The main Town War Memorial situated within The Bowes Museum grounds and the South African War Memorial in upper Galgate have been the responsibility of Barnard Castle Town Council for some time. As no other organisation would take on the responsibility for the Durham Light Infantry Memorial, also situated within The Bowes Museum grounds, the Town Council agreed to encompass this within its remit.
During 2009, with the assistance of grants from English Heritage and the War Memorials Trust, a restoration project was undertaken on all three Memorials. A double taxation payment received from Durham County Council during 2009 was used to meet part of the costs of this project. Further re-gilding work on the main Memorial is also to be undertaken during 2010.
The possible provision of an additional plaque and a Book of Remembrance in respect of local people who have died in other conflicts has not yet been fully investigated. Further information on this is awaited.
The Town War Memorial is situated in the south east corner of the grounds of The Bowes Museum. Built from Portland Limestone and granite to commemorate those who fell in WW1 and II.
The base comprises a plinth of five steps supporting a pedestal and surmounted by an obelisk. The pedestal contains lead lettering and the ogee moulded entablature of the pedestal has on each face, a semi-circle with garlands. The base of the pedestal contains an inscription on the North Elevation. The inscription reads:
1914 – 1919
In grateful remembrance of the men of Barnard Castle of all ranks, who fell in the Great War for God and King and right they gave their all.
A granite table with gold lettering is also mounted on the North Elevation and bears the names of those who fell during WWII.
Boer War Memorial
The Boer War Memorial is situated in upper Galgate within a Garden of Remembrance. The square base and plinth is built from Sandstone and is surmounted by a red granite boulder. The Memorial bears a brass plaque which, over time, has been relocated to the opposite side following the creation of the Garden of Remembrance. The inscription reads:
In memory of the Officers, NCOs and men of the 3RD (Militia) Batt the Durham Light Infantry, The Imperial Yeomanry and local volunteers attached to the line regiments who died in South Africa during the Boer War. 1899 – 1902.
There is also an additional brass plaque located beneath relating to the Garden of Remembrance. The inscription reads:
The Enclosed Area Surrounding This South African War Memorial Is Dedicated As a Garden of Remembrance to The Men of Barnard Castle Who Lost Their Lives in World War II.
The Design on the gate is based on an ancient official seal of the town. Other War Memorials may be seen in the Parish Church and in the Bowes Museum Park.
Durham Light Infantry Memorial
The Durham Light Infantry Memorial is located in the south west corner of the grounds of the Bowes Museum. Built to commemorate all ranks of the old Barnard Castle Militia 4th Durham Light Infantry who died for their country between August 1914 and November 1918.
The Memorial consists of a very slender Limestone column supporting a crucifix, on a square plinth which rests of three tapering Sandstone octagonal steps. The rear of the Memorial bears a stone carving of the Durham Light Infantry badge and the front has a stone inscription within a wreath. The inscription reads:
To all ranks of the old Barnard Castle Militia Durham LI who died for their Country Aug 1914 Nov 1918.
The War Memorials Trust have featured all three memorials on their ‘Grants Showcase’, which can be accessed on The War Memorials Trust website.
The UK National Inventory of War Memorials have also been informed of all the restoration work which will ensure that they hold all the up-to-date information and this can be accessed on The UK National Inventory of War Memorials website.
The North East War Memorials Project (NEWMP) aims to record every war memorial between the River Tweed and the River Tees. Information regarding the Town’s memorials is also available on The North East War Memorials Project website.