Family’s pride at memorial honouring VC winner Archie White

Stuart Minting | November 8, 2016

THE family of a soldier awarded the Victoria Cross for leading a counter-attack, against greatly superior numbers, during a key part of the Battle of the Somme have spoken of their pride after a memorial to honour him was unveiled …

DLI paid heavily for infamous assault to take ugly mound dubbed ‘that miniature Gibraltar’

Chris Lloyd | November 7, 2016

The battalions of the Durham Light Infantry paid heavily for its infamous assault on the Butte de Warlencourt, an ugly mound of land dubbed ‘that miniature Gibraltar’. Chris Lloyd counts the cost.

Angels of their patients

Ashley Barnard |

A Lottery-funded project has documented the story of the community hospitals of the First World War. Ashley Barnard reports.

Stories behind the names enshrined on a Darlington plaque to the fallen

Chris Webber |

A Darlington historian has found the stories behind the names on a plaque to fallen First World War soldiers in one of the town’s churches. Chris Webber talked to him.

Children learn about life for their counterparts 100 years ago as war raged in Western Europe

Gavin Havery |

YOUNGSTERS in County Durham are learning how the everyday lives of children their age were affected as the First World War raged in Western Europe a hundred years ago.

Remembering the 250,000 forgotten heroes of the British Mercantile Marine

Chris Lloyd | November 6, 2016

THEY died in their thousands and if they had failed in their objective millions of British people would have known severe hunger, even starvation; the war would have been lost and the history of the world would have been entirely …

The innocents of war

Dani Walker |

A GROUP of young people are looking into how life as a child in the First World War compares to living in the 21st Century.

When whistles blew there was no turning back

Tony Kearney | June 30, 2016

In the final part of his series tracing the battalion’s march to the Battle of the Somme, Tony Kearney finds the Durham Pals on the eve of slaughter.

‘You can do nothing but shiver and shrink’

Tony Kearney | June 18, 2016

IN the middle of June 1916, as the final preparations took place for the Big Push, the weather in France became miserable. Day after day it rained, filling the trenches with standing water and turning the battlefield to mud.

Pals under shellfire day and night

Tony Kearney | June 11, 2016

HISTORY books say that the Battle of the Somme began on July 1, 1916, but that was not the reality experienced by soldiers in the trenches.

Pals train for Big Push

Tony Kearney | June 4, 2016

AT the end of May, the Durham Pals were pulled back from the Somme’s frontline trenches and placed out of harm’s way in a camp at Warnimont Wood.

Battlefield grave for fallen

Tony Kearney | May 28, 2016

LANCE-Corporal Frank Derwent Lockey was 34 when he was killed 100 years ago this week. He was part of a working party sent up to the frontline to repair the British barbed wire against German raids when he was hit …

Fighting against the war

Chris Lloyd | May 27, 2016

ONE hundred years ago this weekend, 16 men were secretly spirited out of the dungeons of Richmond castle and sent by train to the killing fields of northern France where their own government hoped they would be shot at dawn …

Under constant fire

Tony Kearney | May 21, 2016

THE third and final time the Durham Pals went into the frontline trenches ahead of the Battle of the Somme was by far the toughest.

Pigeons keep the Pals in touch

Tony Kearney | May 14, 2016

ON the evening of May 14, 1916, for the third and final time before the fateful first day of the Battle of the Somme, the Durham Pals went back in the frontline trenches of the Somme.

Licking their wounds

Tony Kearney | May 7, 2016

DURING the first few days of May 1916, the Durham Pals were able to enjoy some well-deserved respite after the traumas of Easter Week.

A watery grave

Tony Kearney | April 30, 2016

EASTER Week of 1916 saw the Durham Pals waist-deep in water and thoroughly miserable.

The woes of trench warfare

Tony Kearney | April 23, 2016

CONDITIONS in the Durham Pals’ sodden camp in the woods were so bad 100 years ago that most were relieved to go back into the trenches.

Out of the trenches

Tony Kearney | April 16, 2016

AFTER their baptism of fire during their first five days in the trenches, the Durham Pals received the order to withdraw, and at 8pm on April 3, 1916 they were relieved by the 12th Yorks and Lancs.

Basking at ‘Ocean Villas’ dodging sniper bullets

Tony Kearney | April 9, 2016

AT dusk on March 29, 1916, the Durham Pals silently filed into the battered frontline trenches to the east of Auchonvillers, in northern France, and under cover of darkness took over the posts from the Royal Irish Rifles.