Memorials protected for future

Part of Blyth submariners' memorial. Picture by North East War Memorials Project
Part of Blyth submariners' memorial. Picture by North East War Memorials Project

Two Blyth war memorials have been Grade II listed as part of a nationwide commemoration of the centenary of the First World War.

The First World War memorial and the submariners’ memorial are among 13 in the North East listed as part of Historic England’s pledge to protect 2,500 memorials around the country by 2018. Its goal is to see as many war memorials as possible are in a fitting condition for the centenary.

The submariners’ memorial was erected in Blyth cemetery in memory of three crewmen of HMS E30 and one from HMS Trident.

Petty Officer Telegraphist Robert Larcombe, Able Seaman Edward Howard and Stoker First Class John Smith died at sea in an accidental explosion on board HMS E30 on April 7, 1916, and were buried in Blyth cemetery. Petty Officer Stoker George Lyons, serving on HMS Trident, died on April 29, 1916, shortly after the vessel was completed. He drowned having fallen in an accident at Blyth dock, trying to board his ship. He was also buried in the cemetery.

The First World War memorial for the town of Blyth, including New Delaval, Newsham, Bebside and Cowpen, was erected outside the Knight Memorial Hospital on Beaconsfield Street. It was unveiled on November 17, 1923, by the Duke of Northumberland and dedicated by Rev A Tuson, Vicar of Blyth, in commemoration of 637 servicemen who died in the First World War.

Designed by the borough surveyor, Mr Leiper, and built by T and G Cocks of Blyth, the memorial cost £2,000, raised by public subscription. It was moved to its location in Ridley Park in 1950.