The fascinating story of a Stockton man’s experiences of fighting in the First World War is being serialised daily and exclusively on Stockton Council’s Heritage website.
Roger Stamp’s diaries are being posted online daily to match exactly when the entries were first written one hundred years ago, up until May 2018 when he was finally discharged from the Army in 1918 after being wounded for a third time.
You can read Roger’s war diary as it unfolds daily at www.heritage.stockton.gov.uk
Roger was born in Stockton in 1895, lived on Russell Street near the Town Centre and attended Bailey Street School before finding work as a plater in Ropner’s shipyard.
In 1913, at the age of 18, he enlisted in the Fifth (Territorial) Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry. As the Great War broke out, his territorial unit were recalled from their annual summer camp to their base in Stockton where they all volunteered for service overseas.
The battalion headed for Folkestone on 17 April 1915 from where they sailed to France and Roger began to keep a diary, an act which was frowned upon by his Army superiors.
Roger’s diaries provide a rare insight into the everyday life of a British infantryman in and out of the line of fire in France and Flanders during the First World War.
The diaries have been made accessible thanks to the support of Linda Patterson, a relative of Roger, who originally transcribed the diaries and gave permission for them to be published.
The diaries were also brought to life thanks to the work of the Durham County Record Office and the Durham at War project (www.durhamatwar.org.uk), which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
To view Roger’s diaries and to access a rich resource filled with articles and information about the people and places from Stockton Borough’s history, visit www.heritage.stockton.gov.uk