A Great War Tribute Medal Puzzle From Boldon Colliery.

The obverse & reverse sides of a Great War (1914-18) tribute medal issued to a workman from Boldon Colliery, Co. Durham - Hall marked gold, 27 mm diameter by 2 mm thick.

I understand the above to be a tribute medal issued to one ANDREW TELFORD who presumably had been one of the returning miners from the Great War who was employed at Boldon Colliery in County Durham.

Several things about this tribute medal intrigue me and I would greatly appreciate it if anyone has any answers or suggestions to my various questions concerning it. Namely;

1) Has anyone any information regarding the recipient of the medal - i.e. Andrew Telford?

2) Was this medal issued by the local lodge of the Durham Miners Association (D.M.A.) or the owners of Boldon Colliery, i.e. The Harton Coal Company Limited?

3) I am confused at the reference in the medal's obverse legend to the "Workmen's War Memorial". Is there a dedicated Workmen's War Memorial to those men who had been employed at Boldon Colliery who gave their lives in the great war? If so where is it and what form does it take?

4) What and where is/was the building (see close up below) that is depicted on the obverse of this medal? What is its significance? Could it be the Boldon Colliery Lodge of the D.M.A.?

 A close up of the building depicted in the obverse centre of the Great War Tribute Medal from Boldon Colliery.

Any answers or further information about the above medal would be greatly appreciated.

Submitted By : Jeff Thompson.
Date: January 2004.


The building is the Miners Hall in North Road, Boldon Colliery. It was still there a few years ago, just over from the former railway crossing in Boldon Colliery, on the  right hand side.

Submitted By : Gerry Fitzsimons.
Date: January 2004.


As an old Boldon lad I confirm the building is the old Miners' Hall in Boldon. It was situated between the Police Station and the Chapel opposite the Co-Operative Store Buildings. However, bad news I'm afraid as the Hall was pulled down some 3 years ago in a very sorry state of repair. There was some effort to retain it as a listed building but nothing resulted. After the demise of Boldon pit the building was bought by Provincial House for repair and storage of their fruit machines, they owned the building for some 20years? The site at present is of waste land but I am led to believe shortly to be used for house building. The police station and chapel either side of the Miners Hall still stand.

The name on the medal, "Andrew Telford" is unknown to me but I am aware of only one family of Telfords in Boldon. Ernie Telford, who for many years during the 50 & 60's was a Councillor, passed away in the 70/80's. I am not too sure if he had any family but he was married.

Submitted By : Leon Morgan.
Date: January 2004.

The Boldon Miners' Hall was built in 1891 and featured on the front side of the D.M.A. Boldon Lodge Banner of 1921. Its use on the banner was meant to symbolise "recreational provision" by the D.M.A. Lodge for its members.

Front view of the D.M.A. Boldon Lodge banner of 1921 depicting the Miners' Hall built in 1891.

Submitted By : Mark Smith.
Date: July 2004.



The Workmen's War memorial that you mention is located in the Boldon Colliery British Legion premises in North Road. It is in the form of a stone(?) tablet that hangs on the wall in the entrance to the premises.

The legend on it reads "Erected by the workmen of Boldon Colliery in Honour of the Memory of those who made the Supreme Sacrifice in the Great War 1914 - 19". My great uncle William Burrows's name appears on the list, although to my knowledge, he did not receive a tribute medal such as the one described above.
When visiting Boldon a couple of days ago, I noticed that the Miners' Hall has now been replaced by a block of houses.
Submitted By : David Lonsdale.
Date: February 2005.


I was surprised and amazed to find details of the above medal as Andrew Spoors Telford was my granddad on my mother side of the family.

There is recollection in our family of there being such a medal plus a plaque that is believed to have gone with it. The plaque remains in the family but no one had seen or heard of the medal for many years.

Andrew Telford lived at 167, Charles Street in Boldon Colliery, County Durham with his wife Emily. During the Great War he served as Private 21/1505 in the 21st Tyneside Scottish Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers. He was station in France on the Western Front.

On 1st July 1916 Andrew Telford took part in the opening actions of the infamous Battle of the Somme. According to a friend who fort along side him, Andrew went over the top at the start of the battle and was almost immediately hit by an enemy shell. Nothing was ever found of his body other than his dog tags. At the time of his death he was 38 years old.

The Thieval Commonwealth War Memorial - Andrew Spoors Telford is recorded as one of the fallen on Pier and Face 10B, 11B and 12B.

Andrew Telford was officially recorded as “missing in action” and he is honoured on the Thiepval Memorial in France along with the many other thousands of British soldiers of the Great War who have no known grave. He is also commemorated on the Roll of Honour in the British Legion in Boldon Colliery.

Submitted By : Vivian Rogers.
Date: September 2005.


From the last reply it would appear likely that this gold tribute medal was issued posthumously to Andrew Telford's widow just after the end of the Great War. It is not clear if it was issued by his civilian employer (i.e. The Harton Coal Company Limited) or the Boldon Lodge of the Durham Miners’ Association of which he presumably would have been a member before joining the army. Similar gold tribute medals are known to have been issued by the Marsden Lodge of the Durham Miner's Association. Marsden Lodge represented the miners of Whitburn Colliery which was another of the Harton Coal Company's nearby pits.

Submitted By : Mark Smith.
Date: September 2005. 

If you can provide any further information about the above item then please contact us via the e-mail reply link below.


Previous    Home