Thorpe Thewles History Group

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Thorpe Thewles History Group
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War Time Memories Project

TTHG are about to embark on a further project and as one part of this we are looking to record war time memories of Thorpe Thewles and the surrounding area which will cover the villages of Stillington, Carlton, Wynyard plus the northern most part of Stockton near to the modern day Grindon Parish boundary just south of Blakeston.

If anyone can supply us with any further information regarding any of subjects below (or others related to the period not listed) we would love to hear about them and include them in our research;

1) The anti-aircraft gun battery at Kiora Hall.
2) The anti-aircraft gun battery near to Greystone/Carlton.
3) The construction and manning of the various pillboxes and other civil defence works in the area particularly those at Thorpe Thewles which were centred around the viaduct and north along the railway line. These includes re-enforced concrete road blocks at certain of the railway crossing points plus anti-glider landing poles and trenches put in fields between Wynyard and Fulthorpe.
4) The activities and organisation of the local home guard. I understand there were Home Guardsmen in the Thorpe area and that they probably had their HQ at Carlton somewhere.
5) Stories of children from Sunderland (and London?) being evacuated to the Thorpe area.
6) Information about any public or the old village school's air raid shelters.
7) Recollections of the night in October 1941 when German bombs fell around Thorpe Viaduct, Thorpe Wood and Fulthorpe Farm.
8) The use of Land Army girls on farms in the area.
9) The use of POW labour on local farms during the war and any of the local POW camps. There was one near to where Jewsons Builders' Merchants and Kiora Hall stands at the top end of Stockton (just south of the big Tesco store).

If you can help us in anyway, no mater how small, we would love to hear from you via our via our group's e-mail address ( or by posting a direct reply to this enquiry here on our group’s web site “Discussion Forum" (

Tanks in anticipation

Mark Smith

Re: War Time Memories Project

Have just been passed a copy of the Gazette article and thought that I would send you an email.

Very recently .... within the last fortnight .... I have started looking at local (Billingham / Wolviston / Haverton Hill / Thorpe Thewles) war memorials to try and link the names on them to people. Who were they ? (ie issue of .... the spouse of .... when did they fall and where).

The memorial in the Church appears on the North East War Memorials Project website (?

The Haverton Hill Book of Remembrance also contains the list of those that served which I assume is roughly what you are looking into ..... i.e. those that served and what the one's left behind did .... how did they cope / survive .... what effect did the war have on their lives ....reserved occupations and women taking on other roles.
The trouble with newspapers during the war is that they did not say Bombs dropped on Thorpe Thewles but simply said North East and you have to search the obituaries for clues.

Anyway .... in short let me know if I can help and please update me on any progress.

The Defence Britain website ... via the Imperial War Museum has local defence installations ...... but where were the air rail shelters within the parish ? ... What were the shelters like ? Are they still Anderson Shelters in the Village / Parish ?

Any chance you can extend the scope to all wars and areas of conflict (Falklands / Ireland / Middle East / Korea) what I mean is collect memories .... they may be photos of those that served in WW1 / Boer which will be unnamed if we don't ask the question and the memory is lost due to the death of a relation. These may form part of a latter publication maybe years after we have departed.

I will keep you updated on anything I feel relivant.

Sincere best wishes on your endeavour.

Keep Smiling .... Paul

Re: War Time Memories Project

Hi, I was wondering if you could let me whether or not you came acroos this man in your research?

Albert Phillips, nicknamed Miff, had a cleft lip (no roof in the mouth, until he joined the army) born 7/8/1921 Stockton-On-Tees, Durham Home Gaurd- 19th Battalion. It's only since yesterday that I found that little information out. All I had to go on was that he was stationed at Kiora Hall as a Chef looking after the German P-O-Ws before the camp became a mixed one.

If anyone has ever come across this man I'd love to find out.....