Loss of War Memorials at Gateshead Grammar School

"Heartless vandals have destroyed a War memorial just days before Britain honours its heroes on Remembrance Sunday.
The sick vandals removed and destroyed the panelling bearing the names of those who died fighting in the First and Second World Wars.
John Barton, 64, slammed the malicious destroyers for causing ‘immeasurable sentimental damage’ to proud families of fallen soldiers in the town. ‘This was all our fallen heroes have to be remembered by."

The webmaster of this website has changed a few words of a War History Online true report of a heartless criminal act 
to pretty much describe what happened to the Gateshead Grammar War Memorials ..only the culprits differ

Here is the account. 

When Saltwell High was demolished it is believed that the War Memorial panelling was taken to Breckenbeds with the intention of installing it there.  No suitable location was identified and after some time the panel pieces were taken to the Dryden Centre (formerly Girls Grammar School) where they languished at the bottom of the stairwell leading from the Gym to the changing rooms.  That they were definitely there is attested by a former GGS pupil 

It is believed that they were considered a fire hazard by the local Fire Officer, who said they should be moved from that position.  The solution, as far as those education people at the Centre was concerned, was just to get rid of them, and they were taken away and scrapped without warning.  It is supposed that they were an embarrassment to the officials in the Dryden Centre. 

The fact that they were an important part of local history, not to mention the sensitivity of erasing a memorial to those giving their lives for the Country was obviously of no consequence to them.

The story that started this item ended with that Local Authority being in a race against time to install a new memorial in time for Remembrance Sunday.

The leader of  that Council, said: ‘I am appalled by the theft of the panel. ‘I condemn the callous behaviour of whoever is responsible for ripping down this panel listing the names of the fallen."

The Webmaster is hoping that a journalist or member of the public or the North East War Memorials Project will pick up on this and seek from the Leader of Gateshead Council, who will have no knowledge whatsoever about this, what he now intends to do by way of replacing a public record of the names of those Gateshead lads who lost their lives and/or dealing with the Officials who took this action without reference to Council members.

We'll do our part to gather as much information as we can to assist in recreating the Memorials by Gateshead Council, at whose hands the originals were destroyed. It is very important to record the design and most importantly the names of the fallen for the benefit of genealogists of the future.

This is a clipping from The Journal dated Dec 16 1960 (kindly supplied by Tom Maddison) and says "Two features..are to be preserved. They are the two memorials which commemorate former pupils who were killed in two World Wars" (It says it was designed by a former pupil..elsewhere it is reported to have been by a teacher, Art Master Robert Rowell)

Here's some detail of the WWI war memorial seen at the back of a sports photograph, (submitted by TWM) a spot oft used for taking group pictures. It is of the Lawrence Binyon war poem on the right hand side

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust, 
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

On the left hand side panel was this, also by Lawrence Binyon

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

A full description of the WWI War Memorial  may be viewed by clicking the link. The WWI War Memorial was commissioned, using funds raised by public prescription and the sculptor was none other than the very famous artist Ralph Hedley. The Memorial, wor memorial, was handed over to the care of Gateshead Council, accepted by the then Chairman of the Education Committee, Alderman Thubron. The Council, in destroying the Memorial, which was only in their safekeeping, are culpable on so many levels...not least the insult to the memory of fallen soldiers and the loss of historic work by the Region's most  famous artist. This information has only just come to light and it is believed by many that a claim should be lodged against the Council (and their Public Liability Insurers) to commission a replacement in time for the Centenary of WWI in 2014.
The funding of the WWII Memorial is unknown currently 

J. Adamson             T.F. Mitchell

   R.A. Appleton          B. McCabe

   W.E. Archbold          C. Mudd

   L. Arkle               J.E. Newton

   N. Arkle               W. Nichols

   J.W. Arkless           R. Noble

   J.G. Bamborough        H. Olsen

   H. Blades              B.P. Ord

   G.M. Blake             R.W. Potter

   H.A. Bowman            J. Potter

   R.W. Brewis            J.H. Poulton

   H.M. Brockett          G. Punshon

   J.A. Bruce             H.F. Punshon

   S. Cheverton           W.G. Pretsell

   F.A. Chipman           S. Parkinson

   T.J. Clark             T.W. Rollo

   F. Clark               F. Russell

   S. Clarke              E. Russell

   J.S. Copeland          H.M. Ridley

   P.H. Coxon             J. Ridley

   W. Craig               G. Robertson

   W. Cummings            A. Simpson

   J. Cummins             E. Stott

   J. Dick                J. Stott

   J. Dellow              J.T. Sinclair

   T. Dickinson           E. Tragheim

   F. Elliott             F.H.L. Trotman

   G. Ellis               N.E. Turnbull

   T. Ellison             J. Truran

   J.H. Fisher            E.A. Walton 

   J. Forster             G.N. Watkins

   W. Goddard             E. Watson

   S.T. Goldthorp         F. Welch

   H.F. Gibson            W. Wilson

   C. Iley                J. Warden

   G. Kirk                E. Waud

   R. Lawson              J. Young

   W. Lowery              E.C. Hadden

   W.J. Luke              F. Heslop

   J.W. Lamb              D. Morrison

   B. Maddison            J.M. Lightfoot  

   R. Mason               J.E. Snee

   T.C. Mason             G.W. Wearmouth

Details of WWII Memorial

The WWII Memorial was unveiled on 18th October 1948 and the following are the names on that Memorial. The Year preceding the name is the individual's Intake Year (thought but now confirmed thanks to contribution from Sergio...see below who has supplied info on the two Ross brothers)

1923 Gavin Edgar Taylor

1923 Harry Tyreman

1924 Edgar Bailey

1924 William James Sharp

1925 Basil Mann

1926 Robert Bernard Bowran

1926 George Howard Emmerson

1926 Robert Egdell

1927 Edgar Tong Briggs

1927 John Maurice Tallentire

1928 Roland Moorin

1928 Harry Redfern Elliot

1929 Thomas Megorin

1929 John Butler

1929 Murray Donaldson

1929 Leslie White Mackinlay

1929 Arthur Marshall

1929 Harry Matson

1929 James Summers

1930 Thomas Armstrong

1930 Alan Bowman

1930 Colin Brown

1930 Stuart Gilfillan

1930 William Moody

1930 William Ridealgh

1930 John Ross

1930 Neal Warden

1930 Roger Drummond Wilkinson

1931 John A Nicholson

1931 Turner Crankshaw

1931 Leslie Garbutt

1931 James Robert Hutchison

1931 D. E. Coyle

1931 John Francis Waed

1932 Stuart Bell

1932 Marion Donaldson

1932 Angus Eades

1932 George M Inness

1932 Harry Jobling

1932 Norman Law

1932 George Mercer Mackinlay

1932 Philip Henry Peel

1932 George Jewitt Rix

1932 Joseph Spraggon

1932 Robert Henry Welsh

1933 James Conway Burns

1933 Ronald Albert Freestone

1933 Henry Oswald Pennington

1933 Alan Ross

1933 John Aylwin Williamson

1934 Stuart Ferguson

1934 John Birkett Langley

1934 Charles Lockwood

1934 James Walker

1934 Harry Robinson

Appeal for Information about the Ross Brothers, listed above

I'm an historical aviation researcher ( hobby, not job ) and I live in Lodi, North West Italy, near Milano.

I'm sending you this e-mail about an Gateshead aviator Alan Ross who during ww2 died near my city. He is listed above.
Further Details of Alan Ross
Rank: Sergeant (Air bomber)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 40 Sqdn
Date of Death:11/07/1944
Service n°: 1494140
Additional Information: Son of Percy and Mary Jane Ross, of Gateshead, Co. Durham.

Alan Ross, died in july 11, 1944. He crashed in northern Italy, near Milano with his aircraft: WELLINGTON X  MF399, 40° SQDN RAF, 205 GROUP. Airport of departure: Regina, Italy.
 Crew: Flight Sergeant (Pilot) WALTERS, NORMAN (RAF); Flight Sergeant (Air Gnr.)  ELWORTHY, ARTHUR JAMES (RAF); Flight Sergeant (Nav) MABEY, ALBERT HORACE (RAF); Sergeant (W.Op./Air Gnr.) McKENZIE, ANDREW (RAF); Flight Sergeant (Air Bomber) ROSS, ALAN (RAF).
They are all buried in a collective grave (Yet, see Photo of Alan Ross Headstone) in Milan War Cemetery. You can see his entry on the web site of CWGC.

Alan Ross was born in 1921, he had a brother, John, was born in 1918 and he also listed above 

Alan Ross also had two sisters: Mary was born in 1916. and Kathleen was born in 1924.
Kathleen married in 1945 Jon L. Murray and had two children: Carol was born 1948 and Colin R. was born 1955.

When I discovered these episodes of the history of my city I became, and have remained, impressed. A man so young.
These episodes have been completely forgotten. At the place of crash there is no headstone to the memory of these episodes.
I would like to find:
-any documents about Alan Ross and his crew.
- any Photos of Alan Ross and his crew.
-any articles in newspaper.
-some of his relatives living.

Please can you help me?  

Your Sincerely

Sergio Inzoli

If you have information Contact

Webmaster adds
From this, knowing the name of parents 
Percy and Mary Jane Ross, of Gateshead, Co. Durham. John Ross, Age 25, Pilot Officer RAF was killed on 9 May 1944 In Malta (Malta Memorial Panel 13 Column 2)

More Detail of GGS Memorial

dulce et decorum est pro patria mori
pro patria...for one's country
The whole expression "it is sweet and right to die for one's country"

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest 
To children ardent for some desperate glory, 
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est 
Pro patria mori.

Wilfred Owen, Poet
8 October 1917 - March, 1918