Memorial Details

Photo: Lonely Tower


Obelisk 1914-18 1939-45 Bowes Museum





Original Location

Bowes Museum grounds DL12 8NP

Which war

a. 1914-18
b. 1939-45

Dedication, Creation or Publication date

Unveiled 13th October 1923 by Lord Barnard, dedicated by Rev. H.W. Bircham, M.A., Vicar of Barnard Castle.

Memorial Description

Obelisk, total height 21 feet, slim, on tapering pedestal resting on stone base with five steps. The names for 1914-18 are of lead in two columns on all four faces of the stone pedestal, each below a wreath raised in half relief.
Resting against the steps is a stone plaque bearing the dedication and names in three columns for 1939-45. Lettering is incised and gilded.

Materials used

a. “Mountain limestone”
b. Polished dark grey granite.


a. Pro Patria / 1914-1919 / In grateful remembrance of the men of / Barnard Castle / of all ranks who fell in the Great War / For God and King and Right / they gave their all.
b. In memory of those who fell / in the Second World War / 1939-1945.
They died that we might live.


Who commissioned

Barnard Castle Council War Memorial Committee, Chairman Cllr. C.T. Singer



How money was raised

House to house collection, public subscription

Sculptor, Artist or Designer

a. C. Parkin & Son of Crosby Ravensworth, Penrith

Ownership and maintenance

Handed to the Museum Trustees at the unveiling ceremony and accepted by Lord Gainford as Chairman of the Trust.
Now looked after by Barnard Castle Town Council


1. Initial meetings on the Town Memorial voted for a site in the main street outside the Witham Hall, but the Urban Council objected that traffic flow would be obstructed. Two weeks after the Durham Light Infantry memorial had been unveiled in the Museum Park, a letter to the Teesdale Mercury from Owen Scott, Curator of Bowes Museum, swung the argument in favour of the present site. This reminded readers of the need for a quiet and peaceful site where mourners could go to remember their loved ones: the site outside Witham Hall would be noisy with traffic and especially on market days and when the fair came to town.

2. On 3 August 1921 the Teesdale Mercury headline was ‘Memorial Site Settled: Unanimous Vote for the Museum Park’

3. The initial response for funding for the World War 1 memorial raised only £300, so a further request for donations was published on 16 November 1921. On 23 November 1921, Arthur Borrowdale, an ‘Architectural Sculptor’ of Worksop, formerly of Barnard Castle, wrote a letter offering to make a 15 feet tall monument of a life-size soldier mounted on a pedestal, in Canora marble, for £300. This offer was obviously not pursued.

4. The first wreath was placed by the Chairman of Barnard Castle Council, the second by Mrs. Smith, a widow of Bridgegate, who lost 5 of her 6 sons.

5. The possibility of having the lettering regilded on the granite plaque is being explored. A donation has been offered towards the costs by a local businessman and War Memorials Trust.

6. It was originally thought that there would be 230 names for inclusion, but only 121 were submitted.

7. Sites suggested included: Bowes Museum Park (6 votes); Galgate Enclosure (no votes); Galgate Fountain (1); Market Place (27); “Amen Corner (29)

8. Among suggestions for the memorial were: monument or plaque with surplus funds being given to the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Club; a new town clock; cottage hospital; half a dozen alms for old age pensioners.

Newspaper cuttings, photos or archival material

Photos: Simon Raine; Howard Jemmeson; Lonely Tower; old postcard: Tony Harding

Teesdale Mercury: 23/02/1921; 09/03/1921; 20/07/1921; 27/07/1921; 03/08/1921; 16/11/1921; 23/11/1921; 17/10/1923

Illustrated Chronicle 16/10/1923 carries photo of unveiling.

Northern Echo 17/06/1922 reports proposals; 15/10/1923 reports unveiling.

Newcastle Weekly Chronicle 20/10/1923 has photo of unveiling.

Darlington & Stockton Times 27/01/1923 reports progress; 20/10/1923 reports unveiling.

Auckland and County Chronicle 03/06/1923 reports unveiling.

Beamish Museum Copy of Order of Service Ref: 1961.52al 1.6315

Durham County Council ref: 505/6/2/157

The Barney Crier No.11, Winter 2009, Town Council Newsletter, reports proposed restoration.

External web link

Additional Research documents (click to download)

Research acknowledgements

Fitzhugh Collection, Middleton in Teesdale; John and Mavis Dixon; Durham County Council; Howard and Christine Jemmeson; Tony Harding; Dorothy Hall

Research In Progress

Peter Wise has produced a booklet which details the story of the memorial itself as well as giving details of the lives of the men listed which can be obtained from him for £4 including postage. Contact:

Obelisk 1914-18 1939-45 Bowes Museum (B135.25)

BARNARD CASTLE      Bowes Museum grounds.
Panel 5 on front face of middle pedestal
   1914 – 1919
   In grateful remembrance of the men of
   Barnard Castle
   of all ranks, who fell in the Great War
   for God and King and Right
   they gave their all
Panel 1 on front face of top pedestal
          Allison F.           Coates A.
          Ashmore F.           Coates W.J. 
          Ashmore J.           Connell G.
          Bailey J.            Croft G.W.
          Barker N.            Dent J.
          Beadale H.           Dodds, B.
          Berry G.W.           Elliot D.   
          Blenkinsopp C.W.     Emerson A.W.
          Breen F.             Emerson J.H.
          Brown G.A.           Errington T
          Brown T.W.           Etherington R.H.
          Burn A.R.            Evans H.
          Butler R.J.          Fawcett R.
          Chandler T.          Featham F.J.
          Chatt T.             Finn J.
          Chapman T.           Finn P.
Panel 2 on right hand side of top pedestal
          Fleet W.             Holmes W.E.
          Foott A.             Hopson J.F.
          Gall E.S.            Horan F.
          Gilmore J.           Horan J.
          Graham A.            Hughes J.W.
          Gray H.A.            Hunt J.W.
          Hall J.              Hunter T.S.
          Hall S.              Hull J.J.
          Harrison L.          Jemmeson F.
          Hebdon R.            Jemmeson G.
          Henderson F.         Jemmeson T.
          Heslop W.            Johnson W.E.
          Hewitson W.          Jones J.
          Higginbotham G.G.M.  Kelly E.
          Hird J.W.B.          Kelly J.
          Hodgson W.           Kipling T.B.
Panel 3 on left hand side of top pedestal
          Lee E.               Okey J.
          Leyland J.T.         Okey N.
          Little A.W.          Parker E.L.
          Lodge B.G.           Patterson R.H.
          Lowe E.I.            Raine C.W.
          Lumley H.            Raine J.W.
          McCheyne J.W.        Ramsden J.
          McDonough J.         Robson T.A.
          Merryweather F.      Rogers J.
          Moore J.T. O’Hara    Sayer T.E.
          Morley F.            Shephard B.
          Mulgrew T. (Sen)     Sissons S.
          Mulgrew T. (Jun)     Smiles R.H.
          Murray G.A.          Smith A.
          Nevison A.V.         Smith F.
          Nixon T.W.           Smith G.H.
Panel 4 on rear of top pedestal
          Smith J.T.           Watson J.R.
          Smith R.             Wearmouth S.T.
          Stembridge J.        Welford A.
          Stoddart R.          Wellman F.T.
          Stoddart S.          Wilkinson J.
          Stokeld T.A.         Wilkinson S.W.
          Stout G.             Wilson G.W.
          Stout J.W.           Wilson J.P.
          Theakston R.W.       Wilson M.
          Urquhart F.          Wilson W.
          Waine G.G.           Young E.
          Waine W.             Young J.
          Walker R.            Young R.E.
          Walton A.E.
          Wardle G.H.
          Watson H.
Panel 6 on front face of bottom pedestal
   In memory of those who fell
   in the Second World War
   1939 – 1945
          Barker R.H.       Hunter R.          Spencer P
          Bayles H.E.       Jackson F.D.       Stancliffe D.A.
          Bower P.H.        Jefferson R.L.     Stoddart A.E.
          Brownless J.J.    Johnson J.         Sutherland S.
          Chapman T.A.      Jones J.           Swales J.
          Chatt F.          Kitching R.J.A.    Waine W.H.F.
          Corrigan P.P.     Leaske J.J.R.      Walker A.L.
          Cummings A.J.     Mackie E.H.        Walker R.
          Dalf G.           Marquiss T.H.      Watson K.H.
          Deacon D.         Milner A.          Wilkinson E.M.
          Deacon R.         Pattison G.        Wilson C.
          Down F.H.         Pickersgill C.D.   Wilson J.
          Dresser H.        Ridsdale F.R.      Wilson M.
          Goldsmith T.      Roberts D.         Winter J.
          Gregory J.        Robinson J.N.      Winter J.H.
          Hinchcliffe G.A.  Roch N.            Wright C.
          Holroyd J.G.      Sheppard E.G.      Wright W.
                            Smith W.T.
   They died that we might live.

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Parish Notes

Every Name A Story