Sunday 20 April 2014

War Memorial Gravestones in Darton Churchyard & Cemetery

During both the First and Second World Wars re-repatriation of the bodies of fallen servicemen and women was not usual.  The Unknown Soldier, entombed in Westminster Abbey represents those buried and commemorated overseas who could not come home.  For many families, deprived of a graveside at which to mourn, one solution was to add the name of their lost son (or daughter) to the family gravestone in their local churchyard.  

Darton War Memorial is unusual in that it is inscribed with no names of the fallen men of the area.  We have found a list of men that the church warden thought should have been on the memorial and we have searched the churchyard and cemetery for any more clues.

The Imperial War Museum's War Memorials' Archive defines a War Memorial as "any tangible object which has been erected or dedicated to commemorate those killed as a result of war, conflict or peacekeeping; who served in war or conflict; or who died whilst engaged in military service."  This includes gravestones which commemorate a casualty buried elsewhere.  There must be a clear statement on the memorial (or in a printed document such as a newspaper report from the time) that defines the commemorative purpose of the feature and reports its erection. The full wording of their definition can be found here.

Thus gravestones which include wording such as: died of wounds received in action, killed in action, fell in France, died on active service, reported missing in action, or even killed accidentally while on active service all count as War Memorials.  The wording is a "clear statement" that the purpose of recording that person's name on the gravestone is as a memorial.

Gravestones which are situated on the site of the burial of a casualty, such as Commonwealth War Graves (CWGC), are NOT War Memorials, however the Barnsley War Memorials Project collected their details for inclusion in the Barnsley Roll of Honour. 

Darton Churchyard and Cemetery on the CWGC website

Darton Churchyard and Cemetery contains 24 CWGC burials and a dedicated page is currently under construction.

In the lists below, where the name is blue click to follow the link to a page with a larger photograph and more information. We recently added links to the Find A Grave website (with thanks to Pete Schofield) where more photos of the graves and transcriptions of the inscriptions can be found.

Darton Churchyard and Cemetery contains 24 First World War and 3 Second World War memorial gravestones - the men named below are NOT buried in these plots. Follow the Find A Grave links to discover more information. In some cases there is a link on the man's name (it will be blue) that leads to further information either on a separate page on this site or on an external one.

 Gravestone Location
Section Row No.
Soldier's Name & Regiment
Date of Death
Thumbnail Photograph

Alec R Braithwaite

Royal Garrison Artillery

6 June 1918

Norman Shaw


2 April 1917

George Urquhart MM

York and Lancaster Rgt

11 August 1916

Henry Vivian Braithwaite

Durham Light Infantry

25 June 1942

James General Dyson

York and Lancaster Rgt

25 April 1918

George Ibberson

York and Lancaster

11 October 1917

Ernest Ives

York and Lancaster

1 July 1916

Cyril Maples

Royal Navy

11 August 1942

John Taylor Mellor

Royal Garrison Artillery

15 March 1918

Horace Pickering

Machine Gun Corps

 24 March 1918

Samuel Lake Proctor

York and Lancaster Rgt

11 July 1916

Wilfred Sanderson

10th Hussars

11 April 1917

Royce Thompson

Royal Field Artillery

22 December 1917

Austin Turton

York and Lancaster Rgt

 1 July 1916

Benjamin Gerald Wagstaff

Army Service Corps

 20 December 1916

Charles Milton Ledger

York and Lancaster

9 April 1916

John Arthur Williams

York and Lancaster Rgt

27 Nov 1917

Cyril Burton Dixon

York and Lancaster Regt

14 November 1918

Gordon Gray

York and Lancaster Regt

27 May 1918

Claude Leatham

Royal Army Medical Corps

9 April 1917

Bernard Outram

Royal Armoured Corps

5 November 1944

Herbert Milner

York and Lancaster Regt

24 September 1918

Find A Grave
Joseph Leonard Challenger

West Riding Regt

1 July 1916

William Heeley

Royal Scots Fusiliers

29 September 1915

Richard Allott

Royal Field Artillery

8 October 1918

Find A Grave
Ernest Robert Dore

York and Lancaster Regt

9 August 1917

Find A Grave
Ernest Mark Simpson

West Yorkshire Regt

6 January 1918
Find A Grave
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