Cornhill-on-Tweed – War Memorial & St. Helen’s Churchyard











Just up the road, St. Helen’s Church was unfortunately locked, but the churchyard revealed one son who never returned home:




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24 Responses to Cornhill-on-Tweed – War Memorial & St. Helen’s Churchyard

  1. Capt (ret) of Cavalry Hans Steenmetz says:

    On the War Memorial of your village is one name not available.
    Guardsman John Shiells 2701084 Scots Guards was Killed in Action on the 21st of November 1944, Age 21, Son of Johna and Mary Jane Shiells, of Wark, Cornhill-on-Tweed. Northumberland. His is burried on the Mook War Cemetery in the Netherlands Plot III, Row C, grave 14. He was killed as a tankdriver while his tank was hit by a mine. He was burried on the spot and later re- burried at the War Cemetery. As the Community where he was KIA is erraising a monument for him at this spot after 75 years we are looking for possible relatives. I wonder why he is not at the War Memorial ahead the church. Maybe you can be of any help in finding relatives or any thing about him photographs contact, everything is welcome in giving him a face and identity “Thei Name Liveth For Evermore”..

    • Mrs Isabel Scott says:

      I am a cousin of John Shiells, members of my family have had communication from Piet Snellen who lives in The Netherlands and for many years it has been his heart’s desire to build a memorial as a tribute to John. This has now come to fruition and the memorial will be unveiled with a solemn ceremony in military style on November 23 this year, the weekend on which they celebrate 75 years of liberation, peace and freedom in Sevenum.
      Isabel Scott, nee Shiells

      • Piet Snellen says:

        Dear Mrs Scott,
        Could you please contact me on my e-mail address

        Thank you very much!

        Best wishes,

        • Magicfingers says:

          Piet, has Mrs Scott contacted you, and if not, would you like me to get in touch with her?

          • Piet Snellen says:

            Dear Sir,
            That would be fantastic. Meanwhile I got an e-mail from The Coldstream and District Local History Society telling me that some of their members are thinking of coming over for the unveiling of John’s memorial. I’m hoping fervently that also some of John Shiells’ family will attent the unveiling. It would be a great honour for us. Probably they can travel together with the other mentioned party!

          • Ian Shiells says:

            Have tried to contact Piet but received no reply yet. I am the nephew of John Shiells and would like to learn more about the proposed memorial unveiling.

          • Piet Snellen says:

            Dear sir, madam,
            Please pass on my e-mail address
            to Mr Ian Shiells.
            I would be very grateful for that!!
            Thank you very much!!!
            Piet Snellen

    • Ian Shiells says:

      My name is Ian Shiells, nephew of John Shiells, my late father was James Shiells elder brother of John. John was one of 8 children with only his youngest brother David still alive. It is wonderful news that a memorial is to be unveiled on the 75th anniversary of his death, something sadly lacking in our own country. If I can give more information please get in contact.
      Best regards IanS

  2. Capt (ret) of Cavalry Hans Steenmetz says:

    No changes and my name and mail may be published.

    • Magicfingers says:

      Thank you very much for commenting Hans. I do not live locally to Cornhill – in fact I live at the other end of the country – but maybe someone will see your message. I hope so.

  3. Magicfingers says:

    Piet, I have just emailed Mrs. Scott for you. Let me know if you do not hear from her – I’m sure we can sort something out.

  4. Piet snellen says:

    Hi Ian,

    My e-mail address is
    Please contact me by e-mail.
    I’ve got quite a lot to tell you about Guardsman John Shiells!

    Hope to hear from you.
    Best wishes

    Piet Snellen

  5. Magicfingers says:

    Well chaps, assuming that you are in touch now, don’t forget to tell all your friends and acquantances about the website that has hopefully helped facilitate some future meetings. I ask for nothing more……..

  6. Dear members of John Shiells family,

    I am the grandson of Private David McKellar, 2nd Battalion Gordon Highlanders, who died of wounds in a field hospital in the Abbey in Meijel on 21st November 1944, very near where John was also killed on the same day. I was very honoured to be asked by the community in Meijel to unveil a Listening Stone at the Vossenberg Fortress near Meijel last Sunday, telling of my grandfather’s story as part of the liberation of the area. The ceremony was also attended by 25 Gordon Highlanders veterans and I was privileged to be asked to march with them to the ceremony. My Dutch friends Tom and Ellen, who had undertaken the research into David’s story that led to the establishment of the Listening Stone, introduced me to Piet Snellen when we visited the war cemetery at Venray where my grandfather is buried. Piet very kindly laid some flowers on my grandfather’s war grave and we talked about John’s story. We also visited the site where John was buried initially, and saw the preparations for the memorial there in advance of this weekend’s ceremony. I understand that a number of John’s family will be there and I wish you all a safe and rewarding visit. I raised a glass in toast to the memory of David and John last night, on the 75th anniversary of their deaths. Kind regards, Scot Mathieson (in Stirling)

    PS a link to photos of David’s Listening Stone ceremony last Sunday:

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