What is the Project about?
How did it all start?
In 1988, a letter appeared in the Times newspaper from the head of the Imperial War Museum suggesting that a list of war memorials be drawn up, as so many had been moved, or were in need of repair. This was taken up by the Association of the Northumberland Local History Societies as a good project for their membership. The Association had local history societies as members, as well as individuals.

The project was launched almost immediately, and the results started to come in. Janet Brown was secretary of the ANLHS at that time, and became coordinator of the project. Six months after they started, Janet received a telephone call from the Imperial War Museum. They had heard that the project had started and wanted to know if they could pick ANLHS’ brains.

After five years, the ANLHS decided to call a halt, and handed over what had been done to the Northumberland Record Office, with copies sent to the National Inventory of War Memorials at the Imperial War Museum. The National Inventory has since changed its name to War Memorials Archives. The ANLHS has also ceased to exist. Having spent 50 years working on its aim to establish local history societies in the county, the society was formally closed in November 2016.

However from 1993, Janet continued with the project on a private basis, because it was far from finished. Then she received a telephone call from the Imperial War Museum saying that they were proposing setting up a similar project in County Durham – would she be prepared to help if they managed to get a group together? The group was set up, and produced a similar corpus of work, Simon Raine and Colin Sanders being the main contributors.

Eventually, the two projects were combined and the united group called itself the North East War Memorials Project. A substantial grant was received from the Heritage Lottery Fund which enabled the website to be established. This was agreed with the IWM who said that we had more chance of obtaining funds on a regional basis than they had nationally.

At one stage, the person in charge of the National Inventory suggested that it would be sensible if NEWMP were to be considered to be the north-east part of the national survey, as we were so far ahead. This was an unofficial agreement. Since then, there have been at least two changes of personel at the IWM, politics have changed and we are no longer considered to be part of the War Memorials Archive. We are pressing on in our own right.

All members of the group are entirely voluntary. Funds are raised by sale of files and by donations or grant aid.

The aims of the project
The North-East War Memorials Project was established to record every War Memorial located in the historic counties of Northumberland, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Durham with the addition of any areas included by the 1974 boundary changes.

The aims of the Project – which is a registered Charity are to:

• Educate the public;
• Assist historical research for the public benefit;
• Foster patriotism and good citizenship by publishing and maintaining an inventory and catalogue of War Memorials in the North East of England.
These aims will be achieved by continually recording, documenting and researching these memorials and by these means extending the existing archive.

This has now been extended to uncover the stories behind those named on Memorials as well as Commonwealth War Graves and family headstones. This will be done either by hyperlinking with groups who are doing such work in their locality, or by housing other people's work on the NEWMP website under the donor's name on the "Every Name A Story" page for each place.

All members of the public are invited to submit any relevant material, and their input will be acknowledged. All is done on a voluntary basis.

There is also co-operation with the War Memorials Trust which was set up to advise people on the upkeep and restoration of memorials and to provide grant aid.

We are also working closely with Historic England which is seeking to list all free-standing war memorials as Grade II in their own right.

The whole purpose is to create a massive tribute to all who have suffered through war, either because they fought, or were left to pick up the pieces.

What records will we hold?
The Project information will include:-
  • Details known of each Memorial (surviving or not - and including the sources of information which have been used).
  • Location of the Memorial (both originally and at the present time) with grid references where available.
  • Photographs (both those taken when the memorial was built/dedicated and subsequently).
  • An accurate transcript of the names found on the Memorials with any details of regiments etc that are shown.
  • Any additional information arising as a result of local research -such as into details of local casualties.
all included on a searchable Index of War Memorials to be found in the North East, with links to Districts and Counties, and any other relevant information.
How can the information be accessed??
The Project is available to interested parties through:
  • A Website, including all the information gathered, which is free to browse;
  • Exhibitions and talks about War Memorials;
  • Publicity of the aims, objectives and links to the archive;
  • The archive material itself, supported by research guidance;
  • Education pack for Primary Schools.
Members of the Public, and any other interested parties, are encouraged to:
- become Volunteers of the Project;
- assist in the verification of details already researched;
- provide current photographs, not just of the memorials but also the buildings in which they are located;
- take part in further study of information about the memorials and the people remembered on them.
Any help from Volunteers will be formally acknowledged on the relevant Memorial files. Please see the separate section on helping the Project. Remember - this work will never really be finished as there will always be more to research!
The Project uses media links with:
The Imperial War Museum and its War Memorials Archive;
Local Record Offices and Libraries;
War Memorials Trust;
Historic England;
Veterans' organisations;
Royal British Legion;
Local history groups and individuals;
Educational bodies;
Family History Societies;
Local Authorities;
Regimental Museums and Associations;
National Archives;
Local publications/newspapers.
Personnel Information (Click on photo for details)