News, notices and adverts from the Morpeth Herald, October 8, 1915.
News, notices and adverts from the Morpeth Herald, October 8, 1915.

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.

“The great war goes on,” writes the Rector of Morpeth, in the Parish Magazine.

“Our hopes that this year would see it end favourably to ourselves have been dissipated. And even perchance at this time next year the end may be far off.

“There are very many who have not yet realised the seriousness of the situation. Men, munitions and money are needed upon such a scale that the demands will not be met unless the whole nation wakes up to a sense of proper responsibility, and every man and woman is determined to make every sacrifice which may be necessary to enable us to win through.

“This is not the case yet. Let me give you just one illustration. I choose it because it is so striking. For the past six months of this year we have spent upon alcoholic liquor eight million pounds more than during the corresponding period of last year. In times of such a war as this, when there must be at least a million men in our armies abroad, and when the need for economy and self-denial is so great at home, we are actually wasting upon strong drink more than in days of peace and prosperity.

“It is reflections upon such selfish indulgence as this that tend to make one despair. Such a temper as this goes to show that as far as those at home are concerned they are unworthy of the brave men who are facing death daily on their behalf at the Front.”


The scholars of the Meldon Overseas Club, who have assisted to send parcels to our soldiers and sailors at the front through the Overseas Club, have been delighted to have their efforts recognised by the grateful recipients of the parcels. Quite a number of thankful messages have been received from the soldiers, of which the following is a sample:—



Dear Children,— I wish to thank you for the very kind present of tobacco you so willingly subscribed your pennies for. We appreciate it very much, and it is a treat to us to get nice English tobacco. It may interest you children to know my home is near Morpeth, and I have often passed your school whilst following my occupation as a motor-driver. I am now driving a motor-ambulance conveying the poor wounded soldiers to the hospital.

Again thank you for your kindness.

Yours faithfully,

L. Nevin.


“In the face of the deadly peril which our responsible leaders tell us the country is in (states a writer in the Meldon section of the “Church Magazine”) one would have thought every single person who makes the faintest profession to believe in prayer would certainly come together and supplicate God’s help in this national peril.

“Why do so few come to the intercessory services? Is it because of the senseless and surface thinking optimism one meets with which one will not look squarely on the awful facts, or because it does not yet touch their pockets or person.

“Well, it is painfully sad, and rude awakening may effect a different attitude.”


An interesting meeting was held in the Town Hall, Morpeth, on Monday afternoon, when an address on the above subject was given by Miss McLaren Ramsey, who gave her experiences in helping to start workrooms for women who had lost their employment owing to the war.

She spoke of the useful work that has been done by the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Benefit Society, who look after the wives and children of our soldiers until the remittance comes from the War Office, keeping in touch with them to help in any difficulty. She also spoke of the benefits which have come from the starting of Infants’ Welfare Clubs.

Mr Oliver presided, and Miss Nicholson moved the thanks of the audience to Miss Ramsey for her most interesting address.

Tea was served at the close of the meeting.


On Sunday the harvest festival was held at Cambo. The offertory was divided between the Red Cross Society and Church expenses.


Sir,— I had a letter from L.-Cpl Andrew Davison of the 7th N.F., asking me to convey to all who were the means of me sending out the last consignment of comforts, on behalf of the “lads,” their grateful thanks. He states that to see the unpacking and handing out of the “comforts” would more than repay those who have sent them.

I am sending off another lot today.

Through the kindness of Mrs Irwin, “The Nest,” Morpeth, who gave me a Whitechapel trap to sell, I was able to realise £13, it being bought and given back by the following gentlemen at £1:— Mr R. Elliott, Mr A.W. Young, and at 10/- by Mr A. Straughan, Mr J.T. Harrison, Mr Cooper, Mr J. Brown (Mitford), Mr Purvis (Newcastle), Mr A.W. Young; and at 5/- by Mr T. Hudson (Shield Hill), being sold outright to Mr Bone, South Shields at £7 15/-. — Total £13 — a very handsome sum.

I am very grateful to Mrs Irwin, this being the second time she has shown her kindness in a practical manner.

Yours faithfully,


St. James’ Terrace, Morpeth.

October 7th, 1915.


Sir,— It has been decided by Lord Kitchener and the Army Council to raise a Battalion of Farmers in the area of the Northern Command, which comprises the counties of Northumberland, Durham, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Rutland.

The battalion is to be called the 21st (Service) Battalion the King’s Royal Rifle Corps (Yeoman Rifles), and will be known as The Yeoman Rifles. It is to be commanded by Lieut.-Col. The Earl of Feversham, and the officers are being nominated by the Lords Lieutenant in consultation with him.

We, being severally His Majesty’s Lords-Lieutenant of the Counties included and the Officer commanding, wish to urge upon the farming community that they should make every effort to respond to this opportunity of forming a battalion which is designed, so far as the requirements of the public service permit, exclusively for them, and which, it is thought, will revive the old traditions of the days when the farmers of the country were the backbone of the British Infantry.

We fully recognise the special difficulties that those engaged in agriculture have in leaving their farms, but we hope that those farmers who have two or more sons may send at least one, and that all young farmers will carefully consider their position and see whether now, when men are so urgently required, they cannot make such arrangements for the direction of their farms as will enable them to serve their country in the ranks.

We make this special appeal in the confident assurance that the farmers are as patriotic a community as any in the country, and that they will prove their determination to secure success in the struggle in which we are engaged by joining this battalion, thus adding an important unit to the British forces in the field.

We are, your faithfully,


Duncombe Park,

Helmsley, Yorkshire,

1st October 1915


In common with all units under the Northern Command, a recruiting scheme was carried out by the 3rd line of the 7th Northumberland Fusiliers.

Twenty-three officers and 350 men went in a special train from Alnwick to Longhirst, accompanied by military, drum and fife, and bugle bands to Ashington, where dinner was served in the Drill Hall. At a meeting in the afternoon, the Vicar, the Rev. S. Davison presided, and the speakers were Major Wright and Lieut-Styles.

The troops then marched through Ashington and Seaton Hirst, returning to the Drill Hall for tea. After tea they marched to Newbiggin via Woodhorn, where another meeting was held, presided over by the Vicar, the Rev. O. Rhodes. The speakers were Major the Hon. J.A. Joicey, Lieutenant Craigs, Sergt. Montrose, and Corporal Lennox.

The battalion then returned to Alnwick from Newbiggin by special train.

The battalion intends sending a band and recruiting party to Newcastle this week.


The splendid work which has been carried on by the Vegetable Products Committee, with headquarters at the Town Hall, Morpeth, has been much appreciated during the past twelve months.

Commencing on Wednesday first the committee, in addition to the weekly stall for collecting garden produce, will have a refreshment stall, open from 9am till 1pm, when tea and coffee will be sold. The proceeds will be devoted to the work of the committee for providing the sailors of the North Sea Fleet with fruit and vegetables during the coming winter months.

We hope the efforts of the committee will continue to receive the support it so richly deserves. We may add that all contributions of money or kind will be gratefully received by the promoters.


Lady Trevelyan thanks her friends at Cambo for their help in making-up material for the Serbian Relief Fund and to other patriotic objects. She hopes to be able to send more comfortable clothing to our brave defenders and those suffering through the war.


Writing on the services of thanksgiving for the harvest, a writer from Longhirst in the Church Magazine, after referring to the sorrows and sacrifices of the war, states:— “All must feel that the jubilant character which in peaceful times naturally belongs to a harvest festival should give place to a quiet, subdued tone, and that the decorations should be very few and simple.

“But in gratitude for the gift of harvest, above all for the mercy which has hitherto spared us from the worst experiences of the horrors of war, we should be moved to give as generously as we can to the offertories for the relief of the wounded sailors and soldiers in the Newcastle Hospitals.”


In addition to those who have joined the colours the following have been added from Longhirst Parish:— James Vincent, Harry Morton (Transport Service), George Yeamen (Pte. 7th Batt. N.F.)


Sir,— As there have been no offers of voluntary help for copying work in connection with the National Registration Act since the appeal was made in your columns last week, perhaps you will be good enough to refer to the matter in this week’s issue and so oblige,— Yours faithfully,


Recruiting Officer.


Sergt. J.H. Jackson and L.-Cpl G.W. Jackson, sons of Councillor G. Jackson, of Morpeth, have recently been gazetted as second lieutenants to the Northumberland Fusiliers. The former was serving in the 7th Battalion of that regiment, and the latter has served in the Royal Engineers’ and the Army Veterinary Corps.

Captain and Adjutant W.J. Moor, of the Northern Cyclist Battalion, has been gazetted as temporary Major, dating from Sept. 8th. Mr W.J. Moor is the son of Mr J.C. Moor, of Sunderland, formerly of Morpeth, and Provincial Grand Secretary of Freemasons for the County of Durham.


MIDDLETON.— Killed in action, Sept 25th. Sub-Lieut. Norman Middleton, R.N.R., of H.M. Yacht “Sanda,” aged 22 years, elder son of Thomas and the late C.I. Middleton, of 165 Cleveland Road, Sunderland and grandson of the late William Middleton, builder, Blyth.


Much sympathy is felt at Cresswell for the parents and relatives of the late Matthew Laws and Hugh Dockerty, who laid down their lives on the field of battle at the Dardanelles.

At a memorial service the Vicar made sympathetic reference to a large congregation.


Second-Lieut. R. Oliver, 7th N.F., eldest son of Mr W.L. Oliver, of the firm of Messrs R. Oliver and Sons, Morpeth, has been officially reported as missing.

Pte. G. Swindell, of Bedlingon, wounded.

Bomb. J. Roach, Royal Garrison Artillery, of Blyth, wounded.

Corporal J. Brown, of East Cramlington, wounded.

Pte. R. Oliver, 19th Yorks, of Seghill, wounded.

Pte. A.E. Spence, of Manor House, Seghill, has been wounded.

Sapper Joseph Smith, Royal Engineers, of Newbiggin, gassed.

Private R. Oliver, 19th Yorks, of the Quarry, Seghill, has been gassed in France.

Private Conn McLain, 21st Division Cycle Corps, of Chapel Row, Seghill, has been wounded in France.

Corporal Alf. Robinson, 19th Yorks, of Barrass Row, Seghill, has been wounded in France.

Private George Mills, of Nedderton Village, 7th Northumberland Fusiliers, has been severely wounded in France. He is now improving in a London hospital.

Pte. Robt. W. Shields, 11th Northumberland Fusiliers, son of Mr and Mrs George Shields, of West Sleekburn, was killed in action on Sept. 13th.

Pte. O. McLean, N.F., of Chapel Row, Seghill Colliery, has been wounded in France.

Mr and Mrs Spence, of Manor House, Seghill, has received a notification that their son, Private A.E. Spence, R.F.A., has been wounded in France.

Mrs W. Brown, of Quarry House, Wideopen, has received information from her husband, Private W. Brown, 13th Northumberland Fusiliers, that he has been wounded and gassed in France.

Mrs Powell, of Dock Street, Blyth, has received word that her two sons, Private Robt. Powell and Pte. Isaac Powell, both of the 19th Yorks, have been wounded. Private Isaac Powell was married and lived at Burt Terrace, Cowpen Quarry.

Mrs Edward Fairless, of Seghill, would thankfully receive any information regarding her husband, Able Seaman Edward Fairless, late Collingwood Battalion, Z/7947, who was posted missing at the Dardanelles on June 4th.

Mr and Mrs Lowden, of Quarry Row, Seghill Colliery, has received official intimation that their son, Pte. Andrew Lowden, of the 19th Yorks, was wounded in France on Sept. 26th. Mr and Mrs Lowden have two other sons serving with the Colours.

Mr and Mrs John Calvert, of 11 Chapel Place, Seaton Burn, have received an intimation from the Admiralty that their son, Thomas Summers Calvert, A.B., of the Hawke Battalion, R.N.V.R., Tyneside, died on September 9th from wounds received in the Gallipoli Peninsula on September 7.

Mr Edward Sharer, Thirlemere Lodge, Gosforth, received news on Saturday that his eldest son, Second-Lieutenant George Shaw Sharer, of the 7th Royal Scots Fusiliers, had been killed between September 26th and 27th. He joined Kitchener’s Army in September of last year.

Mrs William Hedley, of Stanley House, Cramlington, has received intimation that her only brother, Drummer Arthur F. Carr, Border Regiment, was killed whilst attempting to carry a wounded soldier from the trenches in France on Sunday, September 26th.

Information has been received at Seghill that Lance-Corporal E.M. Hardinge, 8th Northumberland Fusiliers, is posted as missing in the Dardanelles. Previous to joining the Colours he was a clerk at Seghill Station, N.E.R.

Mrs Grant, of 6 Ivy Cottages, High Pit, Cramlington, has received intimation that her nephew, Pte. William Henry Arthur, of the 19th Yorks, who resided at Annitsford, has been gassed whilst in action in France. Prior to joining the Colours Pte. Arthur worked at Seghill Colliery.

Mrs Mallaburn, 33 Oswin Road, Forest Hall, has received intimation that her husband, Pte. Matthew Mallaburn, of the Northumberland Fusiliers, has been wounded in both legs by shrapnel in France, and is now lying at Lord Derby’s War Hospital in Warrington.

On Wednesday night a telegram was sent to Mr William Curry, of Stakeford Lane, notifying the death from wounds of his son, Corporal Thomas Curry. Corporal Curry had been in France for several months, having enlisted in the Northumberland Fusiliers on the outbreak of war.

Mrs Mason, of Joicey’s Buildings, Dudley Colliery, has received official intimation that her son, Lance-Corporal Frank Dawson R.F.A., has been wounded whilst in France. Mrs Mason has three other sons and her husband, Sapper Jos. Mason serving with the Colours. One of the sons, Lance-Cpl. Jos. Dawson, is a prisoner of war in Germany.

Mr and Mrs Andrew Martin, of Blyth, have been notified that their son, Private Hugh Martin, of 10th Batt. N.F., and previously residing at Choppington Guide Post, has been wounded in action, date unknown, and is now in a Lincoln hospital. Mr Martin has four sons in the army, three with the Colours, and Lieut. John Martin, Salvation Army Officer with the British Expedition Force in France.

Mr and Mrs Ed. Rogerson, of 28 School Row, West Cramlington, have received intimation that their two sons, Gunner James Ed. Rogerson, R.F.A., and Pte. J.H. Rogerson of the 8th Somersets, have both been wounded whilst in action in France on Sunday, Sept. 26th. Both of these unfortunate young men had only been in France a few weeks.

Mrs Stephen, of 7 Ivy Cottages, High Pit, Cramlington has received official intimation from the War Office that her husband, Pte. Wm. Stephen, of the 8th Somersets, has been severely wounded in the leg by shrapnel whilst in action in France on Sunday, Sept. 26th. He is a son of the late Mr Eli Stephen, who was secretary to the Cramlington Ann Pit for many years.

On Wednesday Mr and Mrs William Armstrong, of 4 Terrace Road, South Cramlington, received the sad information from the War Office that their son, Sergt. Robt. Armstrong, of the 19th Yorks had died from wounds received in France on Sunday, Sept. 26th. He was 24 years of age, and prior to joining the Colours we worked as a miner at the Cramlington Ann pit.

Information has been received by Mrs Dunlop, Pottergate, Alnwick, that her husband, Sergt. John Dunlop, was killed in action on the 7th September at the Dardanelles. Sergeant Dunlop, who was 33 years of age, served for 12 years in the Coldstream Guards, and soon after the out-break of war he joined the 8th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers. The deceased leaves a widow and five young children.

News was received at New Hartley on Saturday evening that Pte. Huish had been killed in action on Sunday, Sept. 26th. Pte. Huish was a keen footballer, and was a capable and speedy inside forward, and played for both the New Hartley and Seaton Delaval Northern Alliance teams with much distinction. He was connected with the former for some five seasons, and with the latter for one season. He was employed at the Seaton Delaval pit as a coal hewer and was a native of Backworth. His untimely death will occasion much regret in local football circles.

On Saturday news was received at New Hartley, that the following seven local soldiers had been wounded in France:—

Pte. W. Robson, 13th Northumberland Fusiliers, of Double Row, New Hartley.

Pte. W. and Pte. J. Gill (brothers), of the Border Regiment and 13th Northumberland Fusiliers respectively, of Avenue Row, New Hartley.

Pte. R. Wardle, Border Regiment, Double Row, New Hartley.

Pte. J. Perry, 13th Northumberland Fusiliers, of Long Row, New Hartley.

Pte. R. Charlton, 13th Northumberland Fusiliers, of Milton Terrace, New Hartley.

Pte. Robes, 13th Northumberland Fusiliers, of Melton Terrace, New Hartley.

All were employed at the local collieries.

Captain C.N. Ridley, Northumberland Hussars Imperial Yeomanry, of Park End, Wark, still lies in a critical condition. He was shot through the back of the head. A bulletin on Wednesday night left little hope, but a telegram received in Newcastle on Thursday morning reported a considerable improvement.


Recruiting meetings were held on Saturday at Pegswood and neighbouring places with varying success.

Newcastle, on Saturday, was amongst the several centres where the Northern Military Command held recruiting rallies. Col. E.W. Dashwood, commanding depot, Northumberland Fusiliers, Newcastle, had the arrangements in hand, which were carried out most successfully.

The two lines of the 5th and 6th N.F., marched from Hollinside Camp, Swalwell, to the Newcastle Central Station, where they were joined by the 133rd Heavy Battery R.G.A., and also the Newcastle Volunteer Training Corps. The bands of the 1st N.F. and 6th N.F. led the military parade, whilst the band of the Newburn Steelworks headed the Newcastle Volunteer Training Corps.

The march past, which was witnessed by a large number of people, was from the Central Station, Neville Street, Collingwood Street, St Nicholas’ Square, past the Town Hall, where the Lord Mayor of Newcastle took the salute, Moseley Street, Grey Street, Hood Street, Pilgrim Street, Northumberland Street to the Haymarket, near the War Memorial, where a meeting was held.

The Lord Mayor took the chair, and was supported by Sir Thomas Oliver, chairman of the Tyneside Scottish Brigade Committee; Col. E.W. Dashwood, Mr and Mrs George Renwick, Mr N. Grattan Doyle, chairman of the Tyneside Irish Brigade Committee; Major R. Temperley, chairman of the Newcastle and Gateshead Chamber of Commerce Military Committee; Lieut. Cusheon, R.F.A., Mr Charles Cockburn, and others.

The Lord Mayor at the outset read the following letter:—

Alnwick Castle, 29th September, 1915.

Dear Lord Mayor.— I am really very sorry to fail you on Saturday, but from letters I received this morning, I find that I must be in Newcastle on Friday and on Monday. If I come in on Saturday as well, it will make a greater hole in my time than I can afford. I don’t know that it matters very much, for I cannot feel that my presence on your platform would have any practical effect as regards recruiting.

If anybody wants to know my sentiments on the subject, you may say that in my opinion the issue of the war depends entirely upon our being able to keep up the supply of men and ammunition. Our defeat or even an abortive termination to the war after all we have sacrificed is too terrible to contemplate, and though the news we have received in the past few days is encouraging there is a great deal of fighting to be done before the end.— Yours very faithfully, (Signed) Northumberland.

After reading other communications from Earl Grey and Sir Walter Runicman, his Lordship reviewed what the Fusiliers had already done in the direction of new battalions and in the direction of enhancing, if it were possible, the glorious traditions of the Fighting Fifth.

Miners had already supplied 20,000, and more could not be spared, but the resources of the city were not yet exhausted. It was the proud boast of the British Empire that no other country in the world could have raised by a voluntary system such a magnificent army. (Applause.) He trusted that system would exist until the war had been brought to a glorious and successful issue on behalf of the Allies.

Mr George Renwick, speaking at Newcastle, described the war as a people’s war, and enquired why only half the men were in khaki. The voluntary system had done good work; but if we could not get the men needed by the voluntary system, we must have them by some other means. In his opinion the sacrifices already made were as nothing with those to come.

If the young men before them were not prepared to come forward he did not envy them. The essence of the voluntary system was enthusiasm, and that enthusiasm, Mr Renwick thought had been killed by the Censor. Their imaginations were not fired as they should be by the gallant deeds of our lads at the front. Without enthusiasm, he thought the voluntary system would fail; but, for the country’s sake he urged the men of military age, to take their places by the side of those who had been marching through that streets that day. (Applause.)

Lieut. Cusheon, R.F.A., also spoke, and, on the motion of Col. Dashwood, seconded by Major Temperley, the Lord Mayor was thanked for his services, and the proceedings terminated with the National Anthem.


The hon. treasurer begs to acknowledge, with many thanks, the gift of parcels of socks from the Mayoress, Miss Harbottle (Bella Vista), and Miss Kate Hopper; a mat from Mrs Hardy (Newgate Street); a monthly subscription of 2/6 from Mrs Jobling (Howard Castle); teas from Miss Oliver, £1 2s 7d; Mrs Jobling and Mrs Bayliss, £1 14s 3d; and Councillor and Mrs Elliott, £1 7s 6d.

Most appreciative letters of thanks for bales of comforts recently sent to the Front have been received by the hon. secretaries from Captain G.M. Jobling and Lieut. R.C. Swinney.


The regimental sports of the 2nd Shropshire Yeomanry held at Dean Farm, Ellingham, on Wednesday, were an unqualified success, the contests throughout being keen and enjoyed by the large crowd of spectators.

Amongst the large company were Brigadier-General Little, M.V.O., Commanding Welsh Border Mounted Brigade; Colonel Forrester Shropshire Yeomanry; Major Dugdale, Major Moseley (president of the Sports Committee), Major Onslow, Captain Partridge, and the Countess of Ravensworth.

During the afternoon the ladies present were entertained to tea. Pleasing selections of music were rendered by the Band of the 6th Durham Light Infantry.

Most interesting was, perhaps, noticeable in the mounted events, where the work of the competitors was of a high standard.


At the conclusion of the morning service at the Morpeth Congregational Church, Private Jenner, of the Northern Cyclists’ Battalion, stationed at Morpeth, who has been assisting in the choir, was the recipient of a present on the occasion of his marriage. Mr Ed. C. Jackson, on behalf of the members of the choir, made the presentation.


By the kind permission of Mr Cowling, secretary of the Morpeth Y.M.C.A., a concert was help by members of an entertainment party, which has just been organised by trooper Fowler of the East Cheshire Yeomanry, at which there was a large attendance.

The chair was taken by Transport-Sergt. L. Johnston. The artistes were as follows:— Trooper Fowler, East Cheshires Cyclist Steel; Sergt. Childs, Durham; Trooper H. Elliott, and Q.M.S. Eoton, Cheshires; Trooper Digby, Denbeigh; Cyclist Dunne; Sergt. Evans, R.A.M.C.; S.M. Beveridge, Durham; Corpl. Stelfox, Cheshire; Cpl. Bateman, R.A.M.C.; and Col.-Sergt. Walton, Cyclist.

The excellence of the programme may be judged by the fact that all the songs were encored. At the close of the concert Mr E.D. Soulsby moved a vote of thanks to the chairman and Trooper B. Fowler, pianist, and organiser, and all those who had taken part in raising the concert. This was seconded by all those present.

It is proposed to hold another concert in the near future in aid of the Red Cross Fund, the date and place having yet to be fixed.


Through the kindness of Col. Watson and officers of the Durham Light Infantry the band of the 6th (under Conductor Sergt. A. Manley) gave a pleasing and up-to-date programme of music in the Institute last Friday night, before a large company.

The secretary wishes to thank the lady who kindly sent 20 new records for the gramophone, and will be pleased to receive further gifts of either new or second-hand records.

Gifts of illustrated papers such as the “Sphere,” “Illustrated London News,” “Graphic,” etc., will be welcome.

Mr G Rutherford, Jesmond, very kindly sent a bagatelle board complete.