Tucked in the south-west corner of St Mary’s on the south wall is the stunning copper regimental plaque, decorated with foliage and insignia and inscribed with the names of 30 officers, NCOs, and privates of the 3rd Battalion DLI who died in the South African wars, 1899-1902. With Colonel RB Wilson commanding, they had supplied over 800 men to active service and guarded Lines of Communication in Cape Colony and Orange Free State. They formed the first Militia Mounted Infantry Company and escorted convoys as well as garrisoning Dewetsdorp.
Barnard Castle had held a spontaneous torch-light procession to celebrate the end of this war and a town memorial was erected on Galgate, but for St Mary’s a very special regimental plaque was commissioned from Herbert Maryon, Director of the Keswick School of Industrial Arts, and was unveiled on 27th July 1904 by Col. Charles Freville Surtees.
Photo copyright: Newsquest Darlington & Stockton Times