Memorial Details

NEWMP Memorial Image
Photo: J. Brown


Cross 1914-18 1939-45 Korea King Edward VI School





Map ref

NZ 203869

Original Location

King Edward VI Grammar School

Present Location

Resited outside the main entrance to the new School in 1973-4.

Which war

a. 1914-18
b. 1939-45
c. Korean War 1950-53

Dedication, Creation or Publication date

a. Unveiled 26th July 1922 by G.D. Dakyns, M.A., the Headmaster; dedicated by the Bishop of Newcastle.
b. Unveiled 11th Nov 1948 by Col. N.I. Wright, Chairman of the Governors, and dedicated by Rev. Canon F. Baker, Rector of Morpeth.

Memorial Description

Cross of Latin type, total height 15 feet, on two-tiered stone pedestal. The dedications are on bronze plaques 9 inches high x 2 feet wide attached to the front of the top pedestal, and the names are on bronze plaques 2 feet 6 inches high x 3 feet wide attached to the front of the lower pedestal. Each plaque has a cast border of laurel leaves. The names are listed in three columns in raised sans serif capitals.
The plaque for 1914-18 is facing away from the entrance, that for 1939-45 is on the left hand side.
The dedication for the Korean War is on the back, facing the school, on a completely plain bronze plaque 9 inches square, with the name in Roman capitals on another bronze plaque 3 inches high x 10 inches wide on the lower pedestal.

Materials used

Heworth Burnstone, bronze plaques.


a. Mors Janua Vitae / Alive for Evermore /
Their names on earth, their souls in heaven / 1915-1918
b. 1939 / 1945
c. Korean / War / 1950-3


Who commissioned

Morpeth Grammar School


a. £250

How money was raised

Public subscription

Present condition

Restored 2011, following the theft of the bronze plaques.

Sculptor, Artist or Designer

a. Designed by C.F. Murphy
c. Name of man killed in Korea was engraved by Mr. E. Elcoat, a member of staff in the Technical Dept.


1. In 1953, a man complained to the school that his brother's name had not been added. After careful checking, the name was added.

2. Until the change of address, Remembrance services were held in front of the cross, on or near 11th November.

3. Among the original proposals was a Memorial Hall for assemblies, estimated cost £3,000; another was for a suitable oak bookcase in the “Big School”, the central section bearing plates with the names of the fallen with shelves on each side for books by the best English writers; a third was for a suitable entrance gate to the school. A library was suggested, as was a school sports pavilion.
One of the objections to a memorial inside the school was that the hall where prayers were held no longer held all the boys and the atmosphere had gone. It had now been made into a smaller classroom.

4. Mors Janua Vitae translates as "Death is the Door to Life"

5. In 1973-4, when the school moved, a weeping willow and a sorbus (whose leaves turn red in November) were planted alongside. These represent the blood of the fallen and the tears of the bereaved.

6. For Capt. J.K. Thompson, killed in Korea, see Every Name A Story

7. "L. Beckerleg" who is named on the 1939-45 panel, was a member of staff.

8. Among the names from 1914-18 is that of G.F. Murphy, whose father later designed this cross at the school and the cenotaph at Morpeth.

9. The bronze plates were stolen in 2010. These were replaced and the whole memorial underwent a major cleaning and restoration by Abbey Stonecraft. It is now protected by SmartWater. The memorial was rededicated 14th November 2011 by Rt.Rev. Martin Wharton, Bishop of Newcastle.

10. In 2016 the new bronze plaques were stolen. Almost immediately, public response raised over £300 towards a replacement. A marble plaque bearing additional names was unveiled in 2006.

Newspaper cuttings, photos or archival material

Photos: Janet Brown; Charles Whewell

King Edward VI School records; photos of cross in both locations; details of unveiling ceremony, etc.; photocopy of notice of intention to commemorate the Old Boys who died

Morpeth Herald 01/08/1919 reports Speech Day and records names of those who fell and Honours gained; 1920 and 1921 passim report on progress; 20/01/1922 reports fund raising, publicity and various suggestions as to what form the memorial should take; 12/05/1922 reports quotations from Emley of Newcastle for bronze plaques and more discussion resulting in the idea of a cross; 28/07/1922 reports unveiling of 1914-18 memorial; 05/11/1948 reports on proposed unveiling of 1939-45 memorial plaques; 17/11/2011 reports rededication after restoration with pictures.

Alnwick & County Gazette 29/07/1922 reports unveiling

Newcastle Daily Journal 30/07/1920 reports proposal for memorial hall

Newcastle Daily Chronicle 12/01/1920 reports scrapping the idea of a memorial hall.

The Story of Morpeth Grammar School, Kennedy, G., The Old Boys' Association, (1951).

Links to Source Material :

Additional Research documents (click to download)

Research acknowledgements

The late A.H. Tweddle; Staff of King Edward VI School inc. Charles Whewell; Janet Brown; Michael Newrick; Tony Harding; Victoria Najafi; Dorothy Hall

Research In Progress

The names for 1914-18 are being researched by the Morpeth Antiquarian Society. They are concentrating on the Cenotaph, and are working with the pupils at King Edward VI School on their memorial. Contact Angela Teasdale:

Cross 1914-18 1939-45 Korea King Edward VI School (M17.06)

MORPETH, King Edward VI School.


On front upper plaque:

   Mors Janua Vitae 
   Alive for Evermore
   Their names on earth, their souls in heaven
On front lower plaque:

   J.N. Armstrong    J. Forbes        G.F. Murphy
   E. Armstrong      O. Garvie        R. Oliver
   H. Baker          J. Gibson        A.J. Pick
   G. Barnfather     J.C. Goulding    R.F. Pratt
   J.C. Bell         J. Graham        J.L. Reay
   H. Brown          J.I. Grey        W. Reay
   J.W. Brown        D. Hepburn       A. Ross
   L.C. Bulkeley     C. Hoey          L. Shepherd
   G.F.H. Charlton   T. Hood          T.C. Smyth
   W.G. Charlton     E. Ineson        H. Smyth
   J. Clark          H.T. Jackson     M.L. Studdy
   R.R. Cooper       W.L. James       W.W. Swan
   R. Cowans         E.G. Lawson      J.H.C. Swinney
   G.C. Crake        J. Loughran      N.A. Swinney
   J. Davidson       E. Matheson      H. Tait
   M. Dunn           P.W. McClagan    T. Taylor
   R. Dunn           H.H. Middlemiss  J.N. Treble
   T.A. Dunn         J. Middlemiss    W.J. Weatherley
   O. Earnshaw       L. Molden        W.W. Winn
   B. Foster         J. Davies*       S.A. Wright
*This name added later. 
On side upper plaque:
On side lower plaque:

   H.C. Annett       J.H. Ellison     A.V. Proctor
   W. Appleby        W.D. Grey        I.T. Reed
   G.R. Archbold     E.E. Hackett     J.W.E. Ross
   L.C. Beckerleg    F.H. Halls       A.T. Saviour
   A. Bilton         J.L. Henderson   M.G. Scanlon
   H.A. Blackett     R.W. Hully       F. Shy
   T.H.O. Blythe     H. Jenkins       W.O. Slassor
   R. Brotherton     J. Kailofer      W. Smith
   T.S. Carr         W. Kelsey        W.J.R. Soulsby
   W.F. Coldwell     J.W. Kerr        G.M. Storey
   R. Coulson        G.F.D. Lowrison  J.W. Taylor
   H.E. Cowling      W. Luke          F. Thompson
   G. Daglish        J.G. Macaulay    R.F. Thompson
   W.A. Dickie       J. Mackay        J.A. Tilmouth
   W.C. Dodds        H.R. McIntyre    D. Watson
   A.T. Donkin       C. Milburn       E. Watson
   W. Dott           E. Moscrop       R.A. Wharrier
   J. Douglas        J. Ormston       H.R. Whittle
   S.P. Driver       J.A. Patterson   J.L. Wilson
   H. Dunbar         E. Pickering     W.E. Wood
On back upper plaque:
On back lower plaque:
   J.K. Thompson

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Parish Notes

Every Name A Story