The War Memorial

Spring 2010Here are photographs of the four sides of the War Memorial. There is also some information on the UK National Inventory of War Memorials website.The War Memorial

Jonathan Peacock writes:

“We have become aware that several names are missing from the War Memorial on the Village Green and are making enquiries concerning their possible inclusion. The names so far identified are:

  • World War I: Joseph Hodgson, Gerard Chipchase Roberts & John Gill.
  • World War II: M McGowan & Gerald Brian Roberts.

There is a Roberts memorial, of course in St. James’s Church but it seems a shame that these names are not read out on Remembrance Day – unless, of course, the families preferred for them to be absent. Does anyone have any historical knowledge that they would like to share with us?”

Kevin Richardson supplied the following information:

Private ANTHONY OATES 1888 – 1916

446121 Private Anthony Oates, 31st Battalion, the Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regiment) was killed in action on the 15th September 1916 during operations on the Somme during the Battle of Flers-Courcelette.  He was 28 years old and is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial, France and Hamsterley War Memorial, County Durham.

He emigrated to Canada probably in 1913, having left his home in Hamsterley, Co. Durham where he had worked as an agricultural labourer.  He was married to Daisy and their daughter Frances was born in Calgary, Alberta.  The family lived at 311, 11 ½ Street NW, Calgary and Anthony worked as a teamster for the City Council.

Family Details:

Anthony was born 21 February 1888 at Hamsterley, Co. Durham to Thomas and Mary Oates. The census of 1901 informs that he had an older sister Lucina who was born in 1884.

The 1901 census provides the following details:

Name Relation to head Condition as to marriage Age Occupation Employer Where born
Thomas Oates Head M 46 Coal
Worker Hamsterley
Mary H. Wife M 38 Westgate
Lucina Daur S 17 Hamsterley
Anthony Son S 13     Hamsterley

Anthony’s father Thomas worked as a coal miner as did his neighbours William Gardiner, George Liddle, John Maddox and Thomas Knaggs.  Whilst the village of Hamsterley is situated off the Auckland coalfield, pits and drifts are located to the south near Toft Hill, to the east near Witton Park and to the north near Fir Tree within the Parish.  It is possible that these men lived to the south of the Hamsterley Parish and were employed at West Carterthorne drift which would be the closest working to Hamsterley or one of Stobart’s pits at Railey Fell or the Jane Pit, Witton Park.  The 1911 census records Anthony living with his parents in Hamsterley and working as a farm labourer.

His sister Lucina did not reside at the family home at that time.  In 1915 she married William J. Cromwell at Auckland in the second quarter of 1915 (aged about 31).  Further research is required to ascertain whether she had children.

There is evidence that an Anthony Oates married Daisy May Grace at Ware in April, May or June 1913 – the town of Ware is in Hertfordshire so is it possible that a farm labourer from County Durham would meet a woman from Hertfordshire and marry her?  Difficult to believe!

On the 8th April 1913, an Anthony and Daisy Oates were aboard the S.S. Cymric sailing from Liverpool headed for Portland, Maine and Boston, USA.  It was noted that they were bound for Calgary, Alberta., Canada.

Note: On 20 October 1911, A. Oates was a passenger aboard the Canadian Pacific Line Empress of Britain leaving Liverpool for Quebec.  Passenger details record that A. Oates travelled 3rd class, alone and was listed as a miner – the name could be Anthony or Arthur.

Service Details

Anthony Oates enlisted 26 April 1915 in Calgary.  The 31st Battalion arrived in France 18 September 1915, being part of the 2nd Canadian Division, 6th Canadian Infantry Brigade and spent a long and bitterly cold winter in a Belgian sector of the front between Ploegsteert Wood and Saint-Eloi, south of Ypres.  It was involved 27 March – 16 April 1916, in action at the St. Eloi Craters and 2 – 13 June, the Battle of Mount Sorrel.   The Division moved south to the Somme and took part in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, 15 – 22 September 1916 during which Private Anthony Oates was killed.  Private Anthony Oates served in “A” Company and the 31st Battalion War Diary provides the following report of operations:

“A Company (attached to 27th Battalion)

Three Platoons of this Company (Mopping-up Party) formed the 2nd Intermediate wave, following the first wave of the attached in at a distance of ten yards. The fourth platoon acting as Carrying Party and following the Reserve Company. The objective of this Company was the GERMAN FRONT LINE, where it was to mop-up and consolidate. This was carried out, a new trench being dug between 30 and 40 yards in front of the OLD GERMAN FRONT LINE. As Major H.M. Splane, the Officer Commanding Company was killed and all Company Officers either killed or wounded, very early in the operations, the Command of the Company fell to Company Sergeant Major G. LAWSON, who carried out the work in a highly creditable manner.”

Battalion Orders No. 259 prepared by Lieut. Col. A.H. Bell Commanding 31st (Alberta) Battalion, C.E.F. for Sunday 17 September 1916 reported the casualties for 15 September 1916 were 7 officers and 56 ordinary ranks including 446121 Private A. Oates, killed in action.

Vimy Memorial

The Vimy Memorial overlooks the Douai Plain from the highest point of Vimy Ridge, about 8 kilometres northeast of Arras.  After the war, the highest point of the Vimy Ridge was chosen as the site of the great memorial to all Canadians who served their country in battle during the First World War, and particularly to the 60,000 who gave their lives in France. It also bears the names of 11,000 Canadian servicemen who died in France who have no known grave.

The Marquis Brothers

Family Details:

Henry was born in Wolsingham, Co. Durham and married Eleanor Braithwaite (born in Marske, North Yorkshire) and lived at Skelton, in the iron-ore mining area, south of Middlesbrough which is not too far away from Marske.  Henry worked as a grocer.  The family appear to have moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1887 and lived there for about 7 years before moving to Hamsterley in 1884 where it is assumed he ran a grocers’ shop.

The 1901 census provides the following details:

Name Relation to head Condition as to marriage Age Occupation Employer Worker or Own account Where born
Henry Marquis Head M 43 Tea dealer
Own account Durham
Eleanor Wife M 37 Yorkshire
Margaret Daur S 12 Northumberland
Arthur C. Son S 10 do
John J. Son S 8     do
Mary Daur S 6 Durham
Jane Daur S 6 do
Frederick W. Son S 4 do
Edward B. Son S 11m do

In 1909, the family left England for Australia on a passage via London to Freemantle, Western Australia. (Source:

In 1910, Henry Marquis took up land at Datatine in the Shire of Dumbleyung, Western Australia. Their farm was known as “Hoppland Park” and was located at Katanning East, Western Australia.

Private JOHN JOSEPH MARQUIS 1893 – 1918

3128A Private John Joseph Marquis, 28th Battalion, Australian Infantry, A.I.F. died on 1st June 1918 and is buried at Franvillers Communal Cemetery Extension, France and is commemorated on the Hamsterley War Memorial.  He was 25 years old, born in 1893 at Hamsterley, County Durham.  His brothers James and Frederick William also enlisted for service.

Attestation Paper of Marquis John Joseph

  • Date: 20 July 1916
  • Age: 23
  • Trade: Farmer
  • Height: 5ft.11 ins.
  • Weight: 152lbs. (10st. 12lbs.)

Army Form B.103 Casualty Form – Active Service

  • Embarked: Freemantle 9.11.16
  • Disembarked: Devonport 10.1.17
  • Transferred to 28th Bn. 7th pioneer training battalion 11.7.17
  • Proceeded o/seas to France Southampton 9.10.17
  • Admitted from England – Havre 10.10.17
  • Proceed to join unit 13.10.17 – Havre 14.10.17 – field
  • Killed in action – 1.6.18


5893 Private Fredrick William Marquis, 28th Battalion, Australian Infantry, A.I.F. died on the 4th September 1918 and is buried at Heath Cemetery, Harbonnieres, France and commemorated on the Hamsterley War Memorial.  He was 21 years old, born in 1897 at Hamsterley, County Durham.

Attestation Paper of Marquis Frederick William

  • Date: 20.06.1916
  • Joined on: 22.06.1916
  • Trade: Farm hand
  • Age: 19 years 7 months

Service and Casualty Form:

  • Emb: Freemantle 10.10.16
  • Disemb: Plymouth 20.12.16
  • O/Seas to France Folkstone 28.12.16
  • To join unit: 30.12.16
  • 20th Bn. France – 27.01.17
  • To Base Buchy – 13.9.17
  • To unit: Havre 26.12.17
  • Rejoin Bn 28th – Field – 4.1.18
  • Leave: 9.2.18
  • Rejoining from England leave – 27.2.18
  • Sick to Hosp. France – 22.5.18
  • 5th AFA – Influenza to CCS Field – 22.5.18
  • Rejoin Bn. Field – 17.7.18
  • 28th Bn. – Wounded in Action – France 2.9.18
  • 6th AFA – GSW Face, Head & neck
  • 5thCCS SW Face Head & neck 2-9-19
  • Died of Wounds received in action France 4.9.18

5893 Private Fredrick William Marquis was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.  A Memorial Scroll was issued to his father 23.11.21.

Their older brother James Randolph (not on the 1901 census), 3127 Sapper James Randolph Marquis, 7th Field Coy. Engineers, volunteered for service in August 1916.

If you have any further information, please let us know via the Contact page.

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