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Holy Cross Church Ryton « Back
Holy Cross Church Ryton Holy Cross Church Ryton Holy Cross Church Ryton Holy Cross Church Ryton

The wooden war shrine was unveiled by Lieutenant Colonel C H Innes Hopkins in 1919 to commemorate those members of the church who lost their lives during the Great War. The shrine was originally hung on the chancel wall. The two doors that hung from the shrine have gone missing over the years. The forty six names with regiments are painted in black and are separated into sections by an iron cross. Quotations read:
“For God King and Country ” “Greater love hath no man than this” and “Who dies if England lives”.

Curry-Wood candlesticks. The pair of oak candlesticks are in memory of Joseph Ramsay Curry-Wood, donated by his parents. The inscription reads:
“To the glory of God and in proud and loving memory of Joseph Ramsay Curry-Wood 1st Welsh Guards, the beloved elder son of Walton and Jane Curry-Wood. Born March 17th 1898. Died at Doullens, France, on April 30th 1918, of wounds“.

Stained glass window and brass plaque. These are to commemorate the two sons of Lieutenant Colonel C H Innes Hopkins, and Elizabeth Innes Hopkins, who lost their lives during the Great War, Lieutenant Charles Randolph Innes Hopkins and Private Castell Percy Innes Hopkins. The unveiling and dedication ceremony took place on Saturday 31st July 1920, at the same occasion as the laying up of the Tyneside Scottish Brigade Colours. The former curate of Ryton Holy Cross, the Rev. E W Bollard, vicar of Southwick, carried out the unveiling ceremony. The stained glass window depicts St. George and the lettering of the plaque is sunk in cast.
The quotation reads: “So he passed over and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side”.

Pirrie plaque. A 10” x 8” metal plaque with a badge of the Border Regiment and letters raised in casting commemorates the memory of a Ryton doctor’s son.

The inscription reads: “In memory of Rob. Lt. Robert Bourn Pirrie 3rd Border Regiment who fell at Hooge, Aug 10th 1915 aged 21 years“.

Thorpe plaque 1797. The plaque is of bronze and two feet high. At the top is an emblem of an anchor and rope whilst at the bottom there is an emblem of a shield and a sword. The lettering is sunk in casting. The inscription reads:
“Thorpe R.N. fourth son of Robert Thorpe D.D. Who being first Lieutenant of the Terpsichore Frigate of the squadron of Com. Nelson fell with Capt: Bowen and many men upon the Mole battery of Santa Cruz, Tenerife. The XX1V day of June A: D: MDCCXCV11 in his twentieth year and buried in the deep“.

South African plaque of 1899-1902. The brass plaque bears the names and rank of twenty eight men who fought and returned from the campaign. At the bottom of the plaque are the two names of the men who died during the campaign. The inscription reads: “This tablet was placed here by public subscription in grateful memory of the safe return of the volunteers and reservists, who went from the parish of Ryton to fight the battle of our country in South Africa. Thou hast covered my head in the day of battle Psalm CXLVII
Thanksgiving services on the return home were held in this church on 15th June 1901 and January 10th 1903. In Memoriam”

Thorpe plaque 1925. At one foot high the letters are carved and gilded.
The inscription reads: “In thanksgiving to God for the memory of Charles Arthur Robert Thorpe Lieutenant in the Royal Navy who drowned in the English Channel Nov. 12th 1925 aged 26 with his fellow officers and men in H.M. Submarine M1. Eldest son of Charles Fenwick and Jane Thorpe. Married in this church to Anne Campbell Hunter. They that go down to the sea in ships and occupy their business in great waters, these men see the works of the Lord and his wonders in the deep“.

Colours of the 20th Battalion, 1st Tyneside Scottish, Northumberland Fusiliers.
The colours were laid to rest in the church on Saturday afternoon 31st July 1920. The dedication ceremony was carried out by Lieutenant Colonel C H Innes Hopkins, former commanding officer the 20th Battalion, 1st Tyneside Scottish. The ceremony was also in conjunction with the dedication and unveiling of a stained glass window and a brass plaque in memory of his two sons who lost their lives during the Great War.

A week previously the colour had been consecrated along with eighteen others and was presented to the Battalion by the Duke of Northumberland, and the decision was taken to hand it finally to the church at Ryton for safe keeping. The decision was taken by the Tyneside Scottish Brigade Committee in furtherance of their intention to honour the district which did particularly well in the recruiting of 1914.
Accompanying Lieutenant Colonel C H Innes Hopkins were, Lieutenant W M Gibson, who acted as Colour Officer, Sergeant D Goodall MM, Sergeant Gaynor, together with RQMS J C Petrie and CSM Watson.

A cordial invitation to join the proceedings was extended to all those who served with the Brigade, and dependants of the fallen. The colour party met at the Wesleyan church at 2.45 pm and then marched to the parish church via Whitewell Lane, seen by crowds of onlookers. The procession was headed by the Tyneside Scottish Pipe Band. The church service was carried out by the Rector, Rev. C B R Hunter, also in attendance were the Rev. E W. Bollard, the Rev. Henry Soanes (Superintendant, Wesleyan minister), the Rev. T I Dolphin (Congregational minister). Other high ranking military officers were also present at the service.
Following prayers and hymns, the Rector delivered a brief address in which he explained the Battalion’s distinguished role in the Great War. Accepting the colours on behalf of the residents of the district he said he would like to assure the authorities of the Tyneside Scottish Brigade how deeply they appreciated the honour that had been bestowed on them. The Rector concluded by reading a record of the war service of the 1st Tyneside Scottish which was raised in four days in November 1914, trained at Newburn, Alnwick, and Salisbury Plain, and embarked for France in January 1916.

After the service, tea and refreshments were available at the church hall, courtesy of the Stella Coal Company Ltd, and represented by Mr Shield Rochester. Sports events and music were held on the field formerly used by Hedgefield Cricket Club, with prizes being presented by Sir Thomas Oliver.
The days proceedings were concluded with a smoking concert at the Ryton Hotel.

A rededication of the colours took place in the church at a public ceremony 30th June 1996, to mark the 80th anniversary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme. A brass plaque commemorates the rededication.

Communicant Bible. The black leather bound bible commemorates the members of the church who lost their lives during World War Two.
The nine names are inscribed on the book plate within the bible. The dedication ceremony took place on Sunday 7th May 1995, on the 50th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. The inscription reads: “This bible was dedicated in Holy Cross Church, Ryton, to the glory of God and in memory of communicant members of this church who died in action in the 2nd World War 1939 45. B. Ashford. K. Ball [K. Bell] C. Beaumont . C. Dunn Aldridge McGuire . Malcolm Nesbitt . Thomas Reed. Jeffery Walker.
We shall remember them“.


Newcastle Illustrated Chronicle, 21st January 1919.
Blaydon Courier, 24th July 1920.
Blaydon Courier, 7th August 1920.
John Maughan, November 2005.
Michael Hardy, 2007.
Iain Mutch, 2007.
Malcolm Anderson, 2007.

Charles Randolph Innes Hopkins
James Armstrong
Thomas Bell
Robert Bourn Pirrie
John Fleming
William Walker
John Calder
Mark Bettison
John Oliver
Castell Percy Innes Hopkins
Jos Martindale
Thomas Barnes
William Armstrong
Robert Forster
Samuel Lawrence
John Graham
Arthur Tremble
Robert Richardson
Joseph Newton
Thomas Richardson
Frederick Ramsey
Albert Wordingham
Thomas Anderson
Henry Mackey
William Hogg
George Nesbit Newbigin
John Hanvey
Johnson Bollom
Guy Harbottle
John Stephenson
John Babe
James MacKenzie
Joseph Brady
Wilfred Teasdale
James Greener
Joseph Curry-Wood
Albert Pletts
John Thompson
Walter Darling
Joseph Greaves
Joseph Wheatley
Samuel C Gillett
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