Complaint made over location for VC recipient stone

An Ulgham resident who has called for a commemorative stone, which marks an act of outstanding bravery during the First World War, to be moved from Widdrington Station to a neighbouring parish has submitted an appeal to Northumberland County Council.

Thursday, 10th January 2019, 9:09 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 11:43 am
The commemorative stone was installed in Widdrington Station in October. Picture by Jane Coltman.

Norris Atthey and Widdrington Village Parish Council claim that Victoria Cross recipient James Johnson, who they say has no middle name, was born in 1882 at what was then Widdrington Colliery.

Widdrington Station and Stobswood Parish Council insists that the information in the order of service, which says he is James Bulmer Johnson and born in Stobswood on December 31, 1889, is correct and the stone at the memorial garden on land just outside the Co-op in Widdrington Station should stay in place.

A county council spokesman said: “Based on the information that has been reviewed, the council does not acknowledge that the stone is in the wrong place or that the order of service was wrong for this individual.

“Mr Atthey has now requested that his complaint is escalated to a Stage 2 review (an independent investigation) and this will be dealt with in line with the council’s complaints procedure.

“We would also say that the council has followed the advice and guidance provided by the Government and, as we have previously advised, Mr Atthey should take up any concerns that he has directly with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.”