Memorial Details

NEWMP Memorial Image
Photo: Simon Raine


Cross 1914-18 1939-45 Witton Dene





Original Location

Witton Dene, a small wooded valley south of the main street. Due to vandalism it was moved to its present location and rededicated 5th November 1978.

Present Location

Just off Sacriston Lane near the junction with Briar Lea.

Which war

a. 1914-18
b. 1939-45

Dedication, Creation or Publication date

a. Unveiled 1st September 1922 by Lt.Col. J.R. Ritson, T.D., of Sniperley Hall. Dedicated by Rev. W.A. Elder, Curate of Witton Gilbert.
Unveiled in new position on 5th November 1978 by Capt. D. Brown and rededicated by Fr. Ian Hoskins.

Memorial Description

Cross of St.Cuthbert type on tall tapering octagonal column, 15 feet high set on two shallow steps.
The names are incised into the faces of the base using sans serif capitals.
The dedication is in large letters on each face at the waist of the column in elongated sans serif lettering. The whole is 23 feet high set in a narrow paved area.

Materials used

Stainton stone


Greater / love / hath / no man / than to / lay down / his life for / his friend.
Witton Gilbert War Memorial / Roll of Honour / of local heroes who died / for their King and Country / during the Great War / for righteousness
Lord grant them everlasting peace.


Who commissioned

War Memorial Committee



How money was raised

Public subscription

Present condition

Letters recut and memorial cleaned 2000 by Abbey Stonecraft

Sculptor, Artist or Designer

Architect J.G. Burrell of Durham


1. At the unveiling, one of the speakers talked of the problem of vandalism and ‘pilfering of flowers’.

2. The names are listed by date, and carry on through to 1919 and 1920 - presumably these people died of wounds later.

3. At its original site, the memorial had been near the old village. Since then, much of the old village had been demolished and new housing built further away.

4. Cost of removal and restoration in 1978 was estimated at £3,000.

5. In 1978 members of 105 Squadron of 72nd Regiment of Royal Engineers TAVR spent three weekends moving the memorial, with the aid of a stonemason, using crane, forklift truck and scaffolding to its new site. The memorial was in 28 sections, the biggest of which weighed 2,800 lbs. The soldiers were provided with meals by the Royal British Legion and slept at the home of a member. A local hotel helped out. The total cost to the Branch was £400 and this was soon raised by house-to-house collection plus £100 each from Witton Gilbert Parish Council and Durham District Council.

6. From Witton Gilbert, 222 men had joined up, of whom 43 were killed.

7. “From one who helped build a ‘rustic bridge’ in the Dene – the landscaping scheme was planned partly to give work for the unemployed. The Dene was to have a rose garden, pavilion and a caretaker’s house. What work was carried out took about three months but was soon destroyed by vandalism.” (Simon Raine)

Newspaper cuttings, photos or archival material

Photos: Errol Broomfield, Ron Carson, Simon Raine; old postcard post-marked 1924 of memorial in Witton Dene: Andrew Brooks; George Nairn

Durham County Advertiser 07/05/1920

Stanley News07/09/1922

Chester-le-Street Chronicle 08/09/1922 reports unveiling.

Durham Chronicle 08/09/1922 reports unveiling very fully; 10/11/1978 reports re-dedication

Illustrated Chronicle 04/09/1922 reports unveiling.

Consett Guardian 08/09/1922 reports unveiling.

Consett and Stanley Chronicle 08/09/1922 reports unveiling.

Northern Echo 04/09/1922 reports unveiling.

Stanley and Chester-le-Street News 07/09/1922 reports unveiling.

Source of quotation:
“Greater love hath no man . . .” St. John 15 v 13

External web link

Links to Source Material :

Research acknowledgements

Errol Broomfield; Ron Carson; Fitzhugh Collection, Middleton in Teesdale; Abbey Stonecraft; Dorothy Hall; Andrew Brooks; George Nairn

Research In Progress

If you are researching this memorial please contact

Cross 1914-18 1939-45 Witton Dene (W123.01)

WITTON GILBERT, Village green.

On octagonal base  
    no man
    than to
    lay down
    his life for
    his friend.
On pedestal

    Witton Gilbert War Memorial
    Roll of Honour
    of local heroes who died
    for their King and Country
    during the Great War
    for righteousness
    Lord grant them everlasting peace.
Left panel

   Pte.    George          Moody     8th D.L.I.
           Gilbert Hodgson Robson     8th D.L.I.
   “       Joseph          Armstrong  2nd E.Y.
   “       Joseph          Beardmore  6th E.Y.
   “       Cuthbert        Carr       15th D.L.I.
   “       Matthew         Cumming    18th D.L.I.
   “       Thomas          Guy        27th N.F.
   “       Charles Joseph  Graham     5th D.L.I.
   “       Thomas James    Goodwin    2nd D.L.I.
   “       Herbert         Gill       13th D.L.I.
   Lce.Cpl.George          Jackson    2nd D.L.I.
   Bomb.   Richard         Lisgo      8th E.Y.
   Pte     Roger           Parkin     20th D.L.I.
   “       Gibson          Snaith     13th D.L.I.
   Sergt.  Robert          Yule       19th D.L.I.
   Sergt.  Arthur Ernest   Clark      2nd D.L.I.
   Pte.    George          Craggs     1st Worcester
   Stoker  Thomas          Davison    HMS Superb
   Pte     Arthur          Edmundson  6th Bord
   “       Ernest          Hunter     9th W.Y.
   “       Tom Allan       Hardy      19th N.F.
   “       Robert          Knowlson   8th Y.
Right Panel
   Lce.Cpl. Owen William     Maule        25th N.F.
   Pte.    Jacob             Martin       1/4th K.O.Y.L.I.
   “       Alexander Logan   McDonald     8th E.Y.
   Gunner  Wiliam Thirkell   Pratt        5th D.L.I.
   Pte.    John James        Smeatham     6th Yorks.
   “       Albert Moyes      Walker       19th Y.
   “       Thomas            Brown        3rd N.F.
   Lieut.  William Henry     Brown        18th D.L.I.
   Pte     John              Godfrey      15th D.L.I.
   “       George            Johnson      16th Ches.
   Lce.Cpl.Thomas Gladstone  Martindale   14th D.L.I.
   Pte.    Charles           Metcalf      20th D.L.I.
   Gunner  Simpson Turnbull  Parkin       R.G.A.
   Pte     George            Roe          2nd D.L.I.
   “       John              Roe          A.S.C.
   “       George Cuthbert   Raine        18th D.L.I.
   “       John              Walton       15th D.L.I.
   “       Frederick         Wardman      R.G.A.
   “       William           Wise         8th D.L.I.
   “       Henry             Overton      2nd Yorks.
   “       Robert Wilkinson  Rober Yul    D.L.I.
The last two names are badly worn and the last name is virtually impossible to read.
Rear Panel
                       1939 – 1945
            Bramfitt E         Kelsey G
            Burdon J W         Plank G W 
            Carroll J.         Reynolds J.G.
            Denton T.W.        Swinton T.
            Farnsworth R.      Waterson J.W

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Parish Notes

Every Name A Story