The memorial stands in a prominent position at the east side of the Co-operative Stores within the triangle of the two roads entering the village of Clara Vale from the south. It is a square block of Aberdeen granite and stands ten feet high, and surmounted by a bowl and urn. It bears the fifty six names of the men who were employed at the Colliery who fell in the Great War. The site was given as a gift from the Stella Coal Company who also agreed to erect a surrounding wall and paling. The site was regarded as being in an ideal position, with the wood in the background and westbound travellers on the railway being given an unrestricted view of the memorial.
The unveiling and dedication of the memorial took place on the afternoon of Saturday, 22nd of October 1921. Councillor Robert Wren, Chairman of the Ryton Council, presided. The day was dull with rain interrupting the proceedings. Because of the adverse weather conditions part of the ceremony took place within the nearby school buildings.
The Emma Colliery Prize Brass Band headed a procession of relatives, friends, military personnel, the clergy, members of Ryton Council, the war memorial committee, and local schoolchildren. The principal speakers were Mr. James Robson, President of the Durham Miners Association, and Mr. W. Whiteley (one of the agents to the D.M.A.), Mr. R. Sinclair Carr, of London, son of the late engineer of the Colliery , Mr. John William Carr, was also present. He commented that he was greatly interested in the erection of the memorial, as so many names he recognised as being former school friends.
Following the unveiling of the memorial by Lieutenant Colonel F. R. Simpson, scrolls bearing suitable inscriptions were presented to the next of kin by Mr. James Robson. The scrolls were presented on behalf of the Clara Vale Recognition Association.
Following the end of the 1939-45 conflict, two names of men from the village who lost their lives were added to the memorial.
Blaydon Courier, 22nd October 1921.
Newcastle Illustrated Chronicle, 24th October 1921.
Blaydon Courier, 29th October 1921.