Local War Memorials

War memorials within the parish are at Bowburn, Tursdale and Cassop.

A. Bowburn

1. World War I

1.1. The memorial plaque now in Christ the King Church, Bowburn, is dedicated:

“To the Glory of God

and in Memory of the Men

of the Parish of Cassop-cum-Quarrington with Bowburn

who Fought and Died for Justice and Liberty

in the Great War 1914-1919”

It has the names of 78 men in total. These are in three lists, one for Bowburn (35), one for Cassop (16) and one for Quarrington [Hill] (27).

Although there may be some exceptions, the general rule seems to be that this memorial is to men who lived in the [ecclesiastical] Parish.

This plaque was originally in the St. Paul’s, Parish Church, at Quarrington Hill. When the church was demolished, in 1993, it was moved to St. Paul’s Worship Centre [church hall], Quarrington Hill. When that was demolished, in 1999, it was moved to Christ the King Church, in Bowburn. When that was demolished, in 2007, it was moved to Quarrington Hill Community Centre. When the new Christ the King Church was built, in 2009, it was moved there.


1.2. The memorial that is now in Bowburn Community Centre is dedicated:

“To the Glory of God

and in Memory of those who fell

in the Great War 1914-1919”

It has the names of 35 men.

Although there may be some exceptions, the general rule seems to be that this memorial is to men who worked at Bowburn Colliery.

This plaque, described at the time as a Roll of Honour, was originally in the first Bowburn Miners’ Welfare Hall & Institute. It was unveiled by the Rev. Thomas Wardle, vicar of St. Paul’s, and dedicated by Rev. A. J. Gadd, former vicar of St. Paul’s and honorary chaplain to H.M. Forces, when the Miners’ Institute was opened on 26 February 1921. Originally, this roll of honour was on brass, mounted on marble and framed in oak. The original surround was presumably lost when the wooden institute was demolished.

When the new Miners’s Welfare Hall was built, in 1961, it was moved there. The original institute was subsequently demolished. The new Welfare Hall became Bowburn Community Centre after Bowburn Colliery closed in 1967.


1.3. Although there are 35 names of Bowburn men on the Church memorial, and 35 names on the Community Centre memorial, they are not the same.

A total of Bowburn 49 names (i.e. not including the Cassop and Quarrington [Hill] ones) are listed on the two memorials.

An additional small plaque was erected at Bowburn Community Centre, with the names of four Bowburn men who had not previously appeared on either of the above two memorials. (See the bottom of the above picture.)

It is believed that a total of 56 Bowburn men died in, or as a result of, action in WWI.


2. World War II

A Book of Remembrance is kept in a special case in Bowburn Community Centre. It is dedicated:

“To those who fell in war to give us peace”.

A page is assigned to each of the 33 men from Bowburn who died in action in WWII, with regimental and next of kin details etc.. The pages are turned occasionally, to display different names.

The book is held in a pedestal case, made in oak from the pews of Bowburn Methodist Church, which had recently been refurbished. The case was designed and constructed by local ex-miner, John Johnson.

It was dedicated on 28 July 1998, when Gerry Steinberg M.P. attended.

Poppies are generally placed in the case on Remembrance Sunday, but without any special ceremony.


3. Bowburn War Memorial

A stone war memorial is situated by the entrance to Prince Charles Avenue from the Durham Road.

It is dedicated:

“To those who fell in war to give us peace”.

It was unveiled by the Mayor of Durham, Cllr. George Cowper, on 7 May 1995.

There are no names on this memorial, nor reference to any specific conflicts.

Wreaths are laid here (see below) and remain there throughout the year.


4. Bowburn Remembrance Sunday Services

Since the war memorial was erected in 1995 (the 50th anniversary of the end of WWII), there has been a service there every Remembrance Sunday, when an address is given by local clergy, prayers are said, hymns sung and wreaths laid, with the Last Post being played at 11am.

For the first few years (in 1995 and after), a cornet player played the Last Post and Rouse. However in 2009, when one was not available, recorded music was used and this has been repeated since then.

Bowburn Village Celebration (BVC), which commissioned the memorial (and the Book of Remembrance and the additional WWI plaque referred to above), coordinates this event in general terms. Details of the service are arranged by the local Anglican and Methodist churches.


B. Tursdale

Tursdale Aged Mineworkers War Memorial Homes were opened by Col. M. L. Bell, C.M.G., on 15 October 1920. A memorial to men who died in World War I was dedicated at the same time.

41 men who worked at Tursdale Colliery are honoured on the memorial.

Although Tursdale Colliery was in Cassop-cum-Quarrington Parish, as is most of today’s hamlet, this memorial is in Cornforth Parish, as are the aged miners’ homes.


C. Cassop

The names of 16 Cassop men are listed on the memorial plaque now in Christ the King Church, Bowburn. (See above.)