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Cumbrias Mil Museum 2

GRID REF: NY39689 56370  Postcode CA3 8UR


The Cumbria Museum of Military Life is located in ALMA Block within Carlisle Castle. It is rightfully the home of a collection of Memorials donated or gathered as Churches and other premises have closed.

Regrettably the history or origin of some of those Memorials has been lost as the purpose of the buildings or locations in which they have originally been installed has changed in the years since the Great War.   Those who may have some knowledge of a specific memorial are invited to contact the RBL or the Museum of Military Life. 



GREAT WAR Roll of Honour.

 City Of Carlisle Police Memorial

This Roll of Honour commemorates the service of members of the Carlisle City Police in the Great War.   For a small city force – they were not part of the County Constabulary until 1967 - this is quite impressive.

This was originally located in the long gone Police Headquarters building on West Walls, Carlisle.   The Roll of Honour is now in the care of the Museum of Military Life.

While most of those honoured here for their service were returned to their families four would never again walk the City they had served in the Office of Constable.   Three lie in faraway graves. A fourth returned gravely injured.  He did not recover and is interred in a local cemetery.

Pte Alfred Pearson, 36 years old when he died from wounds on 2nd March 1916, was the son of Robert and Sarah Pearson, of Lorton, near Cockermouth, and the husband of Mary Jane, of 50 Howe Street, Carlisle.   He is interred in Carlisle City Cemetery, Dalston Road, in grave 11.M.2.

Pte (Cpl?) George Ritchie was serving with 7th Bn Border Regiment (Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry) when he died on 30th August 1918.   He is interred in Bancourt British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, in grave V.J.17.

L/Cpl (Acting Sgt?) John Smith, son of John and Mary Smith, of 9 Peel Street, Newtown Road, Carlisle, was 23 when he died on 29th April 1917.  He was serving with 22nd Bn Royal Fusiliers.  He has no known grave and is commemorated on Bay 3 of the Arras Memorial to the Missing.

L/Cpl James B Dalzell died on 16th June 1918, of wounds received in battle.  He was 26 years old and serving with 1st Bn Border Regiment.  James was the son of Richard and Mary Dalzell and was living at Kirkbride when he enlisted with the Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry.   His grave is II.E.15. in Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt. 





This marble plaque commemorates the sacrifice in the Great War of a number of men local to Cockermouth.    It was located in a Cockermouth building which had been a meeting place until the 1930s of the Toc H club.  Toc H was an international charitable movement originating from the soldier’s club of WW1 founded by Tubby Clayton.   The building was damaged in the flooding of Cockermouth and the memorial was subsequently transferred to the Museum.

The men remembered here are:-

Cpl Robert (Rowland?) Dalton, who served with 7th Bn Border Regiment until brought home badly wounded.  He died on 15th Nov 1916 at the age of 30 and is interred in the churchyard of Christchurch Parish Church, Great Broughton.  He was the husband of Esther Dalton, of Maryhill, Glasgow.   Robert was born I Workington.

Pte Rowland Perkes Cooper who was 38 when he died on 23rd May 1918 while with 115th Coy Labour Corps.  He had been recovering from wounds received while serving with The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment.  Rowland was the son of William and Hannah Cooper, of Cockermouth, and the husband of Elizabeth, of Muswell Hill, London.   He is interred in Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, near Arras.

Cpl William Arthur Long, of 60th Australian Infantry Regiment, AIF, badly wounded and brought back to the UK, died on 19th October 1918 at the age of 24.  He is interred in Cockermouth Cemetery, grave E.NC.791.  William, born at Keswick, was the son of William and Mary Long, of 19 Main Street, Cockermouth.   

L/Cpl William Percy Chicken died in battle on 10th Jan 1916 at the age of 18 while serving with 5th Bn Border Regiment.   William was born in Wigton, the son of Mr and Mrs H and E Chicken, later of 10 Market Place, Cockermouth.  He is interred in grave I.J.18., Perth Cemetery (China Wall), east of Ieper (Ypres).

L/Cpl Robert Smith, of 8th Bn Border Regiment, was 23 years old when he was killed in action on 20th Dec 1915.   He lived with his parents John and Mrs Smith, in 8 New Street, Cockermouth; the town of his birth.   His grave is in Lancashire Cottage Cemetery, Hainaut, south of Ieper (Ypres), ref II.C.10.

Pte Walter Atkinson, reported Killed in Action on 10th July 1916, is interred in Perth Cemetery (China Wall) east of Ieper, grave I.H.33. Born in Cockermouth, he was serving with 5th Border Regiment.

Driver Charles Kerse, of the Canadian Army Service Corps was lost on 9th May 1915 in the Ypres Salient.   He was 31 years old.  His body was not recovered and he is commemorated with the Missing, on Panel 32 of the Menin Gate.   Charles was the son of Mr and Mrs Gavin Kerse, of Huntspool, Earlston, in Berwickshire.




This unusual War Memorial and Roll of Honour is a painted canvas mounted within a wooden frame. It was displayed in the Lodgeroom of the Loyal Excelsior Lodge of Oddfellows of Maryport, until the building was converted for other use.   The canvas was for a time in the Maryport Senhouse Museum nearby. It was eventually offered to the Museum of Military Life.

Of the many names listed thirty-eight were never to return to the Maryport area again.  They lie in distant graves.  They are identified on the canvas by a small white cross.  

The Oddfellows was a charitable society and a brotherhood of skilled working men.  The unusual designation, ‘Oddfellows’, has its roots in the fact that its earliest members were of various skills as unlike some other traditional fraternal organisations they did not identify with one skill.   They were of many, or ‘odd’, skills.  

It is possible that not all of those named were members of the Oddfellows.   They were however the young men of the Maryport area who answered their country’s call to arms.

They went to war as brothers.  And died as brothers.



This Roll of Honour, originally within the Carlisle Main Telephone Exchange, and therefore inaccessible to the general public, is now part of a collection of War Memorials given a special place in Cumbria's Museum of Military Life.     It tells us of the 30 men of the Carlisle section of the Post Office Engineering Department who went off to war.

Five would not return to their families.  

The five who made the Supreme Sacrifice are:-

Sapper J Burnett, of the Royal Engineers 22nd Airline Section, died on 4th June 1916 at the age of 32.      The son of Mr and Mrs Burnett, of 1 Bishop’s Court, Princess Street, Carlisle he is interred in Amara War Cemetery grave XXI.D.13, in Iraq.  An “Airline Section” was part of the telephonic communications systems of the Army in the field.   During the Great War, this was one of the many roles of the Corps of Royal Engineers.

Sgt George Stirling Bain Died on 13th April 1918.   He was 25 years old, born in Edinburgh, the son of Thomas and Euphemia Bain.  George was the husband of Constance, of 2 Bedford Place, Kempston, Beds.   He was serving with the Royal Engineers and attached to 51st Division Signal Coy.  His grave is B28, Lillers Communal Cemetery Extension, near Bethune.

Able Seaman John William Marsden, serving with Howe Bn of the Royal Naval Division, died on 13th November 1916 in the final straggling battles of the Somme offensive. He had been a Royal Navy Volunteer Reservist but found himself serving as an infantryman in the bloody mayhem of that grim struggle.   He has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 1A of the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.

Sgt George Henry Basil Shaddick, was reported Killed in Action on 19th June 1915.  He was born at St Stephen’s, London and had enlisted in 2nd Bn Border Regiment early in the war.   He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial, Le Touret Military Cemetery, near Bethune.

Pte Maurice J. Towers, born in Keswick, was serving with 11th Bn Border Regiment when he was reported Killed in Action on 18th Nov 1916. He was one of thousands who fell victim to the long-drawn out sequel to the Somme offensive which began so disastrously on 1st July 1916.  He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, on panel/face 6A/7C.