Sunday, October 04, 2015

The War Memorials of Alston, Cumbria

1. The Market Cross and town centre of Alston, Cumbria
The spire is part of St Augustine’s Parish Church 
2. The WW1 memorials inside St Augustine’s Church
The two WW1 memorials found inside the church are:
(a) The chancel screen (on the left);
(b) The WW1 parish war memorial (on the right). 
3. Alston’s civic war memorial located on the edge of town
This memorial remembers those lost in both World Wars
4. The names listed on Alston’s civil war memorial
It commemorates the ‘Fallen’ of both World Wars
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 For additional information click on ‘Comments’ below.
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6 Comments:

Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

Introduction: Alston and district

The market town of Alston, Cumbria (previously in the county of Cumberland) at about 1000 feet (c. 305 metres) is the highest in altitude of any in Cumbria. It is also one of the highest market towns in England. Alston is on the edge of the North Pennines, Both the town and the surrounding district of Alston Moor were formerly a significant area for mining coal and various minerals such as lead and silver. Alston town is at the confluence of two rivers: the South Tyne and the Nent, and eventually flows into the North Sea at Tynemouth.


In the Middle Ages, the Alston area was mainly under the control of the Kingdom of Scotland. Despite this, the mineral rights belonged to the Kings of England and consequently the miners and mining companies paid dues to the English Crown rather than the Scottish Crown. This ambiguity with regards to the sovereignty of Alston and Alston Moor was eventually resolved in the 13th Century when the English King Edward I took over direct control of the district and it became attached to Cumberland (and subsequently Cumbria) rather than Northumberland.

The reason for this is believed to be because the administration of the mines was carried out from Carlisle, the capital city of Cumberland. There remains an ecclesiastical anomaly to this day. The Anglican parishes of the district are in the Diocese of Newcastle unlike most Cumbrian parishes which are in the Diocese of Carlisle.

With the decline in mining activity there has also been a significant reduction in the resident population. At its peak, the Alston Moor population was a little under 7,000 (1831). By the early years of the 20th Century, shortly before the First World War, the population of Alston Moor was a little over 3,000 and in the 21st Century it is a little over 2,000 (about 1200 in the town and the remainder in the surrounding district).

In the modern era, tourism and agriculture are important in the local economy. The town centre has been used as the location for outdoor filming of a number of cinema and TV sets. Photograph No. 1 shows the town centre, with its market cross and the spire of St Augustine’s parish church (Church of England) in the background.
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Sunday, 04 October, 2015  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

The war memorials at Samuel King’s School, Alston

St Augustine’s church has two war memorials for the First World War. Yet, at the time of writing this article (when major renovations were taking place) no Second World War memorial is found in the church.

However, there is a WW2 memorial at the nearby Samuel King’s School on Church Road, commemorating former pupils of the school who died in the 1939 – 1945 war (unfortunately not seen in any of the photographs above). This memorial has not been on public display for some time and is kept in storage. It is available to view by appointment when the school is open.

The names on the Samuel King’s School WW2 memorial are as follows:

“1939 – 1945
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM


Thomas A. Armstrong
Ivan Bramwell
George Currah
Richard C. Dickinson
John W. Johnston
Arthur E. Laidlow
Ian Mackinnon
John A. Murray
Robert Robson
John R. Shield
William R, Storey
Ronald Y. Tucker
Francis J. Watson”

The school also has a WW1 ‘Roll of Honour’ listing the names of those who served. As with the WW2 memorial, it is not currently on public display but kept safe in a store.
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Sunday, 04 October, 2015  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

The WW1 war memorials of St Augustine’s Church, Alston

There are two WW1 war memorials found inside St Augustine’s Parish Church: the cahncel screen and a church plaque [both are shown in Photograph No. 2].

(a) Alston Parish Church chancel screen

The wooden chancel screen, seen on the left of Photograph No. 2 is the main ecclesiastical war memorial for WW1. According to the dedication it was erected in 1920, the Jubilee year of the church. However, the official unveiling took place by the Anglican Bishop of Newcastle on 6 September 1921.

It is understood that this memorial commemorates not just the ecclesiastical parishioners of St Augustine’s but all those who died in WW1 from the Alston Moor district (i.e. the town of Alston plus the nearby villages and hamlets such as Garrigill, Nenthead and Leadgate).

At the top of the chancel screen is the following dedication:

“To the Glory of God and in memory of all from this Parish who gave their lives in the Great War 1914-1918 this Chancel Screen was erected in the Jubilee year of this Church 1920.”

The names of the war dead are listed on two wooden panels of the chancel screen memorial are as follows:

(i) Left Hand Panel:-

Nowell Oxland
William Little
John R. Cranston
Joseph H. Dowson
Henry Abbott
James Bennett
Ames D. Nicholson
Stephen Dickinson
Harold E. Walton
Lloyd M. Thompson
Walter Dawson
William Featherstone
Dacre Dickinson
Herbert J. Jackson
Walter Shield
Frank Millican
Ernest Wymes
John A. Havelock

(ii) Right Hand Panel:-

John Robson
Joseph Collinson
Andrew Douglas
William Turnbull
Thomas E. Spark
Thomas Archer
Thomas Ramsay
Harry J. Vipond
John Douglas
Errington Beadle
Albert E. Alderson
William C. Brown
Robert Atkinson
Thomas Moore
Herbert Rutherford
Thomas Henderson
Walter Ralph
Alice Renwick
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Sunday, 04 October, 2015  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

(b) The Alston church plaque

The memorial plaque found on an inside wall of the church is seen on the right hand side of Photograph No. 2 (above). It commemorates the parishioners of St. Augustine’s who lost their lives in the First World War.

The inscription reads as follows:

“For God and Right
IN AFFECTIONATE REMEMBRANCE
_________________
Pte. Thomas Archer
Gunner Errington Beadle
Pte. William Collin Brown
Pte. William John Little
Bugler James Nicholson
Pte. Thomas Ramsey
W.A.A.C. Alice Renwick
___________________
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR US IN THE
GREAT WAR 1914 – 1919”
+ + + + + + + + + + + + +
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Sunday, 04 October, 2015  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Alston’s civic war memorial

The civic war memorial for Alston, which remembers those who died in both the World Wars, takes the form of a free-standing granite obelisk [Photograph No. 3]. It is located at the junction two of the main roads in and out of the town (A686 and A689). It is therefore one of the first things passers-by would see on the way into town and one of the last things they would see on leaving town.

Alston’s civic war memorial was first unveiled in September 1922 by the Earl of Lonsdale to commemorate the First World War. All the WW1 names are on two sides of the obelisk. After the Second World War the names of locals who died in that war were added on to the front and the right-hand side of the base [seen in Photograph No. 4].

This is the dedication on Alston’s civic war memorial:

“THIS MONUMENT IS ERECTED TO THE
GLORIOUS MEMORY OF THOSE OF ALSTON
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WARS
1914 – 1918
AND 1939 – 1945
‘THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE’ ”.
These are the WW1 names listed on the memorial:

Joseph W. Collinson
William F. Featherstone
Ernest Wymes
Robert Atkinson
Roland W. Stobbart
Thomas E. Spark
Andrew Douglas
John A. Havelock
Frederic A. Millican
William C. Brown
Thomas Archer
John Douglas
Thomas E. Ramsay
John W. Archer
Albert E. Alderson
Errington Beadle
Alfred Robson
Alice Renwick
Robert Nixon
……………………
James Bennett
William J. Little
Nowell Oxland
Thomas Moore
Joseph Dowson
James D. Nicholson
Henry Abbott
William Turnbull
John R. Cranston
J. Herbert Rutherford
Herbert J. Jackson
Walter Ralph
M. Henry Pickering
Stephen Dickinson
Lloyd M. Thompson
Harry J. Vipond
Harold F. Walton
Walter Davidson
H. Dacre Dickinson
Joseph Spottiswood
…………………………

These are the WW2 names listed on the memorial:

Richard G. Dickinson
Reginald L. Spark
Thomas A. Armstrong
John W. Johnston
John R. Shield
William H. Dixon
Ronald Y. Tucker
Ivan Morgan
Harold Walker
Peter J. Playfair
Thomas W. Richardson
John I. Bramwell
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Sunday, 04 October, 2015  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Dedication

This article is dedicated to those from Alston who gave their lives in the two World Wars:

“We giving all, gained all,
Neither lament us nor praise;
Only, in all things recall,
It is fear, not death, that slays.”

[Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936)]
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Sunday, 04 October, 2015  

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