Memorial Details

NEWMP Memorial Image
Photo: J. Brown


Clock Tower 1914-18 1939-45 Town Square





Map ref

NU 266046

Original Location

Coquet Street / Lawson Street

Which war

a. 1914-18
b. 1939-45

Dedication, Creation or Publication date

a. Foundation stone laid in May 1924 by Mr. R.C. McInnes, town's oldest inhabitant. Memorial unveiled Saturday May 9th, 1925 by Major Vernon Merivale, M.C., of Radcliffe.

Memorial Description

1. Site of memorial
2. Clock tower of squared stone with ashlar dressings; white marble panels 5 feet high x 4 feet wide (1.54m x 1.21m) with leaded inscriptions; wrought iron dwarf rails. Slender square three-staged tower. Three-stepped base carries tower with angle pilasters, stepped-and-chamfered plinths and moulded strings. Dwarf rails with knob-topped twist standards and twist rails link front faces of pilasters.
Lower stage : north face has twin panels 37 inches high x 21 inches wide (123cm x 83.5cm) in recessed chamfered surrounds (bearing inscriptions) with inserted World War II plaque 22 inches high x 53½ inches wide (56cm x 136cm) below; side faces have panels with names of fallen; boarded door to rear.
Second stage has tall slatted square-headed openings and top stage clock-faces in keyed surrounds. Parapet has moulded coping and square pyramid-topped finials at corners. Plaques on east and west faces are each 49 inches high x 33 (1.24m x 838mm) inches wide.
Lettering is incised and blackened using elaborate capitals throughout.

Materials used

Stone with bronze.


a. North face, left hand plaque
To the / Glory of God / and / in memory of / the men of Amble / who fell in / the Great War / 1914-1918 North face, right hand plaque The site / for this memorial / was given by / E.M. Lawson-Smith Esq. / in memory of / his two sons / who fell in / the Great War.
On east and west faces Their names shall be held in / everlasting remembrance

b. North face, bottom plaque
Also of those who fell in the war 1939-45


Who commissioned

Amble War Memorial Committee


a. Estimated at £2,100. The cost of the memorial £1,390/11/9d; clock £267; sculpturing the names £72/10/-; incidentals £180/11/10d.

How money was raised

a. Public subscription; fund raising events, inc. the making of quilts; land valued at £600 donated by Mr. E.M. Lawson-Smith, Colton Lodge, Tadcaster. At the unveiling, £50-£60 was still outstanding. By the time of winding up, £1939/3/6d had been receive

Present condition

Good. The names were restored in 1988 after the County Architect's Survey. The gates and walls were also repaired. But see Note 10 below.

Sculptor, Artist or Designer

Designed by William Burton, ARSJ., MSJA., Surveyor to Amble Urban District Council.
Built by R. Carse and Sons, Amble. Sculptors, Messrs. Whittle & Sons, Amble. Clockmakers, W. Potts & Sons, Leeds.

Ownership and maintenance

Handed over to Amble Urban District Council at the unveiling ceremony.


1. The site is also a War Memorial, see above under "Inscription"

2. In "Amble the Friendliest Port" , Paul Morrison tells of captured German guns to be displayed as trophies but were rejected by local men who threw them into a quarry.

3. A meeting of Ex-Servicemen in 1923 protested at the form the monument was to take, considering it to be unsuitable; they proposed calling a public meeting to discuss holding a referendum, and they recommended a delay on the present proposals pending the referendum. At the meeting, held a few days later, it was agreed that they ask the War Memorials Committee to change the scheme, and a recreation park was suggested.

4. In a sealed cavity behind the foundation stone were placed the following coins of the realm 1 gold sovereign, 1 half sovereign, 1 silver 5/- piece, 1 silver 2/6d piece, 1 silver 2/- piece, 1 silver shilling, 1 silver 6d piece, 1 silver 3d piece, 1 bronze penny, 1 bronze halfpenny, and 1 bronze farthing. Also buried were a copy of Sir Philip Gibbs' book "The Soul of the War"; an autographed letter from Sir Philip Gibbs; "Daily News" 25/4/1915; list of names of War Memorial Committee; names of contractors; name of architect; name of sculptor; name of donor of site; name of clockmakers;

5. The donor of the site, Mr. E.M. Lawson Smith of Tadcaster, had lost two sons during the war.

6. The idea for the clock tower came from Mr. Tully.

7. Following the winding-up proceedings, the books were handed to the secretary of the War Memorial Committee.

8. At the unveiling, more money needed to be raised. A line of pennies was started to raise the funds.

9. In 1919, Capt. Esson reported that there is now no need to carry on with funds for the Amble Soldiers and Sailors’ Dependents’ Treat. He thanked all who helped him give treats to the children. He now wished to throw his efforts into raising £100 towards the costs of a war memorial. He proposed a Fancy Dress party for December 17th. He had already held a whist drive which resulted in £12.11s 8d. He now only need £87.8s 4d to achieve the £100.

10. In the year 2000, a revamp of the area around the Clock Tower was started. It involved removing the building opposite to open up into a square. In the memorial garden itself, the over-large hedges were removed, opening up the area. The surrounding wall, which outlines the garden given by Mr. Lawson, was retained. A signpost pointing to the memorial garden has been erected.

Newspaper cuttings, photos or archival material

Photos: Janet Brown, P. Thirkell; D. Riches; photo of 1948 unveiling of WWII plaque: The late John Anderson; photos of revamped area: Janet Brown; old postcard: Tony Harding; John S. Perry

Shields Daily News 08/09/1921 contains press report of fund-raising bazaar.

Morpeth Herald 28/11/1919 and 1920 passim reports various fund raising activities; 02/04/1920 reports that Sgt. John Weddell had been awarded the Military Medal for bravery on the field of battle; 12/08/1921 reports proposed fund raising bazaar; 18/11/1921 reports entertainment for those running the bazaar; 14/09/1923 carries advertisement for tenders for erecting the clock; 21/09/1923 and 28/09/1923 record the recommendation to change the form the memorial would take; 16/05/1924 reports laying of foundation stone and contents of sealed cavity; 13/06/1924 reports flag day; 20/02/1925 reports that a picture of the memorial has appeared in a London Newspaper; 15/05/1925 reports unveiling ceremony, with picture of the clock tower; 03/09/1926 reports completion.

Alnwick & County Gazette 27/11/1920 reports that Capt. Esson promised to raise £100; 17/09/1921 reports fundraising; 05/11/1921 reports £3,845 needed, of which £1,230 had been raised.

Newcastle Daily Journal 20/07/1920 reports fund raising;

Illustrated Chronicle 12/05/1924 and 17/02/1925 have photos of clock under construction; 11/05/1925 reports unveiling and line of pennies.

Newcastle Weekly Chronicle 17/05/1924 records placing of records in the tower.

Morpeth County Library Frith collection of photographs; Postcard collection

By the Green of the Spring – A tribute to the men of Chevington and Broomhill who served in the First World War J.H. Hardy, published Amble Social History Group. (£7 inc. p&p Contact John Hardy 01670 760378 or email

Traditional Quilting Mavis FitzRandolph page 131 tells of “various church quilt clubs in Amble (who) were working hard to raise funds for the War memorial in 1918” who sent their material away to Hexham to be ‘stamped’ other wise they would never have got them all done in time.

External web link

Links to Source Material :

Additional Research documents (click to download)

Research acknowledgements

The late David Wilkinson, the late Jim Shepherd (East Coquet Local History Society); P. Thirkell; the late R.W. Gould; Janet Brown; George Young; Michael Newrick; John Hardy; Dorothy Hall; Julie Lilburn and Elaine Brown (Amble Development Trust)

Research In Progress

See link above.

Clock Tower 1914-18 1939-45 Town Square (A13.01)

North face, two top panels:

   To the
   Glory of God
   in memory of
   the men of Amble
   who fell in
   the Great War

   The site
   for this memorial
   was given by
   E.M. Lawson Smith Esq.,
   in memory of
   his two sons
   who fell in
   the Great War
East face:                         West face:

   Adamson, R.      Davison, N.     Henshall, R.H.  Punter, J.H.
   Aitchison, W.J.  Dawson, Jas.    Horn, W.J.      Roberts, G.D.
   Anderson, G.     Dawson, J.      Horner, G.      Robertson, A.W.
   Angus, J.F.      Dennison, A.    Humble, W.      Rollo, D.
   Archbold, D.E.   Dixon, Jas.     Ireland, W.     Ross, A.
   Barrett, A.      Dixon, J.       King, J.R.      Rutter, J.T.
   Bell, J.C.       Douglas, A.     Lee, J.         Rutter, T.
   Bell, J.G.       Douglas, F.     Luckhurst, F.J. Scott, J.
   Bell, W.         Douglas, J.     Lyall, W.E.M.   Shotton, L.
   Bickerton,F.R.B. Douglas, J.B.   MacDonald, J.   Smetham, E.
   Briggs, V.       Douglas, J.W.   MacDougal, J.   Spowart, M.
   Brown, A.        Douglas, W.     Mackay, A.      Stewart, W.
   Brown, R.        Dunn, W.A.      McInnes, R.D.   Stokoe, R.
   Brown, T.H.N.    Earnshaw, O.    Merivale, F.    Straughan, J.E.
   Brownlow, W.E.   Elliott, T.     Merivale, J.W.  Stuart, M.R.
   Buddle, J.R.     Fealey, L.      Miller, E.      Tait, A.
   Buddle, W.       Ferguson, J.G.  Miller, H.J.    Tait, E.H.
   Burge, M.        Foster, J.R.    Miller, T.      Taylor, T.
   Burgess, E.V.    Gair, J.E.      Morton, W.      Tindall, P.
   Burn, J.         Geggie, G.W.    Mossman, R.S.   Trobe, J.
   Carston, G.W.    Grey, M.H.      Mossman, W.T.   Trotter, G.
   Cavers, W.       Grey, R.        Murray, C.E.    Turnbull, J.
   Clancy, W.       Hall, P.        Murray, E.      Turnbull, N.
   Clancy, W.J.     Hamilton, T.    Nairn, W.       Turnbull, R.H.
   Clark, G.B.      Harbottle, J.   Oliver, G.      Wade, J.G.
   Cockburn, J.     Harbottle, W.H. Ormston, A.     Waller, J.G.
   Darby, W.E.      Hedley, G.R.    Park, T.H.      Wilson, J.
   Darling, A.      Hedley, L.      Pattison, J.W.  Wintrip, J.
   Davidson, F.     Hedley, M.      Pratt, J.S.     Bain, T.
   Davidson, J.R.   Hedley, W.D.    Pringle, R.     Coulson, R.
   Davis, T.        Henderson, D.T. Pringle, R.H.   Feretti, J.
Lower panel:

   Allan, W.        Cram, C.E.      Henderson, G.M. Rutherford, M.
   Anderson, A.     Darling, G.     Hewitson, R.    Ryan, J.
   Anderson, C.E.   Davis, T.       Horn, D.        Scott, H.
   Anderson, J.W.   Ditchburn, K.A. Hultgren, G.    Shearer, L.
   Armstrong, J.    Dixon, R.A.     Hume, R.J.      Stewart, J.G.
   Beal, H.         Doleman, J.     Hume, S.        Stone, N.
   Bell, J.         Douglas, W.     Kay, R.M.       Straffen, G.M.
   Brown, J.        Earnshaw, G.    Lisle, R.       Straffen, J.O.
   Brown, J.        English, R.F.   Lockey, S.      Straker, C.
   Brown, J.        Forsyth, J.     Miller, R.A.    Surtees, A.
   Brown, J.        Gardner, J.     Moffat, W.      Tate, J.H.K.
   Brown, J.S.      Gray, A.        Mossman, R.     Turnbull, J.H.
   Chrisp, R.       Green, W.       Mossman, W.     White, G.
   Coates, C.       Hall, C.        Murray, J.B.    White, G.B.
   Coulson, R.      Hastie, J.L.    Redpath, R.     Wills, W.J.
   Crackett, S.     Hedley, W.      Riddell, N.G.

You are looking at all the information and the best images we have so far on this memorial. If you can supply more information or better images please get in touch by sending an email to

Parish Notes

Every Name A Story