Families of soldiers to unveil new war memorial to men who paid ultimate sacrifice

Hesleden Cemetery new war memorial
Hesleden Cemetery new war memorial

A village’s first ever war memorial is set to be unveilled by the families of men it pays tribute to.

Hesleden village in East Durham has secured the memorial thanks to a year long project between the Blackhalls Local History Group, Monk Hesleden Parish Council and local county councillors.

Eight children, four of whom have relatives mentioned on the plaque, will unveil the memorial

Stan Gray, Blackhalls Local History Group

Installed in the village cemetery, it pays tribute to local servicemen who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

They include nine First and Second World War casualties from the village that up until now were only featured on a commemorative plaque that was housed in St John’s Church, and later Hesleden Primary School.

An official unveiling ceremony will be held on Wednesday, October 4.

Stan Gray, treasurer of Blackhalls Local History Group, said: “Hesleden has never had a war memorial.

“It was Durham county councillor Rob Croote who said last November it would be a good idea if we got one, so that’s what we did.

“We got funding through Monk Hesleden Parish Council and also from the two local county councillors.

“As part of the project we have researched nine servicemen from the commemorative plaque.

“We found that there are still living relatives of these servicemen, so scrolls will be presented to a member of their families by Dorothy Hall from the North East War Memorial Project at the unveiling ceremony.

“Eight children, four of whom have relatives mentioned on the plaque, will unveil the memorial.”

Representatives from the Durham Light Infantry and British Legion are due to attend with a standard.

Afterwards, a display about the project will be held in Hesleden Methodist Chapel.

Bookmarks will be presented to school children and to all who have helped with the project.

The unveiling ceremony takes place at 10am.