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FIR TREE, NEAR CROOK, WAR MEMORIAL

World War 1 & 2 - Detailed Information
Compiled and copyright © Dave Charlesworth 2014

Once a drinking fountain, originally located to the East of the ‘Institute’ (now derelict - In the intervening years the Institute has now been demolished) on the inside of a sharp left hand bend in the A68, the memorial has been removed to the village green. It takes the form of an urn on a three-tiered plinth. There are twelve names for World War 1 and three for World War 2. FAWCETT and NORMAN are not on the postman's list but are on the memorial whereas John MOSY is on the postman's list but not on the memorial.

Photograph Copyright © Dave Charlesworth 2007
The list (see below) was obtained from local historian John Alderson. His grandfather, George Vitty,
who later became a postman, lost his right arm in the war and he was Fred Vitty's (RIP) brother.
Joseph Ramshaw (RIP) was their brother-in-law.
Fir Tree wounded soldiers returing home with Post Office in the background

Erected to the memory of the men of the village of Fir Tree who
made the supreme sacrifice in war.
“They Live”.
1914-1918

GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS, THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS

FAWCETT
G (or C)
probably George Fawcett Private 17297, 1st Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers. Died 25th September 1915. Aged 25. Born Skipton, Yorkshire, enlisted Bishops Auckland, resident Willington, Co. Durham. Resident of 9 Harpley (should read Harperley) Terrace, Fir Tree. Son of Mrs. Fawcett, of Sutton, Keighley, Yorks; husband of Isabel Evans (formerly Fawcett), of 16, Helmington Row, Crook, Co. Durham. Buried in BEDFORD HOUSE CEMETERY, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Enclosure No.4 Plot VIII. Row E. Grave 15.

Shown as missing 25 "9" 15. Casualty Form confirms "4.9.18 War Office – Regarded for official purposes as having died in the field".

HOGGARTH
Edward
probably Edward William HOGGARTH, Private 204336, 1/5th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry. Died in United Kingdom 4 July 1917. Aged 30. Enlisted Bishop Auckland. Husband of W. Hudson (formerly Hoggarth), of 1, Amblers Terrace, Close House, Bishop Auckland. Buried in CROOK CEMETERY, Durham. Plot/Row/Section C. Grave 3033.
KEARTON
John
Private 4152, 2/6th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry. Died in United Kingdom 23rd April 1916. Aged 25. Born Thwaites, Swaledale, Yorks, enlisted Bishop Auckland, resident Darlington. Son of John and Alice Kearton, of Scaur House, 2, Hazelgrove Terrace, Fir Tree. Buried in the south-aprt of HOWDEN-LE-WEAR (ST. MARY) CHURCHYARD, Durham.
McLEOD
Archibald
No further information currently
NORMAN
Lewis
Serjeant 15029, 11th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment. Killed in action 25th September 1918. Aged 26. Born Durham, enlisted Crook. Husband of L. Hanson (formerly Norman), of 32, Cromwell Rd., Mexborough, Rotherham. No known grave. Commemorated on PLOEGSTEERT MEMORIAL, Hainaut, Belgium. Panel 4.
PATTON
Arthur
Private 16825, 6/7th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers. Killed in Action 30th May 1916. Aged 24. Born and enlisted Harperley*. Resident Bishop Auckland. Son of Mrs. Isabella Patton, of Fir Tree, Harperley Station, Co. Durham. Buried in VERMELLES BRITISH CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot IV. Row C. Grave 37.
RAMSHAW
Joseph
Private 252407 [SDGW] or 52407 [CWGC], 1/6th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry. Died of wounds 13th June 1918. Born Stanley, Durham and resident Crook, Durham. Buried in south-west part of HOWDEN-LE-WEAR (ST. MARY) CHURCHYARD, Durham.
STOBART
John Geoffrey
Second Lieutenant, 6th Battalion attached 4th Battalion, Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort's Own). Killed in action 15 March 1915. Aged 23. Son of William Culley Stobart and Frances D. Stobart, of Clayton Manor, Hassocks, Sussex. Native of Spellow Hill, Knaresborough, Yorks. Buried in VOORMEZEELE ENCLOSURE NO. 3, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot II. Row E. Grave 1.

Extract from The Bond of Sacrifice - Volume 2 Jan-Jun 1915:

2nd LIEUTENANT JOHN GEOFFREY STOBART, 6th BATTN. (RESERVE) RIFLE BRIGADE (THE PRINCE CONSORT'S OWN), born on the 28th January, 1892, at Spellow Hill, near Knaresborough, Yorkshire, was the youngest son of the late William Culley Stobart, and of Frances Dorothea Stobart, of Harperley Park, Co. Durham.

He was educated at Aysgarth School, Yorkshire, at Malvern College, and Pembroke College, Cambridge. At the two latter he was in the O.T.C. and at Cambridge was in the College boats. On the outbreak of the War he volunteered for service, and was attached for a month to the 3rd Battalion Durham Light Infantry, at South Shields, pending a vacancy in the 6th Battalion Rifle Brigade, to which he had been appointed, and to which he was gazetted on the 15th August, 1914. He was stationed with that Battalion at Sheerness till the 1st February, 1915, when he took out a draft of men to join the 4th Battalion in the trenches.

He was shot on the 15th March, 1915, while leading his Platoon on the retaking of the trenches at St. Eloi, and was buried at Voormezeele, near Ypres.

STRATHAM
Thomas
No further information currently
VITTY
Frederick aka Fred
Private 14594, 14th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry. Killed in Action 18th September 1916. Born Wheatley Hill, County Durham. Enlisted Harperley* and resident in Bishop Auckland. No known grave. Commemorated on THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France. Pier and Face 14 A and 15 C.
WALKINGTON
John Cooper
Private 22/911, 22nd Battalion, Durham Light Infantry. Died of wounds 20th February 1918. Born Bishop Wilton, Yorks and resident Crook, County Durham. Buried in YPRES RESERVOIR CEMETERY, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot III. Row C. Grave 12.
WRAY
John
Private 6/2976, 1/6th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry. Died of wounds 15th October 1916. Aged 20. Resident Crook and enlisted Harpley* Park. Son of Tom and Mary Jane Wray, of The Lodge, Farfield, Buttershaw, Bradford, Yorks. Native of York. Buried in DERNANCOURT COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION, Somme, France. Plot III. Row E. Grave 17.
   
NOTE:
* Harperley, on the A689 Wolsingham road, is only a mile away from Fir Tree. In addition to the ‘Camp’ being used for POW’s in both world wars it would appear it was also used for recruitment purposes.
Note on memorial but on list
*MOSY John
No further information currently
1939-1945
R.A.F.
KERR
Samuel Taylor
Sergeant (Navigator) 1495199, 625 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 13th September 1944. Son of Alexander and Selina Kerr, of Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham; husband of Selina Kerr, of Chester-le-Street, Co. Durham. Buried in DURNBACH WAR CEMETERY, Bayern, Germany. Plot 7. Row J. Collective garve 20-24.
TODD
Thomas Huntley
Sergeant (Wireless Operator) 640677, Royal Air Force. Died 16th October 1940. Son of Raymond James Todd and Ethel Annie Todd, of Fir Tree. Buried in HOWDEN-LE-WEAR CEMETERY, Durham. Section B. Grave 198.
R.N.
HODGSON
Frank
Able Seaman P/JX 358580, H.M.S. Lagan, Royal Navy. Died 20th September 1943. Aged 20. Son of Richard and Beatrice Hodgson, of Berry Brow, Yorkshire. No known grave. Commemorated on PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL, Hampshire. Panel 74, Column 3.

THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE

Last updated 18 August, 2014

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