( Chester-le-Street Chronicle )
Medals to Discharged Soldiers
The Washington and Barmston War Memorial and Welcome Home Committee
are making arrangements to present a medal to every man and woman who joined HM Forces from the adjoining parishes. The medals are being specially made for the committee, and are exquisite
pieces of workmanship, embodying the ancient coat of arms of Washington and a suitable inscription. On Thursday in the Alexandra Theatre (later, The Regal Cinema), New Washington, the first batch of discharged soldiers
received their medals. The Rev JE Yates presided over a very large and patriotic gathering; and Mrs Jones presented the medals. On Friday the second lot of heroes received their medals in the
Glebe Picture House (The Carlton Cinema), Washington Station, Mr FS Newall officiated as Chairman and Mrs Newall made the presentations.
Washington Welcome Home
At the Alexandra Theatre, New Washington, over 20 returned soldiers
received welcome home medals from Washington and Barmston parishes, from Mrs W Jones of New Washington, and at the Glebe Miners’ Hall a similar number were presented by Mrs FS Newall. There are
upward of 1,000 in all to receive such medals in the respective parishes named.
Washington 'Demobbed' Entertained
Out of a total of upwards of 800 soldiers to be honoured in due time,
the Washington and Barmston Welcome Home Committee presented about 110 ex-service men with a silver medal each, and entertained them to a knife and fork supper in the National Schools, Washington Village,
on Saturday. The Rev T Bishop, Wesleyan Minister, welcomed the gathering and in a brief address referred to the shameful atrocities perpetrated by the Germans during the war on land and sea. He also said:
‘You have saved the women and children of England from a similar fate by your courage and devotion to duty, and we are proud of you.’ Mrs Lomax, the Rectory, handed each man a medal whilst sitting at supper
and shook hands with them. The medals were inscribed as follows: 'Washington & Barmston Welcome Home Fund' on one side; and on the other, 'For services rendered in the Great War' with the name of the recipient.
The musical part of the evening was ably rendered by Mr Jos Birkett and party and Mr JG Brown acted as pianist.
Further Batch Entertained
The actual number of men who joined HM forces during the Great War from the
Washington and Barmston Parishes is stated to be 1080. 171 have made the supreme sacrifice, and to commemorate the latter a cenotaph in the form of a cross is to be erected on the Village Green, opposite
Trinity Church, with the names of the fallen inscribed thereon. A German gun captured by the Durhams is also to be placed there. The returned soldiers and sailors are to be entertained and each man presented
with a silver medal. The latter, which is an exquisite piece of workmanship, has been previously described.
On Saturday evening in the National Schools, the second batch of heroes, 180 of them, were regaled by a knife and fork supper and afterwards entertained by a high class concert. The Rev T Bishop bade the ‘boys’
welcome and Mrs Bishop presented the medals. The entertaining party, organised by Mr Jos Birkett comprised of the following talented artistes, rendered an excellent programme, which was highly appreciated:
Mr Birkett, Mr Race, Miss Hall, violinists; the Original Washington Pierotts: Messrs Gatenby and Saint; Mr J Anderson, elocutionist; Miss E Trotter, soprano; Miss Eva W Brown, elocutionist; and Mr JG Brown, pianist.