IN 2016, civil servant Gillian Hunt spotted an article in The Northern Echo about how a cross in Gainford churchyard had been restored. It is dedicated to Mary and Charles Farrow who had died at the end of 1918, but no one knew their story.

So Gillian set out to research it, and what a story she found – as she will be telling in Darlington library November 14 at 2pm.

In a nutshell, Mary and Charles were both from prosperous backgrounds in Hartlepool. Charles joined up on the day the First World War began in 1914, and they had hastily married when he was home on leave in 1916 with Mary then becoming pregnant.

When the war ended on November 11, 1918, Charles, a second lieutenant, dashed home from northern France to celebrate with his wife and their nine-month-old daughter. Mary was now living with her parents in North Terrace, Gainford – perhaps they had escaped there after the 1914 bombardment of Hartlepool.

And there, on November 25, Mary died of influenza, and Charles – who had spent all four years dodging death on the battlefield – followed her on December 2.

They are both buried beneath the cross, although the authorities took some convincing that Charles really was dead and hadn’t just deserted.

On November 14, Gillian will be telling the full story, how she researched it and of new developments since we last featured it in 2017.

Tickets are £2 and can be booked by calling the library on 01325-349630.