Memorial Details

Photo: Lonely Tower


Obelisk 1914-18 1939-45 War Memorial Hospital





Map ref

NZ 28?15?

Original Location

Outside the War Memorial Hospital, Hollyhurst Road.

Which war

a. 1914-18
b. 1939-45

Dedication, Creation or Publication date

a. Unveiled 11th November 1928 by Joseph Stephenson, former sergeant in the D.L.I.; dedicated by Rev. R.F. Drury Vicar of Darlington.
b. Rededicated 10th November 1946 by Rev. D.B. Porter Vicar of Darlington.

Memorial Description

Obelisk standing on a pedestal on an octagonal base. A platform of 48 slabs, total width 18 feet 6 inches x 1 foot 10 inches high (5.63m x 558mm) has two steps at each end. The base is 6 feet 10 inches square x 3 feet 4 inches high 2.08m x 10.01m)
The very tall column is 4 feet (1.21m) square. It has a bronze wreath raised in half relief at the bottom of both back and front. The dates are incised into the four sides.

Materials used

Stainton Stone


glorious dead
their names are
inscribed on
marble tablets in the
hall of memories




£110,000 including hospital.

How money was raised

Public subscription, fund raising events; town workmen gave 3d per week from their pay packets.


1. Joseph Stephenson was an ex-Sergeant in the Durham Light Infantry whose name was drawn by ballot from 25 members of the British Legion a few months before the ceremony. He lived at 51 Eldon Street, and was employed at the L.N.E.R. Whessoe Lane Shop, having retired from the army the previous year following 16 years’ service. He served in France, Italy and Belgium to 1915 to 1919.
Simon Raine asked the question in the Northern Echo 15/11/1999: “Considering that Darlington was a railway town, the random choice of someone called Stephenson was an odd co-incidence. Is anything known of Sgt. Stephenson?” Joseph Stephenson’s grandson Paul responded on 22/11/1999 that his grandfather was a paternal descendant of (railway) George Stephenson’s uncle. The drawing of his name in the ballot was pure co-incidence.

2. In 1947 the council wanted to protect the memorial by enclosing it with railings. Government authority was required but was refused because steel was in short supply.

Newspaper cuttings, photos or archival material

Photos: C. Sanders; D. Hill; Lonely Tower; old postcard: John Grainger

The Times 06/05/1933 page 9 Issue 46437 column B reports unveiling of obelisk and hospital.

Northern Despatch 11/11/1946 reports rededication.

External web link

Links to Source Material :

Additional Research documents (click to download)

Research acknowledgements

Fitzhugh Collection, Middleton in Teesdale; C. Sanders; Karen Green; Dorothy Hall; Yorkshire Regiment Remembrance

Research In Progress

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Obelisk 1914-18 1939-45 War Memorial Hospital (D40.033)

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Parish Notes

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