Sunday, February 21, 2016

Newton Arlosh: “Through the Narrow Gate”

1. The Joiners Arms Country Inn
The N.W. Cumbrian village of Newton Arlosh
[One hub of traditional village life in this area]
2. Newton Arlosh Parish Church and churchyard
Fortified church dedicated to St John the Evangelist
[The second hub of traditional village life]
3. “Through the narrow gate”
The narrow door is a feature of the fortified church
[It has a width of 31 inches / 79 centimetres]
4. The Newton Arlosh War Memorial 
[It remembers the 'Fallen' of both WW1 and WW2]
[Located in the S.W. corner of the churchyard
5. WW1 commemoration on the war memorial
[Listing nine casualties of the 1914 – 1918 war]
6. WW2 commemoration on the war memorial
[Listing two casualties of the 1939 – 1945 war]
  For additional information click on ‘Comments’ below’.


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information
Introduction: Newton Arlosh, the ‘new town on the marsh’

Newton Arlosh, sometimes referred to in antiquity as ‘Long Newton’ or ‘Holme East Waver’, is situated in N.W. Cumbria (previously Cumberland) close to Morecambe Bay on the southern side of the Solway Firth. It was founded around 1303 / 1304 during the reign of King Edward I following the virtual destruction due to storm damage of the earlier settlement at nearby Skinburness (Grune).

Etymologically, ‘Newton Arlosh’ is “the new town on the marsh”. Its traditional economic activities were salt making from the sea, agriculture and some fishing. In its early history, a market charter was granted in 1304 by King Edward I, replacing the earlier charter for Skinburness. In the 19th Century there was brick and tile making in the village but in the modern era the economic activity in the parish is mainly agricultural.

One hub of a traditional rural Cumbrian village is the village pub or inn, which at Newton Arlosh is the Joiner’s Arms Country Inn [Photograph No. 1]. Another traditional hub of the rural village, the village school, disappeared at Newton Arlosh when it was closed some years ago.

The parish church, dedicated to St John the Evangelist, remains in the centre of the village Newton Arlosh and is the second remaining hub of the village [Photograph No. 2]. It is as old as the settlement itself and founded in 1303 by the monks of nearby Holme Cultram Abbey as a fortified structure including a pele tower and provided a sanctuary from Scottish raiders during Medieval times.

Following the Dissolution during the reign of King Henry VIII, the church building fell into ruin but restored and extended in 1843 under the guidance of the Victorian landowner, architect and designer Sarah Losh (1785 – 1853). On the eastern end of the nave roof can be see a carved stone eagle by Sarah Losh.

On the eve of the Second World War, in May 1939, a new storage and maintenance base for the R.A.F. was opened at Kirkbride Airfield, bordering Newton Arlosh parish to the east. During the war it became the base for the No 16 Ferry Pilots Pool of the Air Transport Auxiliary and subsequently No 12 Maintenance Unit (M.U.), also for the R.A.F. It is still used as an airfield. In the 21st Century, the airfield is used by light aircraft and is operated by Solway Light Aviation Ltd.

Sunday, 21 February, 2016  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Newton Arlosh church and churchyard:
“Through the narrow gate”

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.”
[Matthew 7:13]

One interesting feature of the medieval fortified church that has been retained to the modern day is the exceptionally narrow main doorway with a width of 31 inches / 79 centimetres [seen in photograph No. 3]. In Medieval times the purpose of such a narrow doorway in Medieval times was to allow villagers and their stock sufficient space to take sanctuary in the building. This is Border country and in Medieval times it was also ‘bandit country’. With the Scottish border just a short distance across the Solway and the marsh, the narrow door was therefore also a buttress against Scottish invaders.

The door is just about wide enough to allow a coffin to be carried into the church for a funeral service to be held and then out again into the churchyard for burial. After a wedding inside the church, the door is not wide enough to allow both bride and groom to pass through side-by-side. A happy couple have to decide who will leave the church first. According to the local tradition, whoever goes through the door first will be in charge for the rest of their married life …!

Having a central location within the village, the churchyard was the chosen location for the parish war memorial following the First World War and unveiled in 1920. It can be found in the S.W. corner of the churchyard. Later. the names of two WW2 casualties were added to the memorial [Photograph No. 4].

Sunday, 21 February, 2016  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Remembering the First World War

Below is a transcription on the Newton Arlosh war memorial remembering the locals who died in the 1914 – 1918 war [seen in photograph No. 5]:

“In Honour of the
Men of this parish
Who fell
In the Great War
1914 – 1918”

William Hayston
Stoddart Gate
Joseph Gibson
Ernest Harrison
Robert Varty
Luke Weightman
Edward Railton
Joseph Willis
Joseph Studholme

“Their name liveth
For evermore”

There was at least one other WW1 casualty connected to the Newton Arlosh parish who died in the war:
Second Lieutenant Norman Horace Pemberton Salusbury.
Lieutenant Salusbury was the son of a former vicar of Newton Arlosh. He was born at the vicarage 23 November 1893 and killed in action in the Gallipoli campaign on 1 December 1915.

Sunday, 21 February, 2016  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Remembering the Second World War

Below is a transcription of the Newton Arlosh war memorial, remembering the locals who died in the 1939 – 1945 war [seen in photograph No. 6]:

Those who fell
In the War
1939 – 1945”

Robert James Farish
George Allan Little

Leading Seaman Robert James Farish

Leading Seaman Robert James Farish was serving aboard H.M.S. Neptune (20), a Royal Navy Leander-class light cruiser when he lost his life on 19 December 1941. Neptune was lost, along with 767 of its crew of 768, after striking four mines in an Italian laid minefield off the coast of Libya.
This is his citation on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website:

Rank: Leading Seaman
Service No: D/JX 153960
Date of Death: 19/12/1941
Age: 20
Regiment / Service: Royal Navy H.M.S. Neptune
Panel Reference: Panel 46, Column 1.
Additional Information:
Son of Robert and Eleanor Farish, of Kirkbride, Cumberland.

Private George Allan Little

Private George Allan Little was serving with the 1st (Airborne) Battalion The Border Regiment when he was accidentally killed in Norway on 10 May 1945. After V.E. Day (8 May 1945) the Airborne Division of which 1st Border was a part, was ordered to Norway to disarm German troops there and help restore the civil Norwegian government. Unfortunately, after encountering bad weather, four aircraft of the airborne Tail of this operation crashed, including Stirling LK 147 of 196 Squadron.

Among those killed were 14 soldiers from H.Q. Company of 1st Border (one officer and 13 men), including Private George Allan Little from Newton Arlosh. The bodies of those killed were recovered about a week after the crash and first buried in temporary graves near the crash site. They were later re-interred in Oslo Western Civil Cemetery.

Below is his citation on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website:

Rank: Private
Service No: 3600359
Date of Death: 10/05/1945
Regiment / Service: Border Regiment, 1st (Airborne) Bn.
Grave Reference: 2. A. 1.
Additional Information:
Son of William and Rachel Little, of Kirkbride, Cumberland.
Headstone epitaph:
“Lord, we lift our hearts
To Thee in prayer
And leave our loved one
In Thy care”.

Sunday, 21 February, 2016  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...


This article is dedicated to the villagers of Newton Arlosh who lost their lives in the World Wars:

“Stand often, remember always and may those who have passed through the narrow gate have Eternal Rest”

Sunday, 21 February, 2016  

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