In this feature to commemorate the First World War, we will bring you the news as it happened in 1915, as reported by the Morpeth Herald. All material is published with kind permission of the Mackay family. We thank them for their support and generosity in allowing us access to their archive.
THANKS FROM THE SCOTTISH HORSE
Sir,— May I, through your columns, express my thanks to all those people in Northumberland who have shown many kindnesses to the Scottish Horse during the months we have been quartered here.
We appreciate them all the more when we remember that in former generations incursions of Scottish troops were probably received in a very different manner. — Yours, etc.,
Brigadier-General Commanding Scottish Horse.
17th August, 1915.
GARDEN PARTY AT ESPLEY HALL
On Tuesday last, through the kindness of Alderman G.B. Bainbridge, 50 of the wounded men of the Durham Light Infantry, now in Morpeth, were entertained at Espley Hall.
On their arrival they were received by Mr and Mrs and Mr C Bainbridge. After tea games, boating etc., were much enjoyed by the men.
The following kindly sent motors for conveying the men to and from Espley: Alderman G.B. Bainbridge (two cars), Mr George Renwick, Mr Thos. Gillespie, Mr G.L. Jackson, and Mr Thompson (Queen’s Head). Mr T.B. Waters, secretary of the Soldiers’ Institute, had the arrangements in hand.
SOLDIERS ENTERTAINED AT PONTELAND
The ladies’ committee which entertained soldiers in the winter, together with the sewing parties of Ponteland and Milbourne, had the pleasure of entertaining 50 wounded soldiers from the War Hospital. The men came in cars to the Vicarage Garden, where they were received by the Vicar and Mrs Langton.
They had a very pleasant time and enjoyed the games in spite of the rain, which made it necessary to have tea in the schools.
They were plentifully provided with cigarettes, chocolates and flowers, and, before leaving, plates of raspberries and cream were handed round to all.
NORTHUMBERLAND MINERS’ ROLL OF HONOUR
Mr John Cairns, financial secretary of the Northumberland Miners’ Association, has issued a circular to the branches inviting the local secretaries to forward the names and other particulars of members of the Association who have fallen in battle.
It is intended that the first record should cover the period of August 4th, 1914, to July 31st this year.
It is estimated that about 14,000 miners have enlisted from the county since the war began, and that about 10,000 of these are members of the Association.
ROLL OF HONOUR
GILLON.— Died from wounds received in action near the Dardanelles on July 20th, aged 18 years, Able-Seaman K. William Gillon, Nelson Battallion, R.N.D., dearly beloved son of Mary and the late William Gillon, South Bromhill, Acklington.
ROLL OF HONOUR
An official intimation from the Admiralty has been received by Mrs Melburn, of 14 Lee Street, Annitsford, stating that her brother, E. Graham, A.B., R.N.V.R., Hood Battalion, was killed at the Dardanelles on July 19th. Prior to joining the navy, Graham, who was 22 years of age, worked at Seghill Colliery.
Mrs Richardson, of 34 Front Street, Annitsford, has received a letter from the Record Office stating that her son, Seaman John Richardson, K.X. 234, R.N.V.R. was killed at the Dardanelles. Richardson used to work at Seghill Colliery.
The death is announced of Corporal J. Lock, 1st Northumberland Fusiliers, who was killed in action on June 16th. He is survived by a widow and three young children, who reside at 21 Monkseaton Terrace, Hirst.
Mr and Mrs J. Anderson, of Railway Row, Dudley Colliery, have received a letter written by Lieut. Salter, of the 9th N.F., conveying the sad news that their son, Pte. R.B. Anderson, was killed by a bullet wound in the head in France on Monday, August 9th. Private Anderson, who was 24 years of age, worked at Dudley Colliery prior to joining the colours.
Seaman John Davidson, R.N.D., of Ashington, has been killed.
Private Arthur Lyons, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, of Ashington, has been killed in action at the Dardanelles.
The death is announced of Second Lieut. George Dixon, of Hexham. He was a colliery manager at Nottingham, and prior to obtaining that situation was trained by Mr Weeks, of Bedlington.
Private Edward Mayes, of the 1st Batt. Northumberland Fusiliers, North Seaton, has been wounded.
Mr John Trewick, of Bridge Buildings, Annitsford, has also received official intimation that his only son Private John Geo. Trewick, of the 9th Batt., Northumberland Fusiliers, was wounded in France on the 1st August, and is now lying in hospital at Brighton. Prior to joining the colours Pte. Trewick worked at Dudley Colliery.
Mr and Mrs John Anderson, of Railway Row, Dudley Colliery, received a letter last weekend from Lieut. Salter, of the 9th Batt. Northumberland Fusiliers in France, conveying the sad news that their son, Pte. Robert B. Anderson, of the 9th Batt. N.F., was killed by a bullet wound in the head on Monday, August 9th. Pte. Anderson, who joined the colours about 12 months ago, had only been at the front three weeks.
Mr and Mrs Dishman of Northern Terrace, Dudley Colliery, have received official intimation that their son, Sergt. Thomas Dishman, of the 2nd Batt. Durham Light Infantry, has been wounded. Sergt. Dishman, who was a Reservist, was called up at the beginning of the war, and also served through the Boer War.
Trooper Adam P. Darling, of Amble, 14th Royal Irish Dragoons, has been wounded, and his wife has been notified. He received his wounds at Ypres, and is now in hospital at France. It is interesting to note that Trooper Darling took part in the South African War and was awarded the Queen’s medal and five bars. He formerly belonged to Warkworth. He has been at the front since October.
HIRST SOLDIER KILLED IN ACTION
The parents of Corporal J.R. Bawn, of 114 Chestnut Street, Hirst, who were officially notified of his death in action with the 9th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers in France, have received the following letter from the platoon officer, Lieut. Murray G. Patten:—
“You will probably have learnt already, through the War Office, of the sad death of your son, Corporal Bawn, who was killed in action on the afternoon of Monday, 26th July. I had hoped to be able to write you earlier, but pressure of work has made it impossible to do as I wished.
“My platoon went into the trenches for the first time on Sunday, 25th July, and on the following afternoon we were very heavily bombarded for nearly three hours. Six of my men, including your son, were killed and several others wounded. The advanced trench in which Corporal Bawn was stationed suffered very severely, and though he was the only one of my platoon killed there during this bombardment, most of the others were wounded or severely shaken.
“During an earlier and milder bombardment shortly after mid-day, when one of my men was killed in his section of the trench, Corporal Bawn behaved with conspicuous coolness, and when death came later to him too, he met it unflinchingly — at his post. He lies buried close to the spot where he fell, his grave marked with a little cross bearing his name.
“I regret his loss exceedingly, and my regret is shared by all the men of my platoon. Though I have only been in command of the platoon for a short time I had formed a high opinion of Corporal Bawn, having found him a smart, efficient, and uncomplaining soldier. My men join me in offering you their deepest sympathy in this your time of sorrow. If you would wish any further particulars, please let me know and I shall be only too ready to do anything that may be in my power.”
MORPETH BOARD OF GUARDIANS
The monthly meeting of the Morpeth Board of Guardians was held on Wednesday. The Hon. and Rev. W.C. Ellis presided.
Mr Craigs, as chairman of the Provisions Committee, presented the tenders for groceries for the four weeks. He said that the question had arisen in committee whether good margarine could not be substituted for butter for the inmates. The committee put forward this recommendation for the consideration of the Board owing to the high price of butter. He added that the price quoted for butter was 1s 7d per lb. He then moved that the tenders be accepted, and that margarine be substituted for butter. It could be tried for one month.
Mr Barker seconded.
Mr Lee: I oppose the motion, I would not use margarine myself, and I think the inmates ought to get butter as usual. I will move an amendment that we do not substitute margarine for butter. Mr Doney seconded.
Mr Merivale: You cannot tell the difference if it is good.
Mr Craigs: And the committee recommend that good margarine be purchased.
Mr Lee: And I recommend that good butter be purchased.
A member: How many pounds of butter are used in the ‘house’ in a week?
The Clerk: Forty-five pounds.
It was agreed by a large majority that good margarine be substituted for butter.
The clerk said that according to a memorandum received from the Local Government Board relating to elections there would be no election of Guardians until 1917. Any casual vacancies on the Board would be filled up by the Guardians themselves.
Mr Lee: That means we will be another year in office?
The clerk replied in the affirmative.
Letters have been received by the clerks of local councils from the Local Government Board that there will not be any local elections for the next 12 months, and where a casual vacancy arises, the council will have power to fill the position.
This is certainly an effort at common sense procedure by the Local Government Board, for there is not sufficient reason why there should be expense incurred in connection with such matters, which is quite unnecessary in such a crisis at the present.
BRITISH FARMERS’ RED CROSS FUND APPEAL FOR £100,000
A meeting on behalf of the above Fund will be held in the Cattle Market, Morpeth, on Wednesday, August 25th, at 1pm prompt. Speaker: Herbert Brown, Esq., London (Founder of the fund). Chairman: Major Crawford, supported by His Worship the Mayor (Coun. W.T. Charlton), and G. Renwick, Esq.
The Fund has sent £8,000 to Calais for Enteric Hospital: 5 motor lorries to the British Red Cross Society for use in France and Belgium at a cost of £3,550: equipped six operating theatres and special departments for throat, ear, and eye in the King George Hospital, London: equipped and sent out two hospitals to Serbia at a cost of £10,000; and sent £1,000 to Dr Barrie’s Hospital in Serbia.
Funds are urgently required–
(1) £20,000 for the wounded of our Expeditionary Force in the Dardanelles;
(2) £25,000 for sending a convoy of motor ambulances to the Front.
It is particularly hoped that all farmers will make a point of being present to support the cause, which is one which will appeal to every Englishman.
THOS. WATERS & SON AND THOS. CLARK,
AGRICULTURAL JUMBLE SALE AT MORPETH
On Wednesday first the great agriculture jumble sale in aid of the above Red Cross Fund will take place in the Cattle Market, Morpeth.
The present entries (150) comprise fat and keeping lambs, ewes, gimmers, B.F. wethers etc. There are also goats, pigs, calves, collie dogs, silver-grey Persian kittens and donkeys, also hay, wheat, straw, oats, barley and farmers’ implements. The produce, poultry, etc., comprises 30 head of poultry, besides chickens, ducks, pigeons, guinea fowls and eggs, butter, honey and potatoes.
Prior to the sale at 1pm, Mr Herbert Brown, founder of the Farmers’ Red Cross Fund, will address a meeting. Major Crawford is to preside, and will be supported by His Worship the Mayor (Councillor T.W. Charlton) and Mr George Renwick, Springhill.
Another form of assisting this most deserving fund will be by purchasing a Red Cross “Tag.” These will be on sale in the town, a large number of ladies having kindly offered their services as seller.
BRITISH FARMERS’ RED CROSS FUND
Don’t forget, in connection with the above Fund, a TAG DAY will be held on August 25th (same day as the Red Cross Jumble Sale).
Ladies and others willing to assist in the selling of the Tags, will oblige by giving their names to the Secretary, Mr R.S. Turnbull, Mitford Steads, as early as possible.
RED CROSS JUMBLE SALE AT MORPETH
Arrangements have been made at the following places to receive stock on Wednesday morning at 8am:— Whalton; Mr H. Cowans, North Trewick, Longhorsley; Mr Jas. Clark, Hedley Wood, Ulgham; Mr W. Mitchell.
Would donors kindly arrange to have their gifts sent in good time, with label attached.
THOS. WATERS & SON and THOMAS CLARK
HELP FOR BELGIUM
We are informed that the Duke of Northumberland, Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland, has accepted the presidency of an influential committee, whose object is to save from starvation the many millions of Belgians who still remain in Belgium and whom the Germans refuse to feed.
The County Committee will co-operate with the National Committee for Relief in Belgium, of which the Lord Mayor of London is chairman. The Belgium Minister is the only honorary member of this national organisation, and the Duke of Norfolk is chairman of its Executive Council.
The appeal to the nation is signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal Bourne, the President of the Free Church Council, Lord Lansdowne, Lord Rosebery, Lord Bryce, Mr John Redmond, Mr Arthur Henderson, and others. Under their auspices a consolidation is being effected of all similar funds throughout the country.
The Duke of Northumberland’s Committee includes the following members of Parliament, all of whom represent constituencies within the county:– The Right Hon. Thomas Burt, Mr R.D. Holt, Mr Walter Hudson, Mr J.M. Robertson, Mr Edward Shortt.
The Lord Lieutenant is also supported by the Mayors of several boroughs and by the chairman of many urban and rural district councils throughout the county. Clergymen and ministers of all denominations, and other influential people, are actively co-operating.
Throughout the country funds are rapidly being opened in response to the appeal of the County Committee, while funds already in existence are contributing, directly or otherwise. Among the towns and districts thus already “doing their bit” to keep alive the unfortunate millions in Belgium, are the following:– Ashington, Belford, Blyth, Glendale, Hexham, Norham, Newburn, Newcastle, Morpeth, Rothbury, Wallsend and Whitby. A number of other towns and districts are arranging to support the movement.
The aim of the County Committee is to secure steady weekly contributions, however small, from every part of the county. For less than thirty shillings ten Belgians can be kept alive in Belgium for a week. It will thus be realised how much can be done with a little money.
We are informed by the National Committee for Relief in Belgium, whose head offices are at Trafalgar Buildings, Trafalgar Square, London, that since their appeal was issued contributions amounting to over £1,300 have been received from Northumberland.
Including subscriptions from all parts of the British Empire, the National Committee have received, since the beginning of May, the splendid sum of £750,000. Every penny of this has been used to purchase food for the long-suffering Belgians, as the working expenses of the National Committee are generously provided for from another source. And its pathetic wait for long deferred release from German yoke, money must be provided more plentifully than heretofore.
The object of the County Committee is to see that there shall never be levelled against this country the accusation that the bulk of the Belgian nation were allowed to starve and die. In thirty-five other countries of England and Wales similar funds have been opened under the presidency of the respective Lord-Lieutenant.
With the approval of his Majesty’s Government all contributions sent from this and other counties are transmitted intact, by the National Committee to the Neutral Commission for Relief in Belgium. Under the chairmanship of Mr Herbert Hoover, this wonderfully effective commission have fed the people in Belgium ever since the Germans denied them bread. His Majesty’s Government is satisfied that none of the food thus sent falls into the hands of the Germans.
COAL TRADE CONFERENCE
Representatives of the Northumberland Coal Owners’ Association and of the Miners’ Association met in Newcastle on Saturday to consider two important questions.
When Mr Lloyd George exempted miners from the provisions of the Munitions Act, the Executive Committee of the Miners’ Federation gave a pledge that they would set up machinery in every district for the settlement of the disputes without resorting to strikes. A subject for consideration was whether any supplementary machinery was necessary for dealing with disputes.
Another question had reference to explosives used in the winning of coal in the county. Since the outbreak of war explosives used by the miners have become greatly enhanced in price, and the quality, it is asserted, is not so good as hitherto, and the men complain that they now suffer considerably from the fumes of the explosives.
Mr T. Taylor presided, and among other coal owners present were: Mr U.A. Ritson, Mr G.E. Young, Mr R.O. Brown, Mr W.J. Benson, Mr T.V. Simpson, Mr L.J. Weels, Mr J. Morrison, Mr E.S. Fawcett, Mr W. Heslop, Mr R.S. Anderson, Mr C.M. Morton, Mr C.R. Barrett, Mr S. Bates, Mr R.F. Spence, Mr T.E. Jobling, Mr J.H. Reah, sen., Mr J.H. Merivale, Mr E.O. Southern, Mr J.W. Thompson, and Dr J.B. Simpson.
The men’s representatives were Mr W. Straker, Mr W. Weir, Mr W. Hogg, and Mr J. Cairns, agents; Mr E. Edwards and Mr W. Tapson, Ashington; Mr G Campbell and Mr R. Bell, Woodhorn; Mr H Dunn, West Wylam; Mr W. Reavley, North Seaton; Mr A. Kinghorn, Barrington; and Mr A. Walton, New Delaval.
It was agreed that the machinery at present in existence was sufficient to meet any emergency that might arise. In regard to the explosives question, it was agreed to appoint two representatives from each side to confer with an explosives expert, for the purpose of minimising as far as possible the disagreeable effects of the fumes.