Memorial Details

NEWMP Memorial Image
Photo : McNally & Thompson Electrical Contractors


Plaque 1914-18 Sunderland Orphan Asylum





Map ref

NZ 407571

Original Location

Sunderland Orphan Asylum stands on the edge of Town Moor, Moor Terrace, Hendon, SR1 2JY.

Present Location

Missing. Unknown

Which war


Dedication, Creation or Publication date

Unveiled 11th March 1920 by Mayor of Sunderland, Alderman A. Ritson

Memorial Description


Materials used



(Erected by the Principals and Governors of the Sunderland Orphan Asylum in honour of old boys who served their King and Country and in abiding memory of those who fell in the Great War 1914-1919)


Who commissioned

Principals and Governors of the Sunderland Orphan Asylum

English Heritage Listing

The building is a grade 2 listed, see note below


1. “Fine War record".

The Sunderland Orphan Asylum has a war record of which it has every reason to be proud.

Of the lads trained at the school over 120 have joined either the Navy or the Army. They include a sub-lieutenant and a first-class petty officer in the Navy, while in the Army the school is represented by four second-lieutenants, one quartermaster-sergeant, one sergeant-major, nine sergeants, and ten corporals. One lad gunner, James Trott has been awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous bravery, eighteen have given their lives for King and Country, and thirty-two have been wounded or invalided from the front.
Seven of those from the mercantile marine have been in torpedoed vessels, one lad was drowned, but all the rest joined other vessels at the first opportunity."History of Sunderland" page 180.

2. The Orphan Asylum was opened 17th October 1861. It provided a home for 50 orphans of sea-faring men from all over the U.K.

3. The orphanage was set up to provide an education for male orphans of seafarers. The boys were taught seamanship and wore a naval style sailor suit as a uniform. Principals formed the governing body for the Asylum. They were prominent figures in the local community and included John Candlish. Masters included John Clark and George King.

4. The building is Grade II listed, as are the gates, piers and railings. The initial building was funded by selling access rights to railway companies.

5. The building which has laid Dormant and unused has now been renovated and being re-used.

6. The Grade II-listed building in Hendon has been renovated as part of a £4.5million project, which has also built a separate 38-apartment housing scheme.

7. Heritage Lottery Funding, totalling £1.5million, help fund the refurbishment and create five units for community groups and businesses.

8. The Old Orphanage, on the edge of the Town Moor, once housed dozens of seafarers’ sons, then later community groups, but fell into disrepair after closing down in the 1990s.

9. Part of the Victorian building will be used by the East Community Association, which was once based in the former institution.

10. A neighbouring three-storey building known as Seafarer’s Way will house people with memory loss, Alzheimer’s and dementia.

11. It was re-opened in 2015.

Newspaper cuttings, photos or archival material

Illustrated Chronicle 12/03/1920 reports unveiling.

North Mail 10/05/1919 reports proposed unveiling.

Sunderland Echo 13/02/1920 page 6; 12/03/1920 reports unveiling.

History of Sunderland William Cranmer Mitchell, ISBN 0 901598 53 4. In Tyne and Wear ArchivesAcc. L3596 Town Histories Reserve Stock. L942.81 No. M.39

External web link

Links to Source Material :

Research acknowledgements

James Pasby; Dorothy Hall; Fitzhugh Collection, Middleton in Teesdale

Research In Progress

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Plaque 1914-18 Sunderland Orphan Asylum (S140.116)

SUNDERLAND   Orphan Asylum
The following is extracted from "History of Sunderland"  P181  
  Sub-Lieutenant     Arthur Burlinson
  Seaman             Harry Clark
  “   “              Jack Crawford
  Seaman apprentice  James Mordey
  Corporal           William Lowes (Canadians)
  Lance Corporal     Alfred Ranton
  Gunner             Thomas Orwin
  “   “              John Ranton
  Rifleman           William McLachlan
  Bandsman           Tom Rooks
  Private            Richard Duncan
  “   “              George Hagedorn
  “   “              Fred Finley
  “   “              Charles Chapman
  “   “              Richard Lamb
  “   “              Robert Peverley
  “   “              George Milburn (Australians)
  “   “              R. Clifford Singleton (Canadians)
The original handwritten list from the register shows some differences: 
  List of S.O.A. Lads who have fallen in the War

  Richard Duncan     Pte.
  Richard Lamb       Pte.
  George Hagedorn    Pte.
  Henry Clark        Seaman R.N.
  Fred Finley        Pte.
  William Lowes      Corporal (Canadians)
  Clifton Singleton  Sapper       "
  Tom Rooks          Bandsman
  Arthur Burlinson   Sub.Lieut. R.N.R.
  William McLachlan  Rifles
  Jack Crawford      Seaman
  Charles Chapman    Pte.
  Thomas Orwin       Gunner
  George Milburn     Pte. (Australians)
  Robert Peverley    Pte.
  James Mordey       Appr. Mercantile Marine
  Alfred Ranton      Strapper (A.S.C.)
  John Ranton        Gunner
  W. Davison         Capt. (Died in interment
                     Camp at Ruhleburg  
  J. Blumer     
  G. Cable
  G. Harland  

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