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St Mary's War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Simonside and Rekendyke, South Tyneside

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Latitude: 54.9809 / 54°58'51"N

Longitude: -1.4433 / 1°26'35"W

OS Eastings: 435726

OS Northings: 565281

OS Grid: NZ357652

Mapcode National: GBR LBCV.B9

Mapcode Global: WHD4Y.S2XF

Entry Name: St Mary's War Memorial

Listing Date: 7 December 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1440515

Location: South Tyneside, NE33

County: South Tyneside

Local Authority Ward: Simonside and Rekendyke

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: South Shields

Traditional County: Durham

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Tyne and Wear

Church of England Parish: Rekendyke

Church of England Diocese: Durham

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First World War memorial, unveiled 1922.


The memorial stands on the verge at the corner of Dean Road and South Eldon Street. St Mary’s Church had stood to the rear until it was demolished. The Heworth Stone memorial, c4.5m tall, takes the form of a Celtic cross rising from a tapering plinth. The plinth stands on a base that is reached from the pavement by a rake of stone steps to the front.

The front face of the cross is ornamented with a reversed sword carved in low relief. The commemorated names are carved into the faces of the plinth, whilst the principal dedicatory inscription is recorded at the foot of the plinth. This reads TO THE GREATER GLORY OF GOD & IN GRATEFUL/ REMEMBRANCE OF THE MEN OF THIS PARISH/ & CONGREGATION WHO FELL BY SEA, LAND AND AIR IN/ THE GREAT WAR 1914 - 1918.

This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Register. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 22 February 2017.


The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across England. This was the result of both the huge impact on communities of the loss of three quarters of a million British lives, and also the official policy of not repatriating the dead: therefore the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised outside St Mary’s Church, Tyne Dock, as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

The memorial was unveiled on 22 January 1922 by the vicar, Reverend TP Williams. It had been built by local ex-servicemen under the instruction of local sculptor, Thomas Curry. It commemorates 182 men who died in the First World War. The name of one man who was shot for desertion in 1918 was added in 1999.

Reasons for Listing

St Mary’s War Memorial, which stands at the corner of Dean Road and South Eldon Street, Tyne Dock, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on this local community, and the sacrifice it has made in the First World War;
* Architectural interest: a well-proportioned memorial cross in the Celtic style;
* Degree of survival: unusually the memorial has not been adapted for Second World War commemoration, and thus retains its original design intent.

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