​‘Stannington for King and Country’ book series launches at St Mary’s Church

Northumberland Archives have been working closely with a local history group from Stannington to publish a series of books about men from the village who served during the First World War.

Stannington for King and Country is a three-volume series of books which have been produced by Richard Tolson to commemorate the men of Stannington who left the parish to serve in the First World War.

The first volume follows life in Stannington parish in the years leading up to the war and then through the war, with the second volume following the wartime adventures of 106 boys of Netherton Training School, a reformatory for petty criminals aged 14-19. The boys were a regular feature in the village, being marched to church twice every Sunday, and sometimes working on local farms.

Volume three tells the war stories of 164 men who were either born in or left the parish of Stannington to serve in the Great War. This volume is due to be published in November 2018, but can be ordered in advance from Stannington History Group.

A formal book launch was held at St Mary’s Church Stannington, bringing together members of Stannington History Group and residents of the village. The event was supported by Lord Ridley, who has also written the foreword for the books.

Author Richard Tolson, said: “I have spent the last three years researching and producing these books. I hope they will serve as a fitting memorial to the servicemen of Stannington as we commemorate the centenary of the end of the war in November.”

Mark Legard, member of Stannington History Group, said “From its inception three years ago this has been a labour of love for the author Richard Tolson and it was fitting that the launch should take place in St Mary’s Church after the idea to commission the books had come from the discovery of four church magazines from the WW1 period.”

Councillor Cath Homer, Cabinet Member for culture, arts, leisure and tourism at Northumberland County Council, said: “This is a great example of the fantastic work Northumberland Archives carries out to support local communities and projects, sharing stories of this historical county far and wide.”

The project has also received support from The Heritage Lottery Fund and Banks Mining Group.

Further copies of the books will be available from Stannington History Group at a cost of £20 each. All profits will be used to support Stannington Community Projects. Contact Richard Tolson at richm.tolson@yahoo.com to enquire.

The Group are organising a WW1 Festival of Remembrance in November, which will take place in Stannington village. To find out more, visit their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/11thNovember2018  
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