Ullswater War Memorial

Ullswater War Memorial

Ullswater War Memorial

A change from the usual walks and photos of the Lakes for this one. Something I’ve been working on in the evenings and wee hours as part of our local communities plans to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War…

The Patterdale & Glenridding War Memorial Project – Please Help!

Towards the end of the First World War the inhabitants of Patterdale and Glenridding collected money in order to establish a permanent Monument as a Memorial to the Officers and Men who fell in the Great War. The memorial slab was hewn from a twenty ton piece of local slate and the eventual undressed slate stone still weighs in at around 5 tons. It was unveiled in October 1921 and still stands to this day between Glenridding and Patterdale at the side of Ullswater.

As part of the 100th Anniversary Commemoration of the outbreak of World War One, along with many other communities up and down the country, we have tried to find out more about the men whose names are inscribed on the memorial, and also about life in and around Patterdale and Glenridding at the time.

Their generation have all gone now, but their stories still resonate. From research including interviews with people around the Dale, trawling local Newspapers archives, studying the Parish Registers, online investigation and frankly a lot of guesswork, we have tried to piece together the stories of each of these men as far as we can.

The project started off as part of a project on behalf of Patterdale School and has now been enlarged into a wider community project involving St Patrick’s Church and the Parish Council.

There are still some areas for which we are looking for information and we would be grateful for any additional knowledge anyone can add. We would also like to thank all those who have assisted in our efforts to date and to apologise wholeheartedly for any unintentional inaccuracies in any of our presented research. Of particular interest to us is to find out more about GR Bennett of whom we can find no trace.

We have created the Ullswater War Memorial website which has more information on the people listed on the memorial as well as people listed on the Roll of Honour in the Glenridding Village Hall. We have also included a section on then and now photos from around Glenridding and Patterdale including this one from 1906 of the Ullswater Football team which we believe includes at least 2 of the local me who fought in the First World War.

Ullswater Football Club 1906

Ullswater Football Club 1906

The website also lists some of the other “mysteries” unearthed during the research – and this is what we need some help on…

Missing Pieces of the Jigsaw

Who was  GR Bennett?

Despite much searching of census and other records we can find no real trace of GR Bennett, the first name on our Memorial. He is commemorated on the Patterdale War Memorial but not on the Glenridding Village Hall Roll of Honour, and sadly we have so far been able to find no trace of him. If you can help please let us know.

Why was Oliver Readshaw not included on the Patterdale War Memorial ?

Private Oliver  Readshaw, 24554, 14th Bn., Durham Light Infantry was born in Patterdale and baptised on the 18th October 1885.  He was the younger brother of George Readshaw, and probably joined the Durham Light Infantry with him at the start of the war.  Sadly he died just a month after George on the 23rd October 1915, and is buried at the Ploegsteert Wood Military Cemetery in Belgium. Both are listed on the Glenridding Village Hall Roll of Honour but only George’s name was added to the Patterdale Memorial.  We do not know why this is. It is possible that no-one was in contact with him, and judging from his brothers name being added at the end of the memorial it is possible no-one knew that Oliver was dead.

Tom Little

Private Thomas Little, 44611, “B” Coy. 1st Bn., South Wales Borderers who died on 10 November 1917 Age 21. He died at the Battle of Passchendale. His Commonwealth War Graves Commission record states that he was the son of Son of Thomas Royal Little, and Elizabeth Ann Little, of Goldrill House, Patterdale. We know they were not living there in 1911, and may have moved here during the War. They settled in (and possibly built) Daweswood. There is an inscription to Tom on his parents gravestone in Patterdale Churchyard, stating “Tom, Their Elder Son, who was killed in action on Passchendale Ridge, Belgium, on Nov 10th 1917”. Would Tom have been excluded simply because he was not born in the Dale? If so then neither were many others on the Roll of Honour and some on the Memorial.

Whatever happened to Miles Cooper?

Perhaps one of the strangest things to emerge from our research is the mystery surrounding Miles Cooper, George Cooper’s elder brother. Miles is commemorated on the Glenridding Village Hall Roll of Honour. Miles had enlisted in the Territorials in 1909 and went to France with the British Expeditionary Force in 1914. His  service record states that in November 1915 he deserted, and nothing was heard from him after that. All we know from the records is that his wife (Jane nee Moor) whom he married in 1911, and daughter Mabel (born Feb 1914) were still asking for information on him on Dec 10th 1928, writing to the army

“Dear Sirs I am anxious to know if you have been able to get any trace of my husband L.Cpl M Cooper, 3rd Border Regt…Could you advise me in any way at all. I am anxious to know of his whereabouts or what became of him. I am Yours Truly Mrs M Cooper”.

Were they ever reunited?

If you can help with any of these mysteries please get in touch via the Ullswater Memorial Website.

The Names of the Fallen

These are the names of the men who are inscribed on the Patterdale War Memorial, with links to the pages on our website where we have listed what information we have on them.


Frank BrownF Brown


George CooperGR Cooper


Richard HaytonRW Hayton


Fred KirklandF Kirkland


Ernest LakeE Lake


Cecil J MasonCJ Mason


John PlaceJD Place


J Pattinson


John RoutledgeJ Routledge


J Slee


R Slee


Thomas WallTH Wall


J Wilkinson


George ReadshawG Readshaw


Poppy Tran

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them

If you have any information on these men you would like to share with us please get in touch via the Ullswater War Memorial website.

There will be a short remembrance service in Glenridding Village Hall on Sunday 3rd August at 18:00 – all are welcome.

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2 Responses to Ullswater War Memorial

  1. Barb says:

    This is such important work you have done, and even tho I live far from Patterdale, it means a lot. I will keep signing petitions and contacting politicians in the hopes that some day, new war memorials will not be necessary anywhere.

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