A HEADSTONE marking the grave of an almost forgotten North-East historian has been unveiled.

For more than 70 years, the body of renowned scholar, naturalist, antiquarian, linguist and author James William Fawcett has lain in the grounds of St Cuthbert’s Church in Satley, near Consett, County Durham.

Born in 1862, he grew up in the village and as a young man was on the staff of Lord Kitchener as an interpreter in the Sudan and Egyptian campaigns.

During that time he visited the High Courts of Justice in Spain, Italy and Egypt.

He had published, in meticulous detail, the records of births, marriages and deaths of his own and nearby parishes and wrote local history books about the area of north Durham.

He died in 1942 aged 80 and despite his achievements, ended his days in poverty and so was buried in an unmarked grave.

In April 2010, a small group of local people, some of whom had known Mr Fawcett personally, felt that something should be done and formed the Satley J W Fawcett Local History Society.

County Durham Community Foundation made a contribution to the money raised by the society which has enabled this headstone to be funded.

Andrew Martell, Deputy Lieutenant of County Durham and a trustee of the community foundation, unveiled headstone at a ceremony at the weekend.

He said: “This is one of the causes we were able to support and we are delighted to help Satley in this way. It is an honour to unveil the headstone.”