New Row in 1939.

Reginald Shaw served with the Pioneer Corps and died 19/11/1942, he is buried in Guisborough Cemetery.

Reginald Shaw grave, Guisborough

The Weighell family lived at 26 Redcar Road in 1939, Norman Edwin Weighell served with the 78 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, he died 27/09/1943 in a raid on Hanover in Halifax JD416, he is buried in Hanover War Cemetery.

The Wilkin Family lived at 10 New Row in 1939. James Bennington Wilkin served with the 4th Bn. Green Howards (Yorkshire Regiment) he died on 29/05/1940 and is buried in the Totes Cemetery in Seine-Maritime, France.

The war memorial in original location outside Methodist Chapel – Paula Miller Collection

Apple Orchard Bridge – Missing Inscription

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This almost blank stone tells an interesting story, all that remains is the name R Sawtell, County Surveyor, the rest has been chipped away.

During 1940/1941 the threat of German invasion was great enough that many signs and markers were removed, to confuse the potential invaders.

Apple Orchard Bridge Skelton
Apple Orchard Bridge Plaque

Mr. Ronald Sawtell, is the county surveyor by 1934, and there are many news reports from 1934 complaining of the state of the previous bridge which must have prompted the current one to be built some time after that.

Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough – Friday 04 May 1934

So the inscription is only likely to have been in place for a few years in the late 1930s. I have been unable to discover exactly what it said. Presumably it mentioned “Skelton” or “Apple Orchard Bridge” which would have helped invaders confirm their location.

Tom Dresser V.C. Memorial

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A memorial to Private Tom Dresser was unveiled on 12th May 2017 to mark the centenary of the actions that saw him awarded the Victoria Cross.

Tom Dresser Memorial, Middlesbrough

The sculptor of the memorial was Brian Alabaster and it stands outside the Dorman Museum.

Tom Dresser Memorial, Middlesbrough
this stone is incorrect it should read Princess of Wales’ Own Yorkshire Regiment not Prince.

Tom Dresser was serving as a private in the 7th Battalion The Green Howards in the Battle of Arras and despite being shot twice, conveyed an important message from battalion headquarters to the front line trenches.

Tom Dresser being awarded the Victoria Cross by King George V on July 21st 1917

As well as the V.C. Tom was presented with a gold watch and 100 guineas by the people of Middlesbrough, he died 9th April 1982 and is buried in Thorntree Cemetery,

Pillbox East of Blackwell Bridge, Darlington

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This pillbox is only a short distance from the one on the opposite side of the bridge, but of a completely different construction.
Pillbox East of Blackwell Bridge, Darlington
It’s been made from concrete blocks and beams, with a couple of rows of bricks at the top.
Pillbox East of Blackwell Bridge, Darlington
The roof is now gone and the walls badly cracked, so i’m not sure it would have stood up to any heavy attack should it ever have been needed.
Pillbox East of Blackwell Bridge, Darlington

Pillbox West of Blackwell Bridge, Darlington

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This Pillbox is one of a pair defending the Blackwell Bridge crossing of the River Skerne in Darlington
Pillbox West of Blackwell Bridge, Darlington
The structure is now deeply buried in the undergrowth and tricky to approach
Pillbox West of Blackwell Bridge, Darlington
The pillbox itself is not like any other i’ve ever seen, it seems to have been constructed from pre-fabricated sections
Pillbox West of Blackwell Bridge, Darlington
Several areas have ripples that look like they were cast against corrugated iron sheets
Pillbox West of Blackwell Bridge, Darlington