History: Book of Remembrance

During the First World War, many men from Stokesley died in service of their country. In the years that followed, one of those who survived (though with the loss of a leg), Charles William Hall (a committed church member who also did much to improve the churchyard and the riverside in Stokesley), set about compiling a Book of Remembrance, with help from various Stokesley friends and from relatives of the fallen. On Armistice Day 1927, the Book of Remembrance was presented to the Parish Church, where it has remained ever since.

As the centenary of the First World War approached, members of Stokesley History Society gained funds to research in greater depth the histories of those who had fallen. The pages of the Book of Remembrance were photographed and put online, and the biographies of the fallen were given as much extra detail as could be found. More research was also done about the various other War Memorials in the parish.

Charles Hall was to be one of the fallen in the Second World War: as a member of the drawing office at Smith's Dock, he was on board a French Corvette, La Bastiaise, as it was being tested in Tees Bay. It was hit and sunk by a recently laid shallow magnetic mine on 22nd June 1940. The incident was kept very quiet at the time, but in 2017 a memorial to all those who perished was unveiled in a ceremony at Normanby.

Information about the others who died in World War Two is also available on the Stokesley Heritage website.

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