War and Peace in a Festival of Flowers

By Judith Phillips

Hutton Magna is marking the 140th anniversary of St Mary’s church with a Festival of Flowers on the theme of War and Peace running from 28th to 30th September.

The weekend’s programme:

  • Friday 28th September at 7.00pm – Preview and opening by Robin Russell. After over 30 years as a serving soldier Mr Russell leads battlefield tours including the First World War and is also engaged in adult education.  Tickets for this event cost £5, including wine and nibbles
  • Saturday 29th September from 11.00am to 5.00pm Entry to the Festival and programme £3. Tea and Cake available in the Village Hall.
  • Sunday 30th September at 10.30am – Service of Holy Communion conducted by The Right Reverend Doctor Helen-Ann Hartley, Bishop of Ripon
  • Sunday 30th September from 11.30am to 4.00pm Entry to the Festival and programme £3. Tea and Cake available in the Village Hall.

In 2014 Hutton Magna hosted an exhibition about the men whose names appear on the village war memorial.  This information was then shared with the Museum’s project, and we are very grateful for this generous gesture.

In the Pink

World War One Stories from the Gaunless Valley

By Judith Phillips

The Evenwood, Ramshaw and District History Society and the Gaunless Valley History Trust have commissioned a film entitled ‘In the Pink’ produced by Crackin’ Toast to tell stories of local men and their families during the war.  The title comes from a letter written to his parents by Private Thomas Henry Dunn who died in December 1916.

A huge amount of research has been done by members of the groups about the 244 local men who did not return from the war and their families.  The film is their tribute.  It will be shown:

  • Thursday 27th September Evenwood Parish Hall at 7.30pm
  • Friday 28th September Evenwood Parish Hall at 7.30pm
  • Tuesday 16th October Ramshaw Primary School at 4.30pm
  • Thursday 18th October Etherley Methodist Church at 7.00pm
  • Wednesday 24th October Evenwood WMC at 7.30pm
  • Friday 26th October Butterknowle Village Hall at 7.00pm
  • Tuesday 30th October Toft Hill Primary School 6.00pm
  • Thursday 1st November Cockfield Primary School at 6.00pm
  • Thursday 8th November Butterknowle Primary School at 6.00pm
  • Sunday 11th November West Auckland Memorial Hall at 1.00pm
  • Wednesday 14th November Cornerstone Christian Centre Evenwood at 7.00pm
  • Thursday 15th November Evenwood C of E Primary School at 5.00pm
  • Friday 23rd November Hamsterley Village Hall at 7.00pm

Screenings are FREE and on a first come first served basis.  A small donation to help towards expenses in hiring equipment and venues will be asked at each screening.

A keepsake DVD of the film with an accompanying 100-page softback book will be available to buy at the end of each screening, priced at £5.00.

Members of the groups have been generous in sharing the results of their research with the Museum’s project.

Herbert Muschamp Lingford

By June Parkin

Herbert Lingford was born in Bishop Auckland in 1891. His father, Ernest, was the second-generation owner of the family provisions supplier business and manufacturer of Lingford’s Baking Powder.

In 1910 the family moved to Cotherstone, to Lancelands, their newly built country house. They are recorded there in the 1911 Census with the number of rooms stated as ten. 

However, Herbert was with at student friend’s house in Anglesey on Census night and is described as a student of Law, although this may inaccurate as he is later said to have an Msc. in Chemistry. After university he joined the family firm.

In September 1915 Herbert married Dorothea Saville, the daughter of a local Baptist minister and in July 1916 their son Kenneth was born.

When conscription was introduced, Herbert appealed as a Conscientious Objector and his case was heard at a Military Tribunal at Startforth on the 21st June 1916. He was granted Exemption from Combatant Service,

H.M.H.S Glenart Castle

conditional on joining the Friends’ Ambulance Unit. 

He trained at Jordans Camp, Buckinghamshire and was then sent to Uffculme Hospital, Birmingham. This centre had been the home of Richard Cadbury, a famous Quaker and from 1916 was used to look after disabled ex-servicemen.

Herbert also served abroad and the Teesdale Mercury of September 13th ,1916 carried a report of him sailing to Salonica in Greece (now Thessalonika). This was in the Glenart Castle a well -equipped hospital ship with 460 beds, ferrying casualties and those suffering from malaria between Greece and Malta. This is confirmed by the record of his service for the Victory and British War Medals.


Herbert left the ship in September 1916 and returned to service at Jordans and Uffculme. On 26 Feb 1918, despite being lit up at night as was required of Hospital ships, she was sunk by a torpedo from the U-Boat UC-56. Sinking in a short space of time and with most lifeboats damaged by the blast, only 32 Survivors were found. 162 personnel had perished, including most of the crew, eight nurses, and seven Medical officers along with 99 of their patients.

The memorial at Hartland Point.

Herbert was demobilised in February 1919 and was awarded the British War and Victory medals. Returning to his life in Cotherstone, he was a well-liked employer and a report in the ‘Teesdale Mercury’ of July 14th,1937 described a works outing.

In the 1939 register he is recorded as an Air Raid Precautions Warden.

In 1950 Herbert Lingford’s body was found in Flatts Wood in mysterious circumstances. His death was reported in the Teesdale Mercury of April 26th as accidental. He was fulsomely praised as ‘a leader among the Friends, a scholar, a naturalist, a Justice of the Peace in Durham and the North Riding, a man of true dignity in all his ways’. However, when the inquest was reported on May 17th, the verdict was suicide in an unknown mental state.

Herbert was buried in Cotherstone’s Quaker Burial Ground, but the only family headstone remaining is that of his son, Kenneth who died in 1992. 

Local medals

By Judith Phillips

You probably all know about the medals given to mark men’s service during the First World War: the 1914 or 1914-15 Star, the British War medal and the Victory medal.  But we know that some local communities awarded their own medal.

In Teesdale we know that Startforth and Rokeby both produced their own medal and awarded them to men from their communities who served in the war.  Do you have one of these medals?  Or perhaps you have a medal produced by a different Teesdale community? 

We would like to include a local medal in the upcoming exhibition to mark the WWI commemoration project.  The exhibition will run from 20th October 2018 to 3rd March 2019.  All exhibits will be monitored by the museum’s Exhibition and Conservation staff, so you can be reassured that they will be displayed to the highest museum standards.

If you have a medal but would prefer not to lend it, perhaps we could arrange for a high-quality photograph to be taken for display.

If you would be willing to lend a local medal to the museum exhibition or let us photograph a medal for display, please contact me with some information about the medal: Judith.phillips@thebowesmuseum.org.uk.

Canadians at war

Apologies, this is rather last notice but I didn’t hear about it until this week.  If you know of an event with WWI connections that you think would be of interest, please send us the details and we’ll publicise it if we can. 

On Thursday 6th September Jeremy Banning will give a talk about ‘The Canadian Corps in the last 100 days Aug-Nov 1918’ at the Newcastle Lit & Phil, starting at 6.00 p.m.  You can book tickets (£3 for members, £5 for non-members) by emailing library@litandphil.org.uk or by telephone 0191 232 0192.

The period 8 august-11 November 1918 came to be known as the 100 Days Offensive.  But the Canadian Corps’ significant contributions along the western Front generated the name ‘Canada’s 100 Days’.  During this time, Canadian and Allied forces pushed the German Army from Amiens in France to Mons in Belgium in a series of battles.  The drive ended in German surrender and the end of the war.

Jeremy Banning is an historian and researcher specialising in the First World War.  He has collaborated on several books, done research for television and radio programmes and acted as historical consultant for a range of television programmes.  He gives talks on a wide range of topics relating to the First World War and organises battleground tours.

Blogs and WWI

By Judith Phillips

I’m not a natural blogger or blog-user (is that the right word?), so it’s not surprising that I hadn’t realised there are some very interesting blogs with WWI connections on the museum’s website.  You’ll find the blogs on www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk under About Us/Museum Blog.

I was trawling through the museum’s website for something completely different when I discovered the wealth of information and images in the blogs.  It’s not that I didn’t know about the blogs, I had forgotten about them as I just hadn’t got into the habit of checking them.  I was idly scrolling through the titles and images when my eye was caught by ‘A WWI Officer’s Tunic: conservation Report’ dated 23 July 2015.  It was fascinating to read about the work that went into dealing with insect damage, cloth deterioration, staining and surface dirt and then putting the tunic on display.  An earlier blog on 7 June 2015 (which I found a little later) showed how the tunic was selected to form part of the museum’s response to the Yves Saint Laurent exhibition Style is Eternal.

Buoyed by this success, I trawled further back and found a blog by project volunteer Jane Wilson about the Toby jugs on display outside Café Bowes!  I had completely forgotten about the blog and it brought back some good memories of installation day.  The jugs are still on display and I hope to talk more about them as part of the programme of events and activities we’re putting together to complement the exhibition (mentioned in the previous piece in the newsletter).

And that wasn’t the end.  I kept on looking, and I was rewarded with a blog on 10 August 2014 – almost a century to the day from the beginning of the First World War.  The objects highlighted were a wedding costume worn by a war bride and I was reminded that I had been intrigued to see this on display.  I now know a lot more about the bride, groom and their families and how they were affected by the war.  I’ll write it up for the next newsletter.

So, if ever you have a quiet moment and wonder what to do, I suggest trawling the museum blogs – you never know what you’ll find.