This year marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One and we have assembled galleries of pictures, stories and mementoes in tribute to the North East men and women who lived and died during that terrible and extraordinary time.
Harry, William & Arthur Buckham, of Newcastle
June Jackson, of Newcastle, tells their story: My grandparents Mr & Mrs Buckham had three sons, the eldest Harry was in the Medical Corps and was awarded the Croix de Guerre for saving many lives in France and Belgium.
The second son William was in the Flying Corps, during the second war he joined the Fleet Air Arm Flying Corps Torpedo Dept, Portsmouth, Scotland, Vancouver, Portland Bill and finally Simontown.
Arthur the youngest son, 17, had a weak heart and was turned down for service One day he was at the Central Station seeing his brothers back to service, as he was leaving a woman put a white feather in his coat calling him a coward. He was so upset, he tried again and again to be accepted for service, he was finally accepted by the Northumberland Fusiliers as a signaller. He was wounded and died a few days before armistice
Samuel George Pipe, of Middlesbrough, born 1884, died 1917, aged 33
Will Troughton of Wales, of no direct relationship, tells their story: Samuel George Pipe was a crew member on the SS Linwood which disappeared without trace in January 1917. He was engaged to a great aunt of mine. She was single for the rest of her life and often spoke lovingly of her Sam
Samuel George Pipe, engineer on SS Linwood, Merchant Navy.
John Gray, of Gateshead, born 1880, died 5 November 1916, aged 36
Private 4793, 9th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry.
Mona Gallifent of Cramlington, their Great Granddaughter, tells his story: My Great Grandfather, John Gray, was in the 9th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry.
He was killed on 5th November 1916, at the age of 36, at the Butte de Warlencourt during the final stages of the 1916 Battle of the Somme.
The Butte de Warlencourt is an ancient burial mound which dominated the British lines. The Germans had constructed deep dugouts throughout the Butte, making it a formidable defensive position. On 5 November it was attacked by the 1/9th DLI.
Initially the attack was successful with a foothold being gained in the German trenches. A few Durham soldiers captured the Butte but were driven back that night with appalling casualties. The attack was a failure. Over 130 Durham men had been killed, with 400 wounded and 300 missing - most of whom had been lost in the mud.
I believe my Great Grandfather's body was never recovered and may still lie buried in the mud. He has no grave but his name is recorded on the Thiepval Memorial and on the Roll of Honour of Gateshead men who fell, currently in the Gateshead Library.
John Gray left a wife and five young children. In memory of my Great Grandad, John Gray.
Abner Sanders, of Belper, died 1914, aged 29
Tim Sanders of Nottingham, their Great Grandson, tells his story: Private Abner Sanders 457 1st Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers. Enlisted in 1904, recalled as reservist on outbreak and landed in France 13th August 1914.
Wounded during battle of La Bassee on 14th October and died in Connaught Hospital Aldershot on 1st November 1914.
Abner Sanders 457 1st Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers.
Sydney Hunter, of Washington Village, born Usworth, died 1966, aged 84
Regimental Sergeant Major 15th Battalion, DLI 19353
Hilary Miller of Washington, their Great Niece, tells his story: After serving in the Boar war with the DLI Sydney Hunter volunteered to re-join in October 1914 and served in the 15th Battalion DLI.
During his service he achieved the rank of Regimental Sergeant Major. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for Bravery for leading an attack on a German machine gun position.
After the war he returned to his wife Elizabeth and his daughter Gladys and his role as the landlord of the Commercial Inn, Washington Village. In 1926 he sold the business and emigrated to Canada. He died there in 1966.
His ashes were brought home to England by his daughter Gladys, and buried in Washington Village Churchyard in his parents grave.
Great Uncle Sydney's medals were donated to the DLI Museum where they are on display in the medal room. I never met Sydney but my mother always talked about him with great respect and fondness. Sydney Hunter 19353 15th Battalion, DLI.
William Waugh, of Crawcrook, Ryton on Tyne, County Durham, born 1881, died 1917, aged 36
Michael Hardy of Crawcrook, of the Ryton and District War Memorials Project, tells his story:
William was the son of John and Jane Waugh, of 40 Emmaville, West Ryton on Tyne, County Durham. William was the husband of Ellen Waugh, of 5 Fell View, Crawcrook, Ryton on Tyne.
William and Ellen had four children: John Robert, Sarah Jane, Mary and Ellen. William was a miner at Emma Colliery and a native of Wylam, Northumberland.
William served with the 1st/9th Bn Durham Light Infantry (Territorial Force) He received a gunshot wound to his chest and was admitted to the 1st Australian General Hospital, France, on 27th April 1917.
A letter dated the same date was sent to Mrs Waugh from nursing sister E.A.Watts explaining William's death. "Dear Mrs Waugh, I am sorry to write and tell you your husband died this afternoon, a little after 2pm. He was wounded in the chest and his lung was affected. Everything was done that was possible. He told me to give you his best love". Elizabeth Anne Watts who wrote the letter was the head sister. She had enlisted in November of 1914. She returned to Australia after the war in 1919.
Elizabeth died in Western Australia, in 1941, aged sixty eight years.
Joseph Walker, of Clara Vale, Ryton on Tyne., born 1894, died 1915, aged 21
Joseph Walker Able Seaman. Michael Hardy of Crawcrook, of the Ryton and District War Memorials Project, tells his story:
Joseph was the son of Samuel and Mary Walker, of 12 North View, Clara Vale, Ryton on Tyne, County Durham. Joseph was a miner at Clara Vale Colliery and a native of Lintz, County Durham.
Joseph enlisted into the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, at HMS Calliope, Newcastle upon Tyne, on 18th January, 1915. Whilst serving with Anson Battalion, Royal Naval Division, at Gallipoli, Turkey, Joseph received a bullet wound to his abdomen, he died of his wounds the following day 2nd November, 1915.
Joseph is buried in Skew Bridge Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey. Joseph's brother, Robert Walker, was killed in action on 15th September 1916 in France, whilst serving with the 1st/9th Bn Durham Light Infantry. Joseph's two brothers in law, were killed during the war. Thomas Orr was killed in action on 26th April, 1915 whist serving with the 1st/4th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers, and David Orr was killed in action on 5th June, 1917 whilst serving with the 20th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers (1st Tyneside Scottish).
Joseph's nephew, William Walker (son of brother Robert Walker) was killed in action on 31st May 1940 during WW2 whilst serving with the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers.
George Jackson Pringle Bird, of Clara Vale, Ryton on Tyne, Co. Durham, born 1893, died 1915, aged 22
Michael Hardy of Crawcrook, The Ryton and District War Memorials Project, tells his story: George was the son of George and Sebbie Jane Bird, of 6 Maryside Place, Clara Vale, Ryton on Tyne, Co. Durham. George was a native of Longtown, Carlisle, Cumberland. Before enlisting in the Royal Marines George was a miner at Clara Vale Colliery, his father also worked at the Colliery as a horse keeper.
George enlisted in the Royal Marine Light Infantry, Royal Naval Division, Portsmouth Battalion, on 12th October 1914. After a period of training at the Division's home barracks, George embarked with the Royal Marine Brigade on 3rd December 1914 to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force at Gallipoli, Turkey.
George was killed in action on Saturday 12th June 1915 at the Third Battle of Krithia, whilst attacking Achi Baba. Two of George's work mates from the colliery were also killed in action during the Gallipoli campaign, Privates George Humble, of Crawcrook, was killed in action on 6th May 1915 and Private Robert Balance, of Clara Vale, was killed in action on 28th April 1917, both served with the Royal Marine Light Infantry. George is commemorated at Redoubt Cemetery, Helles, Gallipoli.
Guy Murray Harbottle, of Ryton on Tyne, Co Durham, born 1892, died 1917, aged 25
273089 1st/9th Battalion Durham Light Infantry (Territorial Force)
Michael Hardy of Crawcrook, The Ryton and District War Memorials Project, tells his story: Guy Murray was the fourth son of Martha and the late William Harbottle, of 6 Watsons Buildings, Ryton on Tyne, Co Durham. Guy was a native of Throckley, Northumberland, his mother was a native of Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Before enlisting in the 1st/9th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry (Territorial Force) Guy worked as a miner at Addison Colliery. Guy was severely wounded during the Battle of Arras, France, in April of 1917. He was evacuated back to the UK and was admitted to Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow. The hospital was known as the 3rd and 4th Scottish General Hospitals, under the Royal Army Medical Corps, where wounded troops were brought from the continent by train.
Sadly Guy Murray died of his wounds on 18th May 1917. Guy was returned to his home village of Ryton on Tyne where he received full military honours during the burial service. A firing party under the command of sergeant Douglas, of the Northumberland Fusiliers, fired three volleys over the grave. The Last Post was sounded by Corporal Giles and Bugler, Bosworth. Guy's remains lie in Ryton Cemetery, Hexham Old Road, Ryton on Tyne.
Guy received the 1914-15 Star, War Medal and Victory Medal.
Frederick Mitchinson, of Emmaville, West Ryton on Tyne, born 1899, died 1918, aged 19
Deck Hand Frederick Mitchinson. Michael Hardy of Crawcrook, their The Ryton and District War Memorials Project, tells his story: Frederick was the son of Margaret Mitchinson and the late John, of 3 Emmaville, West Ryton on Tyne, Co. Durham. Born at Crawcrook, Frederick was a pony putter at Emma Colliery before he joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, on 7th November 1917 serving with HMS Actaeon.
Frederick's father had died in January of 1918 and a brother Albert Ernest had died in February of 1917 aged nine years. Frederick took part in the famous Zeebrugge Raid on 23rd April 1918 where the Royal Navy attempted to block the Belgium port of Bruges-Zeebrugge.
Frederick was on board one of the Naval launches during the battle, he spent some time in the sea. It is believed his illness was attributed to his time spent in the water during the battle. Frederick died of pneumonia in Gillingham Naval Hospital, Kent, on 31st October 1918.
His remains were returned to his home village of Emmaville, where he was accorded a full military funeral attended by family and friends, including his ship-mates. Frederick is buried in Ryton and Crawcrook Cemetery, Hexham Old Road, Ryton.
William Harrison, of Clara Vale, Ryton on Tyne, Co. Durham, died 1918
Private William Harrison 6th Battalion Tank Corps.
Michael Hardy of Crawcrook, their The Ryton and District War Memorials Project, tells their story: William was the son of Joseph and Mary Ann Harrison. The Harrison's were a mining family originally from the Castle Eden Colliery area of County Durham.
William worked as a pay clerk in the office at Clara Vale Colliery before enlisting with the 6th Battalion Tank Corps during WW1. Five weeks before his death William had returned to Clara Vale on leave and married his sweetheart Janet Johnstone, on 11th February 1918, at the Wesleyan Church, Ryton on Tyne.The couple resided at 10 Edington Gardens, Clara Vale.
Anecdotal evidence claims that William was killed in camp on 21st March 1918 by an incoming mortar round whilst he was relaxing having a cup of tea, other evidence suggests that William died of his wounds some time later. A memorial plaque commemorating William was given to the Ryton and District War Memorials Project team in 2006 by the then incumbent at St John's Church, Greenside. It is believed that the bronze plaque was originally displayed in the Church of the Good Shepherd, at Clara Vale, which had been demolished some years earlier.
The project team managed to contact William's ancestors from the Durham area and handed over the plaque to them. 'The Jolly Tankers'
Joseph Herbert Waugh, of Clara Vale, Ryton on Tyne, Co. Durham, born 1889, died 1917, aged 28
Michael Hardy of Crawcrook, their The Ryton and District War Memorials Project, tells their story: Joseph was the son of William and Hannah Waugh, of 6 Edington Gardens, Clara Vale, Ryton on Tyne, Co. Durham.
The Waugh family had moved to Clara Vale around 1892-93 from the Cumberland area. Joseph was educated at Clara Vale Council School before working as a engineman at Clara Vale Colliery.
Joseph was the ninth child of seventeen in the family. He emigrated to Wellington, New Zealand, with his uncle Jim Waugh around 1912 he then moved onto Australia to find work. Joseph enlisted into the 35th Battalion Australian Imperial Force on 3rd December, 1915 at West Maitland. He embarked on the troopship ' Benalla' from Sidney, on 1st May 1916 arriving at Plymouth, England, on 9th July 1916. He then proceeded from Southampton, for France, on 21st November 1916.
Joseph was killed in action on 7th June 1917 at the 'Battle of Messines' Belgium. Joseph was recorded as being buried in the German wire 100 yards from the overturned dugout, one mile South of Messines. Joseph's remains were never recovered and he is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium.
Joseph is also recorded on Ryton War Memorial, and Clara Vale Colliery Memorial.
We are grateful to readers for helping us build up a marvellous collection of stories and pictures in our galleries of Your WW1 Heroes this year. While we are happy to accept submissions which may be published in the future, we are no longer looking to regularly publish new galleries.