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War Memorial dedicated

Breamish Valley War Memorial dedicated

On Saturday 27 October 2018 the Breamish Valley War Memorial Project came to its planned conclusion – the dedication of the War Memorial to the 39 servicemen from the Breamish Valley who lost their lives in the two World Wars.

The ceremony, which was conducted by Revd Jane Wood, took place at 2:30pm in the Community Garden, Powburn. With well over 100 people attending, and with glorious sunshine (on a day that had seen the first slight snow fall of the Autumn in Powburn village), everything went smoothly.

The ceremony was attended by many who had travelled long distances: from Wiltshire, East Yorkshire, Durham and elsewhere. A number of family descendants were able to attend, including Peter Sisterson and Dennis Sisterson, relatives of Robert Sisterson and William Sisterson. Both Peter and Dennis participated in the ceremony.

Peter Sisterson - Breamish Valley War Memorial dedicated

Peter Sisterson who read ‘The Exhortation’

Dennis Sisterson - - Breamish Valley War Memorial dedicated

Dennis Sisterson who read ‘The Kohima Epitaph’

The standards of several regiments were on display, carried by service representatives, many of whom had similarly travelled long distances to show their respect to the fallen of the Breamish Valley. Young people from the Whittingham Baden Powell Scouts also attended in uniform and with their standards.

Breamish Valley War Memorial dedicated ceremony 2018

Regimental standards and flags

John Carr-Ellison, who has so generously contributed his time and resources to the Project, read aloud the names of the fallen.

John Carr-Ellison - - Breamish Valley War Memorial dedicated

John Carr-Ellison reading the names of the fallen

It was also a privilege to have the artist Gene Healy and his family attend both the ceremony and the tea and refreshments meet up in the Breamish Hall. Gene voluntarily designed the logo displayed at the top of the war memorial. The clean, minimalist design represents the Cheviot Hills and the central flower represents new life – the birth of something new and better from the lessons learned through the loss of our Breamish Valley servicemen.

Artist Gene Healy - Breamish Valley War Memorial dedicated

Artist Gene Healy

Breamish Valley War Memorial artwork c. Gene Healy

Memorial logo designed by Gene Healy

There are simply far too many people to thank individually for the success of this project. Everyone, from 12-year-old bugler Daniel Bradley who played ‘The Last Post’ so confidently to the Hedgeley WI who provided the refreshments; from all those local residents who dug the hole and laid the foundations for the gatepost memorial stone; the list goes on.

Clearly, however, the Project would never have got underway without the motivation of Robbie Burn. Robbie’s own dedication to the task is creditable and he has initiated a lasting legacy for the fallen of the Breamish Valley.

Robbie Burn - Breamish Valley War Memorial dedicated

Robbie Burn (Project Lead)


You can view more images from this historic event via the following Gallery link:

War Memorial dedication gallery

War Memorial Dedication


  1. Andrew East

    I had the honour of carrying the PWO Regiment Standard at the memorial dedication service last Saturday. For a little village you did the servicemen who paid the ultimate sacrifice a fitting and beautiful commemoration service. The after event refreshments where a credit to all involved. It was truly a great community gathering.
    The best part of the service was, when a very young scout stepped up to play the Last Post. Note perfect and after the one minute silence, Reveille, note perfect again. I have heard both played a lot in my time as a standard bearer, and I would class that in the top five. Well done to all concerned. 300 mile round trip was well worth it.

    1. Many thanks for your kind words, Andrew and for taking the time to travel the long distance to Powburn and for carrying the PWO Regiment standard. Yes, the bugler was very impressive. The young man in question is 12-year-old Daniel Bradley from the 1st Whittingham Baden Powell Scouts. It’s wonderful to have our young people so willing to participate and remember those who have gone before. Best wishes!

  2. Hazel Campbell

    What a wonderful thing to do in the Breamish Valley, I have just read the report in the Northumberland Gazette.
    My mother’s brother James William Turnbull is commemorated on your memorial, she was eight years old when her brother died.
    I am going on a battlefield tour on Sunday 4th November and will leave a wreath in his memory (and for all who lost their lives in conflicts) at the Tyne Cott Memorial where he is remembered .
    Thank you all for all your efforts

    1. Hello Hazel! Thank you for taking the time to share your story. The loss of your mother#s brother at only eight years of age must have left an indelible memory. I hope your trip to the Tyne Cott Memorial went well. With best wishes!

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