Mon, 16 March, 2020
A restored plaque commemorating soldiers who fought in the First World War has been unveiled in the lobby of TWI’s Middlesbrough facility on the Riverside Park Industrial Estate at the Tees Advanced Manufacturing Park.
The plaque was created in remembrance of 76 men who worked at the former Newport Ironworks and died during the 1914-1918 war.
The plaque had previously been kept at Samuelson’s Social Club but was placed into storage when the club shut down several years ago.
Since then, the plaque fell into disrepair but was uncovered and restored by TWI coatings specialists, Craig Jones and Chris Graham with additional guidance from historical consultants, Heritage Unlocked.
An unveiling ceremony was held on 9 March, 2020, attended by representatives of the Royal British Legion, the Yorkshire Regiment, and families of the fallen soldiers named on the plaque. The families brought along a range of historical artefacts, including an official telegram permitting a worker to leave his job in order to join the war effort.
Four-year-old Leo Jennings, the great, great, great grandson of one of the men commemorated on the plaque was given the honour of unveiling the plaque.
TWI were represented at the unveiling by TWI North Facility Manager Keith Malone, Skills and Innovation Business Development Manager Abbas Mohimi, and Innovation and Skills Director Tat-Hean Gan.
In addition, Middlesbrough Mayor, Andy Preston, was joined by Middlesbrough Council Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Ron Arundale, at the ceremony.
Councillor Arundale said, "I think it's wonderful that they have been able to have their plaque restored. Better than that is that they were able to contact the relatives.”
Mayor Andy Preston also spoke on the societal differences between the past and the present, saying, “It's beyond important to think about all the things we take for granted right now. People can live and look forward to a great future. These people made the ultimate sacrifice. We now have a prosperous and exciting future - something we take for granted."
Meanwhile, Dr Tosh Warwick of Heritage Unlocked said, “The TeesAMP development has provided a fantastic opportunity to further explore Middlesbrough’s industrial heritage. The plaque is a tangible link to the workers’ and the site’s historic contribution to the war effort. The area’s iron and steel industries helped to shape the world, and this restoration commemorates an important and poignant chapter in that rich history.”
TWI is proud to have helped restore this important piece of local history and honoured to be able to display the plaque and remember those who gave their lives during the First World War.