Thornaby Remembrance Parade and Service, Sunday 12 November 2017

Pictures taken at the Thornaby Remembrance Parade and Service on Sunday 12 November 2017. The two gents stood in front of the Cenotaph on Acklam Road are Thornaby boys F/L Allan Huitson RAFVR(T) and Derek Brittain who were pupils together at Westbury Street Junior School.

Photographs and details courtesy of David Thompson.

8 thoughts on “Thornaby Remembrance Parade and Service, Sunday 12 November 2017

  1. When I was a youthful child I assisted my father who sold carpets door to door throughout County Durham, he liked hawking these in the many County Durham coal mining villagers that existed then, my job was to carry the carpet and presumably to watch and learn. Whenever we entered a miner’s home we were made highly welcome, often given a cup of tea and as I looked around it puzzled me ‘how come on every mantlepiece was a fading photo of a soldier proudly standing in his WW1 army uniform”, I once asked a householder “Was that a photo of her son,?” she replied it was and explained he had got killed and never came home, afterwards when we got outside this house my father told me to never mention again any photos of soldiers photos on display and explained why,? it was because most had got killed and it was a subject best avoided. My ever-lasting memory was how many homes had these photos on display further evidenced by every one of these small villages’ war memorials having long lists of local men’s names that never came home. I was truly shocked by this and in a way became a pacifist, I grew to hate what had occurred and was ashamed that this WW1 horror had occurred and diplomacy had failed.

    In those long-gone days, I was a kid who loved racing pigeons a popular sport in all mining villages, I was once in a miner’s house where they had a pigeon loft in the back garden, it was the son’s loft, I asked to see them and he took me outside to show me his birds. When we got back inside their home his mother asked him “to give the kid (me) a few birds” which he refused to do, this refusal caused her to lose her temper and she picked up her walking stick and hit him over the head with it for being so greedy, 70 years later I still laugh about this, what a whack over the head he got. My lasting thoughts are – what lovely warm people we met, local people who we can all be proud of and admire, God Bless them all. BOB W. 03-09-2022.


  2. WW1. My grandmother lost a brother, my wife lost two uncles, one of whom served in the Seaforth Highlanders which, because of huge battlefield casualties, was amalgamated with the Black Watch, he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (2nd to the V.C) for rounding up some men, four or five maybe, and ordering them to attack a German machine gun emplacement, they knocked this out, then captured the blockhouse behind it capturing 5 Officers and 50 other ranks.

    Copies of the letters from the War Office to his widow, and the Citation read:

    “The death, from wounds, has occurred of Sergeant. William Mack (Kurtzman) of the Seaforth Highlanders. His widow received the following letter from a Chaplain attached to the Seaforth Highlanders, it said ‘We are feeling sad about it. To think that Sergt. Mack has been so long
    with us and has come through many a dangerous battles and then has lost his life twenty miles back from the line by civilian accident is unspeakably sad. I have known Sergt. Mack all the time he has been here. I know how well he did and how precious he was in his department. He was the great helper of every officer under whom he served and they all thought very highly of him’. The Lieut. Colonel of the Company sent his widow the following letter, ‘Your husband has been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallantry, a decoration which I know he thoroughly deserved and earned well. I am sorry to say that the award was not made in sufficient time for him to know about it himself. It may please you to know that the award of the DCM is sparingly granted and is only given for specially gallant and meritorious conduct. I enclose the ribbon and an account of his brave act. The medal you will no doubt receive in due course’.”

    The Distinguished Conduct Medal Citation reads: For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During the mopping up of a village he organised scattered units into fighting groups, and personally led them, helping to capture five officers and 50 other ranks. He was of the utmost assistance to his company. Bob Wilson, Five Lamps.


  3. This set me thinking, we all know of the losses in the front lines yet tend to forget the problems at home.
    My Mother in Law Elsey Wiley (nee Prest of Mill Street West) was around 24 and walking out with a young man when war was declared in 1914. Elsey was the youngest of a family of eleven and at that time had to look after the house for her Father and Brothers. Her holding hands sweetheart joined up and was killed, I have three of those decorative cads the troops sent from France so she obviously met other men during the four years of war.
    I also have a photograph album from 1919 it is full of pictures from Iraq and dedicated to Elsey and mentions the Prince? what Prince? there is a photograph of the man but no name. There were many accidents with Planes so we assume but do not know he also died.
    Elsey went as housekeeper to Harry Wiley in Norton High Street, she eventually married Tommy the Son and had three children Vera, Joan and Leonard, I married Joan, all three have passed away.
    Elsey suffered Dementia and in the end knew nobody yet each time she heard my voice a hand would come out and grasp mine she would whisper I knew you would come for me Charles? My wife and Vera had never heard of Charles, was he the Airman I ask.
    I have offered the Photo Album to the RAF Museum they did not reply, maybe the Lovely Ladies of the Library would like to look at it, I would like it to stay in Stockton where Elsey was born and lived.
    Three of my Aunts never married a shortage of suitable men, others had to look after men wounded and sent home.
    Parents lost Sons Wives Husbands and Children Fathers, they were all left to struggle on the best they could in very hard times. The war touched so many people who were left to make the best of things.
    As with all wars it did not end in 1918 we had troops in Russia, Greece, Iraq, Iran and Africa still fighting. From my own experience Governments want to declare the end of the war and get back to normal forgetting what they call small Colonial skirmishes. We never brought our dead back they are still in Middle eastern Countries that are still fighting all these years later.


  4. Just a reminder that this years Thornaby Remembrance Day Parade and Service will begin to assemble in the car park near St Patrick’s Social Club off Westbury Street at 10am and will move off to the Cenotaph at 10:30am .

    The parade will march down Langley Avenue to the Cenotaph and the Remembrance Service and wreath laying ceremony will commence at 10:45am with a Two Minutes Silence to be observed at 11am. After the service the parade will return to the St Patrick’s Social Club for light refreshments and all are welcome to attend.

    This years service has the added poignancy of falling on both a Sunday and the 11th day of November with communities across the Stockton Borough celebrating and remembering the Armistice Centenary. Details of local Remembrance Day events can be found on the SBC website ; .

    “They Shall Grow Not Old” : 1918 – 2018


  5. My Grandfathers name, H. DALRYMPLE, is front and center on the Thornaby Cenotaph. Whenever I am back in the U.K. I try to pay a visit. He is buried in Thornaby Cemetery. I have his 1st. World War Medals. The 1914 STAR, THE BRITISH WAR MEDAL and THE BRITISH VICTORY MEDAL (Pip Squeak and Wilfred). I also have his NEXT OF KIN MEMORIAL PLAQUE (The Dead Mans Penny). I am hoping somebody (Frank Mee) can help me out and give me an explanation as to how he got The Dead Mans Penny when the date of his death is January 12th. 1920. I understood you had to die in the War to get this.


    • The correct name for your grandfather’s medal is the Memorial Plaque, a plaque-medal issued after the end of the First World War to the next-of-kin of all British Military service personnel who were killed during the war, or who died afterwards from war related injuries. 1,355,000 plaques were issued in order to commemorate people who died as a consequence of the war. The designer was the Liverpool sculptor Edward Carter, 1885-1965, the son of Robert Preston (1857-1909), a labourer. Carter Preston’s winning design includes an image of Britannia holding a trident and standing with a lion, to the right of the lion, is an oak spray with acorns. Two dolphins swim around Britannia, symbolising Britain’s sea power, and at the bottom a second lion is depicted tearing apart the German eagle. The legend reads “He died for freedom and honour”, or to commemorate women, “She died for freedom and honour”. These medals were initially made at the Memorial Plaque Factory, Acton, London. In December 1920 the manufacture was shifted to the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich. The plaques were issued in a pack with a commemorative scroll from King George V, 1865-1936.

      • . In 2018, The Royal British Legion is leading the nation in saying Thank You to all who served, sacrificed and changed our world. Together we keep their stories alive. The Royal British Legion provides lifelong support for the Armed Forces community – serving men and women, veterans, and their families. 100 years ago, the First World War ended, and a new world began. The example and experience of those who lived through it shaped the world we live in today
      • The Commonwealth War Graves Commission and Foundation, enables and supports the work of the 850 gardeners who tend British War Graves throughout the Commonwealth. By supporting the War Graves Foundation, you will enable it to highlight the work the CWGC does. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. Standing together this coming Sunday 11/11/2018, we keep their stories alive.

      Bob Wilson, Five Lamps.


    • The Memorial Plague was issued after the 1914-18 war for those killed in the war or into the 1930’s for those who died as a result of the war.
      My Mother had two Uncles Oswald and Charles who were severely wounded in the war then when the Hospital could do no more they were sent home to be cared for. Oswald died 1925 and Charles about 1933. She told me the women of the family took turns in cleaning the wounds (shell splinters carved pieces from the men that would always be open and weeping) they had to tear up sheets and old shirts which were washed until they fell apart. She told me the smell upset her but it had to be done. The injured would be looked after as best as possible at the time but Hospital space was needed for the Flu Epidemic which lasted two years also the run down of the Military Hospitals.
      Although Oswald and Charles lived within walking distance of North Ormesby Hospital they received little help my Mother said. Like the 1939-45 war men took off the uniform and had to get on with life. There was a small invalidity payment or a meagre Widows pension but they were hard times, unlike today where poverty is not having a 50″ TV and a take away every night.

      Liked by 1 person

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