MEMORY LANE: A Hartlepool family that went to war

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A STORY of family heroes has been shared with Family Roots by a genealogist who has told us all about her ancestors from Hartlepool.

Mrs Paula Thomas, from Hardwick Road, in Stockton, got in touch to share a tale of service by her relatives in the two world wars.

Her great-great granddad was Hartlepool man Joseph London, who was born in 1833.

Paula told us: “He was 31 when he joined the Army. His father was George and his mother was Mary Ann.”

Joseph got married on August 1, 1904, to Elizabeth Storer, and they went on to have five children.

They were called Margaret Ann, Joseph, Victor, Edward and Ronald, and they lived in Alice Street, in Hartlepool.

Joseph senior served with the Durham Light Infantry (DLI) and joined the war effort on December 10, 1915. By then, he was already considerably older than most recruits.

He was a private in the DLI and served until August 26, 1918, when medics pensioned him out of the Army, said Mrs Thomas. He was given a £1 a week pension.

But there’s one question that Paula would love an answer to. She wants to find out who the two people are in the photograph with her great-great granddad.

Joseph London junior is shown in our second photograph. Paula told us: “He was born in 1910 and married Blance Wheeler in December 1926.”

He served in the Second World War, and Paula added: “I asked my great granddad what the war was like, and all he said was ‘you don’t want to know.’ He would not say any more about the war.”

We would love to help Paula find out who the other people are in the photograph.

Get in touch by contacting Chris Cordner on (01429) 239377 or email