The names of hundreds of war heroes to be displayed in public again in time for Remembrance Sunday

A First World War memorial which has been behind closed doors is back on show ready for Remembrance Sunday after historians became custodians of the plaque.

Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 5:04 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 9:15 am

The display has been inside the former Dawdon Co-op building in Princess Road, but will be installed as part of the collection of items looked after by East Durham Heritage Group, based in Seaham Marina, almost 100 years on from its installation.

It was put up in April 1920 and reads: “To the honour and memory of their comrades who fell in the Great War 1914-1919,” followed by their names, William A Dodds, Frederick Cole, Martin Brewer, Joseph Purnell and Charles T Potter.

The wood and brass plaque was placed by the employees of the Ryhope and Silksworth Industrial and Provident Society Ltd Dawdon Branch within the office foyer of the store, which had a tailors and its own stable block in addition to retail counters including a grocer and butcher.

Historians Brian Scollen and Geordie Maitland, right, with the war memorial from Dawdon Co-Op.

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The building, which is now the base for a series of businesses, also became home to a bar after Dawdon Club suffered a fire in the early 1970s.

The plaque joins others collected by the history enthusiasts, including one from the former Salvation Army citadel in Tempest Road, now a dog grooming firm, which is made from glass and is etched with a dedication and names, and another plate, hand-stamped with letters and numbers, from Cornish Street in New Seaham, which had been inside a Methodist chapel before the street was cleared to make way for the Eastlea estate.

They join a large number of photos of Seaham and Dawdon Collieries, churches and RNLI items, including the restored George Elmy Lifeboat.

Brian Scollen, one of the members of the group, said: “We’re over the moon because it’s been in the Co-op and not many people would be able to see it.

Dawdon Co-op building, in Princess Road, Seaham

“Now, everybody will be able to see it, it will be up for anyone to come down to look at.

“I think it couldn’t be better that it has come into the light just before Armistice Day.”

The centre is open Thursday to Sunday from 11am to 3pm.

The war memorial is now on display at East Durham Heritage and Lifeboat Centre
The war memorial from the Salvation Army citadel in Tempest Road is also on display at East Durham Heritage and Lifeboat Centre.
Historians Brian Scollen and Geordie Maitland with the glass war memorial display, which was originally on show inside the Salvation Army's building in Tempest Road in Seaham.
The New Seaham memorial, which was once on show inside a methodist chapel in Cornish Street.