Whitburn War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Village Green, Front Street, Whitburn, South Tyneside, SR6 7JF


© Crown Copyright and database right 2021. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2021. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1442999.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 20-Oct-2021 at 08:27:09.


Statutory Address:
Village Green, Front Street, Whitburn, South Tyneside, SR6 7JF

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

South Tyneside (Metropolitan Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial, unveiled 1921.

Reasons for Designation

Whitburn War Memorial, which stands on the village green, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on this local community, and the sacrifice it has made in the First World War; * Architectural interest; an elegant memorial obelisk in the Classical style.


The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across England. This was the result of both the huge impact on communities of the loss of three quarters of a million British lives, and also the official policy of not repatriating the dead: therefore the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.

One such memorial was raised at Whitburn as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

The memorial was unveiled on 17 July 1921 by Lt-Col Pollard and dedicated by the Bishop of Durham. By Messrs Borrowdale Brothers of Sunderland, it commemorated 48 local servicemen from Whitburn who died in the First World War. Following the Second World War the names of 21 men who died in that conflict were added, recorded on an adjacent tablet.

Whitburn was an older community, but Marsden Village had been built c2.5km to the north to serve Whitburn Colliery, the limestone quarry, paper mill, and other industries on the headland clustered close to the existing Souter Point lighthouse. A number of war memorials were raised in Marsden, including a shrine at the colliery to mark the war service of employees; more than 1,400 men joined up. Marsden Village was demolished after the colliery closed in 1968, so a tablet recording servicemen from Marsden who died in the two world wars has been placed next to the Whitburn memorial.


MATERIALS: Dalbeattie granite, bronze wreath.

DESCRIPTION: The memorial stands on the village green to the south of Front Street, in close proximity to a number of Grade II-listed buildings. It takes the form of a Classical obelisk, c4.5m tall, in Dalbeattie granite. The tall obelisk, square on plan, rises from a tapering plinth. The plinth base has a scotia moulding and stands on a single step.

The admonition LEST/ WE/ FORGET is carved to the front face of the obelisk, with below a bronze wreath. The principal dedicatory inscription on the front face of the plinth reads IN HONOURED MEMORY OF/ THOSE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/ IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 - 1919/ AND IN GRATEFUL RECOGNITION/ OF THE PATRIOTISM OF THOSE/ WHO SERVED THEIR COUNTRY/ IN THE HOUR OF HER NEED./ ERECTED BY THE PEOPLE OF WHITBURN. The commemorated First World War names of men from Whitburn are recorded on the remaining three faces of the plinth.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: one granite tablet placed at the foot of the memorial reads 1939 – 1945/ LET US ALSO REMEMBER/ (NAMES) whilst a second tablet, precisely similar in form, placed to the opposite side reads IN HONOURED MEMORY/ OF THOSE FROM MARSDEN DISTRICT WHO/ GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WARS +/ 1914 – 1918/ (NAMES)/ 1939 – 1945/ (NAMES).

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 23 November 2017.


Durham Mining Museum record, Whitburn Colliery, accessed 23 December 2016 from http://www.dmm.org.uk/colliery/w010.htm
North East War Memorials Project, accessed 23 December 2016 from http://www.newmp.org.uk/detail.php?contentId=9112
North East War Memorials Project, accessed 23 December 2016 from http://www.newmp.org.uk/detail.php?contentId=11261
War Memorials Online, accessed 23 November 2017 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/253725
War Memorials Register, accessed 27 February 2017 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/1938


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].