ICI Salt Division Roll Of Honour, 1939 – 1945

This ICI Roll Of Honour was reported to have been recently found dumped in Saltburn but fortunately saved from the scrapman or worse and is now being held in safe keeping pending its future. The Salt Union at Port Clarence was taken over by ICI in 1937 and the Clarence Salt Works were closed by ICI in 1952 followed by the Tennants Works in 1956 . The salt or brine fields extended from Port Clarence across to Greatham were the Cerebos Salt Factory was and between the two was the aptly named Saltholme Farm now a thriving nature reserve but once an active ICI farm .
It would be appropriate and fitting if the plaque could be placed alongside the ICI War Memorial in Memorial Park on Station Road in Billingham which was itself moved from its site outside of the former ICI Headquarters in Chilton Avenue in 1996.

Photograph and details courtesy of David Thompson.

17 thoughts on “ICI Salt Division Roll Of Honour, 1939 – 1945

  1. THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME

    To mark the centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916, The Gazette published the names of 34 men from Teesside who died on the first day of battle, this list was included 6 Stocktonians (whoses names are listed below) There may be additional names of men from our area who are not on the list and anyone who is aware of any other local soldiers who died during this battle on any date should email Laura at Stockton Library.

    The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme Offensive, was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British Empire and French Third Republic against the German Empire. It took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916 on both sides of the River Somme in France.

    1. Lance Corporal W Hatton, 23, only son of William and Alice Hatton, of 38, St. Bernard’s Rd, Stockton., and the late Ann Jane Loughran.
    2. Private John Willis, 27, son of John and Mary Jane Willis, of 19 Waverley St, Stockton.
    3. Lance Corporal Hubert Dolan, 31, son of Thomas and Winifred Dolan, of South St, Stockton.
    4. Private Albert Metcalfe Veitch, 32, son of James and Mary Elizabeth Veitch, of 4 Cobden St, Stockton.
    5. Private John Ashley, West Yorkshire Regiment, 27. Husband of Emily Ashley and father of two children, Emily and Jack. Of Elm Street Haverton Hill.
    6. Private Norman Raper, 21, from 6 Stranton St, Thornaby. Killed at Fricourt. Son of Robert and Mary Raper.
    7. Private Robert Wilson, 32, son of Henry and Isabella Wilson; husband of Jane Elizabeth Wilson, of 18 Lower Feversham St, Middlesbrough. This is believed to be Bob Wilson, Barnard St, Thornaby (Uncle)
    8. Lance Corporal Hubert Dolan, 31, son of Thomas and Winifred Dolan, of South St, Stockton.
    9. Private Albert Metcalfe Veitch, 32, son of James and Mary Elizabeth Veitch, of 4 Cobden St, Stockton.
    10. Private John Ashley, West Yorkshire Regiment, 27. Husband of Emily Ashley and father of two children, Emily and Jack. Of Elm Street Haverton Hill.
    11. Private Norman Raper, 21, from 6 Stranton St, Thornaby. Killed at Fricourt. Son of Robert and Mary Raper.
    12. Private Robert Wilson, 32, son of Henry and Isabella Wilson; husband of Jane Elizabeth Wilson, of 18 Lower Feversham St, Middlesbrough. This is believed to be Bob Wilson, of Barnard St, Thornaby (Five Lamps) Uncle.

    Bob Wilson (Five Lamps) (Originating source: The Gazette, Middlesbrough)

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  2. I believe the W Harrison on this memorial is Trooper. 4396147. Walter Harrison. Reconnaissance Corps, Royal Armoured Corps, 43rd (2/5th Bn. Gloucestershire Regt.) Regiment. He was killed, during the Normandy campaign, on 24 June 1944. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Bayeux Memorial.
    He was the son of Robert & Alice Harrison who lived at 12 Clarence Street, Haverton Hill. Walter was born 4 June 1913 at Haverton Hill and according to the 1939 register was a salt maker.
    He is also commemorated on the Haverton Hill & Port Clarence War Memorial.

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    • During the Normandy landings in June 1944 Walter Harrison’s regiment, the 43rd (Wessex) Reconnaissance Regiment, were part of the 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division. They weren’t present on the day of the D-Day landings embarking from London on 18 June 1944 aboard the commandeered general purpose cargo ship MV Derrycunihy. The Derrycunihy arrived off Sword beach on 20 June 1944 but due to high seas and enemy shelling had to anchor off the beaches for the next three days.
      On the morning of 24 June the ship started its engines in order to deliver the troops to the beach. Unfortunately in the intervening period between 18 & 24 June a German bomber had dropped an acoustic mine close to the MV Derrycunihy. The noise of the engines detonated the mine which exploded under the keel of the ship splitting it in two. The after part, packed with men, sank rapidly. To add to disaster a 3 ton lorry loaded with ammunition caught fire and ignited oil that was floating on the surrounding water which set alight.
      183 men of the regiment lost their lives as well as 25 of the ships crew. Remarkably the fore end of the ship remained afloat and the survivors and their vehicles were disembarked at a later date. This was the biggest single loss of live of the Normandy invasion.
      Because of the explosion and subsequent fire many of the victims, including Walter Harrison could not be identified or recovered.

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  3. I have heard a rumour that a descendant of one of the 4 soldiers has come forward and asked for the plaque. I would rather it was on display for the public to see, than out of sight in somebody’s house.

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    • Yes that appears to be true and was posted on an ICI ‘Lives, Legacies, Pictures and Videos’ Facebook Group ;
      “Anthony Lynn; The plaque has been handed over to descendant named on it, I am very pleased that I found a family member.”
      A very disappointing outcome in my opinion and denying the other families and the greater general public the opportunity to both see and appreciate the plaque and more importantly the names on it especially as all of the descendants would have been found given the power of both social media and indeed ‘Picture Stockton’.

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      • Hello David. Where did you get the photo of this memorial? I have recently contacted the North East War Memorials Project to inform them of it’s existence. They are a charity set up to record all the war memorials erected in the historic counties of Northumberland, Newcastle upon Tyne & Durham. I would like to supply them with a copy of the photo for their records. I have also sent them a link to the picturestocktonarchive.com.Unfortunately over the years many smaller war memorials have disappeared.
        In St Johns church, Haverton Hill there was a teak lectern, on the panels of which was carved the names of 82 men from Haverton Hill and Port Clarence who died during the Great War. It had been carved by one man, William Gilleard Brown. Who was a traffic foreman for the North Eastern Railway Company and lived at Port Clarence. The church went out of use around the 1970,s and was subsequently demolished. There is no record of what happened to the lectern. Does anyone have any information on its fate?
        Hopefully some day the memorial from the ICI Tennants & Clarence Salt works may be donated to a museum.

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    • Unfortunately war memorials are not protected, unless they form part of a listed building or scheduled monument. In 2007 the Department For Constitutional Affairs published a booklet containing guidance for custodians of war memorials. Included in this was –
      If a war memorial has a particular association with a geographical area or community which would be lost if it were removed elsewhere, the custodian should consider offering the war memorial to be relocated with another local organisation (or into the care of the local authority).
      If relocated the custodians should advise the UK National Inventory of War Memorials to form a record and establish who has responsibility for its future upkeep.
      Regarding access custodians are recommended to consider implementing appropriate access arrangements for members of the public who may have an interest in the war memorial.
      Since 1923 local authorities have been given the task of maintaining memorials in there districts.

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  4. Trooper Cyril Joseph Plant
    14544567 Royal Armoured Corps, 13th/18th Royal Hussars
    Died 11 April 1946, aged 21.
    He is commemorated at the Hanover War Cemetery.
    He was the son of Mark and Rose Plant of High Clarence, Middlesbrough.
    (Information provided by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.)

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  5. Gunner William Snelson
    1803847 Royal Artillery, 267 Bty., 69 Lt. A.A. Regt.
    Died 14 May 1944, aged 30
    He is commemorated at the Rangoon Memorial, in Myanmar.
    He was the husband of F. Snelson of Middlesbrough.
    (Information provided by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission)

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  6. Gunner John Weedall
    1675690 Royal Artillery, 110 Lt. A.A. Regiment
    Died 2 July 1944, aged 33
    He is commemorated at the Bayeux War Cemetery.
    He was the son of Charles and Sarah Weedall, and the husband of Irene Weedall, all of Middlesbrough.
    (Information kindly provided by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission)

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  7. Dumping that WWII Memorial Tablet is an absolute disgrace. I would say that the correct home for the tablet is as mentioned in the post.

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    • At the time the First World war was referred to as the Great War. I don`t know if the 1939-1945 war was given its present title at a later date.
      The titles of both wars could be classed as misleading as many historians believe that the Seven Years War 1756-1763 was the first world war.

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  8. My father’s Simpson family lived at Swiss Cottage and worked for ICI saltworks, dad John Simpson was in Green Howard’s and was fighting in the desert .

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