Memorial 54 St Andrews Church Kirkandrews-on-Esk

Welcome to the Carlisle and Stanwix Branch of The Royal British Legion

GRID REF: NY39117 71974  Postcode CA6 5NF

Inside St Andrew's Church, Kirkandrews-on-Esk

  Kirkandrews On Esk


The War Memorials of the Parish Church of Kirkandrews on Esk, a parish north of Carlisle and hard by the Scottish border, include a pair of oak panels, that on the left commemorating those of the parish who gave their lives in the Second World War, and that on the right dedicated to those who perished in the Great War.

The sundial on the church tower is a private token of thanksgiving from the Graham family of Netherby (early patrons of the church), for the safe return of their two sons from the Great War.

While we list here in some detail the lost of the First World War we mean no disrespect to the Fallen of later conflicts.

 Those who did not return from the Great War include;

Colonel Horace J. Johnston DSO., who died on 7th August 1915 at the age of 49 while serving with 8th Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding of Yorkshire).  He is interred in Hill 10 British Cemetery, Gallipoli in grave v.D.3.   Col Johnston, who had local connections with Kirkandrews, was the son of Francis and Caroline Johnston, and the husband of Florence Hope Johnston, of “Lammas”, Wimbledon Common, London.

LCpl Thomas Wright, who had joined Westmorland & Cumberland Yeomanry and had been serving with 8th Bn Border Regiment when he died from wounds at the age of 23 on 11th April 1918.  He was the son of Albert and Margaret Wright, of Cowranside, Howmill.  He was born at Kirklinton and had been living at Dick Tree, Longtown.  He is interred in Godewaersvelde British Cemetery, France (between Poperinge and Hazebrouck) , in grave i.M.31.

Pte Thomas Bell was 22 years old when he died in battle on 4th Oct 1917, somewhere in the area between Zillebeke and Broodseinde in the Ypres Salient.  He was serving with 2nd Bn Border Regt.  Thomas was the son of Mr and Mrs William Bell, of Beckside, Longtown.  He has no known grave and is commemorated on Tyne Cot Memorial, near Passchaendale, on Panel 85/86.

The local paper of the day, the Carlisle Patriot, tells an interesting story of the Bell family.

Thomas’s father, Mr William Bell, of Beckside, Longtown, appeared at a hearing of the Conscription Advisory Committee (a group which considered pleas for exemption from those served with Conscription – or “Call-up” - Notices).  Mr Bell asked that his youngest son Richard, age 18, should have his Notice suspended for a period as he was the only one left at home.  Six of his brothers had already volunteered.  The Committee gave Richard a complete exemption from call-up.

However the local newspaper reports that eventually nine members of this family, including Richard, served in uniform! Astonishingly all but Thomas came safely home again.

Pte Richard Harkness died on 27th April 1917 while serving with 1/5th Bn Border Regiment.  He may have died in a Casualty Clearing Station of wounds received in battle.   Richard is interred in Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery, Saulty, in the Pas-de-Calais.  He was born at Kirkandrews on Esk and resided in Longtown.

Pte Andrew Irving was reported Killed in Action while serving with 12th Bn Ayr & Lanark Yeomanry (Royal Scots Fusiliers).  He died on 4th Sept 1917 and is interred in Gaza British Cemetery, Palestine, in grave xxx.1.B.  He was born at Kirkandrews on Esk.

Pte Thomas Johnston, serving with 11th Bn Royal Scots, died at Loos on 27th September 1915.   He has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 10/13 of the Loos Memorial to the Missing.

LCpl (described as Pte on the memorial) William Potts was 25 years old when he died on 11th April 1918.  He served with 1st Bn Border Regiment.   He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Ieper (Ypres).  He was the son of Arthur and Dorothy Potts of Brampton.  William was born at Longtown and had lived in Annan.

In the churchyard of Kirkandrews on Esk are two graves of casualties of the Great War.  Neither appear on the Memorial.

One is that of Pte T Graham, who died in the local hospital on 12th December 1919 at the age of 25.  His regiment, 25th Bn Middlesex, had been sent to northern Russia at the end of 1918 to support the White Russian forces as they combatted the revolutionary army of Red Russia.  He was wounded and brought back to the UK in Sept 1919, only to succumb to his injuries.

The other grave is that of Pte W. Duff, of the little known Royal Defence Corps.  He died on 7th August 1917 while serving with the locally based 304 Protection Coy RDC.   The Royal Defence Corps was a part of the Armed Forces but was limited to home defence and the protection of vulnerable points within the UK.  Its personnel included less seriously wounded who could still serve, and those too old for the trenches.              

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