A CHARITY is appealing for help tracing the relatives of two men who gave their lives during the Second World War.

Members of Shotley Bridge War Memorial Cottages Trust plan to install a plaque in memory of 30 servicemen from the district who died during the conflict.

So far, they have traced relatives of 28 men and have invited them to the Remembrance Day service when the stone and plaque will be unveiled in the garden of the Memorial Cottages, close to the existing plaque commemorating the dead of the Great War.

But trustees hope to track down relatives of the two remaining men in time for the dedication service.

The trust manages three cottages on the edge of the village, built in the early 1920s to honour the 27 Shotley Bridge men who lost their lives in the First World War and now used to provide homes for ex-servicemen and their families.

Trust vice chairman Joe Toner said: "A lot of people within the community have said over the years that we have a memorial to the men from the First World War, but not the Second, and now we have found the funding to put it in place."

Historian and former teacher Dave Wright has spent four months tracing records of the men killed during the conflict, but has been unable to find the families of J Hall and JT Hardy.

Mr Wright believes that Mr Hardy may have died in 1947 in Shotley Bridge Hospital of shrapnel wounds suffered during the war.

He said: "It would be lovely to get them all here".

Mr Toner added: "We are keeping our fingers crossed and will keep trying to find them."

The memorial stone will be installed in the next few weeks and will be unveiled during the village’s Armistice Service on Sunday, November 10 at 2.45pm.

Anyone with information on the missing men is asked to ring Mr Wright on 01207 506420.