In this feature to commemorate the First World War, we will bring you the news as it happened in 1916, 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.
On Sunday morning a memorial service was held in St Cuthbert’s Church, Hebron, the officiating minister being the Rev. G.W. Ready, the curate-in-charge. The church was crowded with sympathetic parishioners to pay a tribute of honour to the memory of Private George Anderson, 1/7 N.F., who died in action on June 30th.
He was well known in the neighbourhood as chauffeur to the late Mr John Tweedy of Tritlington Hall. Soon after the war began he joined the N.F., and went out to France fifteen months ago. He came home on short leave in May.
His father, G. Anderson, is serving with the Motor Transport Army Service Corps in France. His mother and two sisters live at Tritlington.
The preacher based his sermon on John xv., 13: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
The offerings at the service were taken to form a nucleus of a fund for a memorial to be erected in the church to the memory of the men of the Chapelry of Hebron who lay down their lives for King and country. It was announced that contributions could be sent to Mr R. Croudace or the Rev. G.W. Ready.
HONOUR TO THE BRAVE
As many local men were recruited to those battalions which have played such an important part in this great offensive, it cannot be wondered that the losses from this district are great.
The heroism, courage, and endurance of the men from the North, which has been so ably portrayed from the battlefield, is a record of which we feel justly proud.
Whilst our heartfelt sympathy goes out to those who are bereft of their loved ones, there is a consolation in the fact that they have fought for the honour of their country and upheld the best traditions of their race. Long may the memories of such men survive.
ROLL OF HONOUR
Private W. Sanderson, N.F., husband of M. Sanderson, 12 Castle Street, Morpeth, and second son of Mrs and the late W. Sanderson, Dogger Bank, who was reported as missing in May, 1915, is now officially reported killed.
Mr and Mrs Fred Tinsley, of Hood Street, Morpeth, have received information that Private G.E. Tinsley, the younger brother of the popular Playhouse manager, is now lying in hospital in France suffering from wounds received in the recent big fight. Private Tinsley has been wounded in the thigh and also has had a leg broken. He is lying at present at Highfield Hall, Southampton.
Mr and Mrs F. Fram, of Granby Buildings, Morpeth, have received a letter from their son, Private A. Fram, of the N.F., stating that during the recent great fight he was wounded in the foot. Private Fram is now lying in an Edinburgh Hospital.
Councillor J.W. Lamb of Warkworth has received information that his son, Lieut. Walter Lamb, Northumberland Fusiliers, has been killed in action.
Captain George Henry Hall Scott has, like his brother-in-law, Brigadier-General J.F. Riddell, laid down his life in the country’s cause. News has been received that this younger son of the late Sir H.H. Scott, of Hipsburn, has been killed in action with the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment. Another brother-in-law was Captain R. Hebeler, on whose death in the field Capt. Scott succeeded to the command of his company. He was only 34 years old, and prior to joining the Army was a consulting mining engineer and director of the Newbiggin Colliery, and also of some Derbyshire colleries.
Lieut. Euan Sanderson, youngest son of Alderman W.J. Sanderson, of Newcastle and Warkworth, has been killed. This is the second son Ald. Sanderson has lost in the war.
Second-Lieut. J.M.R. Hall, N.F., was last week reported missing, but his father, Mr John Hall, of The Grove, Gosforth, has now been informed by the War Office that he is reported killed.
News has been received by Mr Joseph Punton, Stobswood Colliery, that his son, Private Edward J. Punton, Tyneside Scottish, has been wounded in action.
Mr and Mrs Lord, of 4 Alexandra Terrace, Hazelrigg, have received an intimation that their son, Private G.H. Lord, N.F., has been killed in action.
Able Seaman Ed. Fairless, R.N.V.R., Collingwood Battalion, husband of Mrs Fairless, 3 Spicecake Row, Seghill Colliery, who has previously been reported as missing since June last year, is now reported as being killed in action on the Gallipoli Peninsula about the 4th June, 1915.
News has been received by Mrs Robson that her son, Private Roger Robson, 1368, 1st Tyneside Scottish, has been wounded in action in the British advance at Aberville, France, and is at present in hospital at Leeds.
Cyclist Albert Edward Macdonald, of 29 Hood Street, Morpeth, has been wounded in action.
Mrs James Waterston, 7 Alexandra Road, Morpeth has received news that her son, Lance-Corporal Norman Riddell, Northumberland Fusiliers, has been wounded in action, and is now in hospital in Norwich. Before joining the army at the outbreak of war he was a well-known footballer.
Mr and Mrs Richard Wilkes, New Square, Seghill Colliery, received official notice from the Admiralty on Saturday informing them that their only son, Petty Officer Henderson Moore Wilkes, Tyneside R.N.V.R., was killed in action whilst serving with the British Expeditionary Force on July 4th. Petty Officer Wilkes, who was only 21 years of age, was well known, and for several years has been a local preacher in the Seaton Delaval Primitive Methodist Church. Prior to joining the Navy in January, 1915, he was a teacher at the Seghill Council Schools.
News was received by Mrs MacGregor, King Street, Alnwick, that her brother, Pte. John Ternent, Northumberland Fusiliers, had died in hospital from the wound he received in action.
Private J. Campbell, Blyth, has died of wounds.
Miss Marley, of School Row, West Cramlington, has received news that her youngest brother, Private Thos. Marley, of the N.F., has been killed in action in France. He was the youngest son of the late Mr Geo. Marley, who was for many years the manager at the West Cramlington Pit, and who died a few months ago.
Private W. Walker, Bedlington, killed.
Private Andrew Easton, son of Mr Wm. Easton, of 2 Coburg Street, Blyth, who for a short while was a prisoner in the hands of the Germans, but made his escape with other local men, met his death shortly afterwards.
Leading Seaman Edw. Silverton, R.N.D., of Cambois, previously reported missing, is now reported killed in action.
Private A. Ball, N.F. of Harper Street, Blyth, died of wounds.
Private R. Patterson, Blyth, killed.
Private J.H. Allen, of South Newsham, killed in action.
Private Thos. Baulks, N.F., of Ashington, late of Blyth, killed in action.
Private R. Marshall, of Blyth, died of wounds.
Private Edward Thompson, son of Mr W. Thompson, Cowpen Square, killed.
Information has been received at Blyth that Private E. Graham, of the Commercial Battalion, N.F., has died of wounds received in action in France. Though Graham did not belong to the district he was very well known, and prior to enlistment was employed by the New Delaval and Newsham Co-operative Society in the grocery and provision department, and enlisted soon after war was declared. He was a tall young fellow and a capable pedestrian, taking a keen interest in the cross-country sport, and was a member of the Blyth Harriers. In the competition for the “Empire Cup,” given by Messrs Shepherd and Tacey of the Empire Theatre, he won two years in succession — 1913-14 — and immediately after the latter event he went to the Colours.
Mr J. Carlisle, station master at Alnwick, has received information of the death in France of his son, Flight-Sergeant Thomas Carlisle, No. 1 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps.
The King and Queen have sent the following telegram to Alderman and Mrs W.J. Sanderson, Eastfield, Warkworth, expressing their sympathy at the death of their son, Lieut. Euan Sanderson, who was killed in action on July 1st:— “The King and Queen are deeply grieved to hear that you have lost yet another son in the service of this country. Their Majesties offer you their heartfelt sympathy in your fresh sorrow.”
The remains of the late Lieut. Lancelot Borrell, Northumberland Fusiliers, second son of Mr Arthur Borrell, were interred with full military honours in the churchyard at South Charlton. The young officer was wounded in France, and subsequently died in the military hospital at Oxford.
ROLL OF HONOUR
HANNAY.— Killed in action, June 4th, 1915, (previously reported missing), aged 25 years, Thomas Hannay, Collingwood Battalion, No. 66, of 16 Shiney Row, Bedlington. He marched away so bravely, His young head proudly held; His footsteps never faltered, His courage never failed. And on the field of battle, He calmly took his place; He fought and died for Britain, And the honour of the race. – For King and Country. May God grant him eternal rest.— Ever remembered by his brother-in-law, Jim, and his sister, Polly.
MATHER.— Died in France, on July 6th, 1916, in No. 3, Stationary Hospital, Rouen, from wounds received in action, Signaller Edward Mather (Tyneside Scottish), of Stakeford Lane, Choppington. Deeply mourned by his father and mother, sisters and brother.
McCARTHY.— Killed in action, on Oct. 4th, 1915, at the Battle of Loos, Private John Mole McCarthy, eldest son of the late Samuel and Ellen McCarthy, of this town, and grandson of the late John Mole, of Longhorsley.— Ever remembered by his loving mother.
DIXON.— Died of wounds received in action, July 4th, 1916, Private James Dixon (245, Northumberlands.) Our loving son marched way, He fought among the brave; Somewhere in France he nobly fell, And fills a soldier’s grave. In manhood’s pride he fought and died, We did not see him fall; But one thing sure we know he did, Answered his country’s call. None but an aching heart can know, No matter how we pray, No matter how we call; There’s nothing left to answer, But his photo on the wall.— Ever remembered by his loving father, sister and brother-in-law, and family.
ROBINSON.— Killed in action, July 5th, 1916, aged 24 years, Lance-Corporal David Robinson, N.F., dearly beloved husband of Mary Robinson, 42 King George’s Road, Newbiggin Colliery. Now the labourer’s task is o’er, Now the battle day is past; Now upon the farther shore, lands the voyager at last. Father, in Thy gracious keeping, Leave we now Thy servant sleeping.— Deeply mourned by his wife and all who knew him.
BROWN.— Died in France, of wounds received in action, on July 1st, 1916, Private J.R. Brown, N.F., beloved husband of Amelia Brown of Marsh’s Houses, West Sleekburn.— Deeply mourned by his loving wife, mother, sisters, and brothers.
GRAY.— Killed in action, on July 2nd, 1916, Private James Gray, aged 32 years, of the Tyneside Scottish, beloved husband of Emma Gray, Old Hall, Bedlington. Sleep on, dear husband, In a far-off grave, A grave we shall never see; As long as life and memory lasts, We will remember thee.— Ever remembered by his loving wife and son Jack.
LAVERICK.— Killed in France, on July 7th, Private Thomas G. Laverick, 10th Batt. N.F., youngest and dearly beloved son of Thomas and the late Mary Laverick, of 35 Boat-house Terrace, Cambois. He was only a private soldier, Just one of Britain’s sons; He fell, but as a hero falls, by glorious martial car; His duty done, his life fulfilled, A sacrifice of war. The face we loved is now laid low, The fond true hart is still; The hand we clasped when saying goodbye, Lies low in death’s cold chill. His pleasant face and kindly ways, Are pleasant to recall; He had a loving word for all, And died beloved by all. No matter how we pray, dear brother, No matter how we call; There’s nothing left to answer, But your photo on the wall. You heard the bugle sounded, You answered the call; You gave your life for King and country; God knows you did your best; Now you sleep in Jesus, A British soldier laid to rest.— Ever remembered by his loving father, brothers and sisters, Carrie and little Mary, and all who knew him.
ROBINSON.— Killed in action, July 5th, 1916, aged 24 years, Lance-Corpl. David Robinson, 7th N.F., dearly beloved son of William Pringle and Hannah Robinson, and grandson of David and the late Jane Robinson, of 57 Fourth Row, Ashington.— Deeply mourned by his father, mother, grandfather, sister, brother, uncles and aunt and all who knew him.
GRAY.— Killed in France, July 1st, Signaller John George Gray (721), 4th Batt., D. Comp., Tyneside Scottish, dearly beloved son of Richard and Martha Gray, aged 18 years and 11 months, 11 North Row, West Sleekburn. They have laid him in a grave too cold for a heart so warm and true.— Ever remembered by his father and mother, sisters and brothers.
POSTPONEMENT OF HOLIDAYS
The Government having decided, in view of the urgent necessity of maintaining an undiminished output of munitions, that it is essential in the national interest that all holidays, either general or local, be postponed, until such subsequent date as may be announced, the August Bank Holidays will be suspended by Royal Proclamation.
I have therefore to request that all holidays, and not merely those of workmen directly engaged on munitions, be postponed, that anything in the nature of a holiday atmosphere be avoided, and that shopkeepers, tradesmen and others will keep open their places of business so that the days which would otherwise have been holidays will be treated as ordinary working days.
His Majesty’s Government make themselves responsible for seeing that the holidays are merely postponed, and not abandoned, and that as soon as military exigencies do permit, all postponed holidays will be given in full.
Town Hall, Morpeth,
July 21st, 1916.
MINERS AND HOLIDAYS
A meeting of the Executive Committee of the Northumberland Miners’ Association was held at the Burt Hall, Newcastle, on Tuesday, Mr W. Weir presiding, to consider the Government’s request that the August Bank Holiday should be postponed.
It was decided to recommend the members of the association to work on August Bank Holiday.
Mr W. Straker, the secretary, announced that the coalowners had consented to pay extra wages to the miners, just as they did when the pits worked on Whit Monday, 1/- for boys and 2/- for men, and the Executive Committee strongly recommended the branches to devote this extra payment to the benefit of the Northumberland Aged Miners’ Homes Association, the Red Cross Society, local war relief funds, or to any other charitable agency they may think fit.
A circular will be issued in a day or two, and its purpose will be to urge the men to again postpone their holidays in view of the great national necessity that the fighting forces at the front should be energetically supported by the forces of industry at home.
CHEERFUL UNDER DIFFICULTIES
It is surprising to note the cheerfulness of many of our local men who are enduring such dangers on the battlefield, and those undergoing treatment in hospital.
Typical of one young soldier from Seaton Burn who, after handing over some German prisoners he had captured, said he was returning back to the circus, meaning the battlefield.
Those lying is hospital endure their lot with great fortitude, and always endeavour to minimise their injuries lest it upsets those at home.
Traits of character such as these speak volumes for the hardy sons of the North, whose deeds of valour have played and are playing such an important part in this great struggle now in operation.
LECTURE ON SERBIA
What should prove a most interesting lantern lecture is the one to be given in the Soldiers’ Institute, Morpeth, on Thursday evening next, when the proceeds will be divided between the Morpeth Red Cross Hospital and the Military Hospital, Malta.
The lecturer is Dr. Helen Hanson, and those who knew Dr. Hanson when she lived in Morpeth will be much interested to hear her account of Serbia and see the slides which she made while working there with the Scottish Women’s Hospital. Miss Hanson has also been in Antwerp and Cherbourg, and is now on the eve of departure for the Military Hospital, Malta, when she is to work under the War Office.
We hope the Institute will be well filled, as this hospital is sorely in need of comforts, and the Morpeth Hospital also will be glad of help.
FARMERS’ RED CROSS
Another opportunity is to be offered the farmers of this locality to give a helping hand to the funds of the British Farmers’ Red Cross Society.
The preliminary arrangements have been made for the holding of another free gift auction sale at Morpeth on August 23rd, and it has been decided to hold the sale on similar lines to last year, when over £700 was raised.
In connection with the forthcoming sale there will be a block contest also and a tag day.
The old committee, with Major R. Crawford as chairman, will carry out the necessary arrangements. The services of ladies and gentlemen who are desirous of assisting in any way will be greatly appreciated by the hon-auctioneers and secretaries, Messrs. T.B. Waters, Thos, Clark, and R. Gray.
The noble work that has been done through the agency of this society is so well known and appreciated that we feel sure that all those who so readily and generously supported the promoters last year will come forward again on this occasion and make the sale as great a success as it was last time.
MORPETH WAR SEWING MEETING
The tea at the above meeting was kindly given by Mr Arthur Young, and realised £1 1s. 6d.
The committee have to thank Mr T.B. Waters, jun., for selling the patriotic mat made by Mrs Birkett, Hood Street. This was bought and given in by various ladies and gentlemen, and made the handsome sum of £1 13s., eventually coming into the possession of Mrs R. Wood.
Owing to many arrangements made for Thursday next, July 27th, the sewing meeting will not be held, but will be resumed the Thursday following.
The hon. treasurer acknowledges with many thanks £1, the gift of Mrs Swinney, Woodside.
CRAMLINGTON MAN’S MARVELLOUS ESCAPE
Mrs Armstrong, of 17 Hastings Street, Klondyke, Cramlington, has been informed that her husband, Private G. Lyall Armstrong, N.F., has been wounded in action.
Mrs Armstrong has received a letter from her husband, on which he says:— “You will be anxious to know what has happened to me. I am pleased to say I am in Old England. I am in hospital in Norwich. I am wounded. I have one or two fingers broken on my left hand. Happily, my aluminium ring that I was wearing saved me, or I would have had my hand cut off.
“It was done with a bayonet. I was in the thickest of the fight at Fricourt when I got it. I also received a shrapnel wound in the chin. I can shake hands with myself to think that I am alive. I never thought I should see England again, and here I am in a nice comfortable bed and every kindness and attention given me. I will get ten days’ leave when I leave the hospital. I expect that will be about four or five weeks’ time.”
Prior to joining the Colours Private Armstrong was employed as a painter by the Cramlington Coal Company, Ltd.