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.
In connection with the second anniversary of the outbreak of the war, a special service was held in St James’s Church, Morpeth, conducted by the Rev. Canon Davis, on Friday night last week, at which there was a very large attendance.
In his address, Canon Davis said: There are moments in the history of nations, as in individuals, which are fraught with tremendous issues depending upon the action taken at supreme moments. In the lives of people such a movement at such a time is that which took place just two years ago. It is well to recall that time just for a moment or two.
There was in the minds of some hesitation, and there was in the minds of others an uncertainty as to what line England would take.
It was only for a moment, for as soon as England realised, as she did very quickly, the true significance of that moment, the great curse that was upon the world, England took her stand in the right way.
It was a supreme moment, and we can look back today, after all the suffering, all the sacrifice, all the sorrow, and all the costs, with feelings of the deepest satisfaction.
In her history England found herself, and declared herself to be on the side of God.
In this terrible struggle let us concentrate afresh, and determine to prosecute to a victorious end, at whatever cost to ourselves, and in the same unity of spirit and sacrifice as has characterised the past two years, so that in the end all will be well.
A special collection was taken in aid of the Soldiers and Sailors’ Pension Fund.
Appropriate hymns were sung by the choir, Mr G.A. Armstrong presiding at the organ.
The public are invited to assist the military authorities by giving any information in their possession which they consider would assist in the tracing of absentees.
Such information will be treated as strictly confidential.
The Recruiting Officer, Morpeth, thanks the public for information already received by him.
The second anniversary of the commencement of the great conflict was celebrated in a very fitting manner throughout the country last week-end.
Religious and patriotic demonstrations were held, and public bodies in many cases passed resolutions all bearing on the subject.
A resolution which was universally adopted was one which reaffirmed the people’s inflexible determination to continue to a victorious end the struggle for the maintenance of those ideals of liberty and justice which are the common and sacred cause of the Allies.
We enter into the third year of the war with great hope, and while we do not minimise in the least the stupendous tasks that still lie before the Allies, we have reason to take courage from what has happened and is happening on all fronts, which all goes to prove that Germany’s power is waning and that, whether it comes soon or late, victory is assured for ourselves and our gallant Allies.
BRITISH FARMERS’ RED CROSS SOCIETY FUND
All those who are interested in the forthcoming free auction sale to be held at Morpeth in aid of the funds of the British Farmers’ Red Cross Society Fund should take note of the fact that the date of the sale has been altered from August 23rd to September 20th.
The secretaries will be pleased to hear from any who are desirous of assisting in any shape or form.
HEARTY RECEPTION TO LIEUTENANT SANDERSON
At a meeting of Morpeth Council, Lieut. W.S. Sanderson entered the Council Chamber. He received a cordial reception from his fellow councillors.
The Mayor said he was delighted to see Lieut. Sanderson with them on that occasion.
He wished he had come sooner and heard his remarks with regard to the part he (Lieut. Sanderson) had taken in the negotiations for the purchase of the Town Hall. He was the one who had kicked off, and though he was not able at the time to reach the goal he did his part during his mayoralty to further on the scheme of purchase and made it possible for those who had succeeded him to accomplish what has been done.
They appreciated Lieut. Sanderson still more for other good works done. When he volunteered to go out and fight for them and take his part on the battlefield they loved him all the more and felt grateful to him for such a sacrifice.
“It gives me great gratification to see him,” added the Mayor, “at this our first meeting here. It is a strange coincidence that he should come all the way from France to meet us here in this peaceful corner, and we are glad to welcome him.” (Loud applause.)
Lieut. Sanderson, who, on rising, had a cordial reception, said it was indeed a strange coincidence that he should come home on special leave just when they were getting into the Town Hall.
He could not find words to express how pleased he was to see the Council back to the Town Hall and see all the old faces again. There was one thing he would not have missed for anything and that was the Council meeting that night. He was delighted that the present Mayor had been successful in obtaining the Town Hall on such favourable terms.
Continuing, he said: “Everything is going on at the front as favourable as one can expect. We are having quite a different time to what we had a year ago. We are doing good work.
“I often run across Morpeth lads out there. I will tell them when I get back what the old town looks like and that you have got back in the Town Hall. They will be pleased. I thank you for the way you have received me tonight. (Applause.)
In accordance with notice give, Mr Fearby asked why no steps had been taken by the Council to obtain an expression of the town’s determination to proceed with the war as had been done in other places on the anniversary of the declaration of the war.
Mr Swinney contended that Mr Fearby was not in order. He ought to have been present at the Council meeting. The Mayor could not answer for the whole Council.
The Mayor ruled Mr Fearby out of order and remarked that if he had been at that meeting in time he would have got the reason in the minutes read of the previous meeting. It was too bad for the Council to have to go over the same thing again because Mr Fearby happened not to be present at the meeting.
An application was received, signed by all the Council’s workmen, for an advance of 5/- a week each in their wages, in addition to the advance of 1/- granted shortly before the war and the two war bonuses of 2/- each granted since the war.
A comparative statement was also submitted showing increases granted by other Councils since the war and the wages now paid by them, from which it appeared that in both respects the Council’s workmen were on an average better off than the workmen of other similar councils.
The committee recommended that the application be refused, which was agreed to.
The whole question of the Council’s allowances for rent of their workmen’s dwellings to dependents of Council’s tenants who had joined the Colours was discussed, when it was found that several abuses had crept into the system, some tenants receiving Council allowance being in receipt from other sources of allowances for rent and coals, and some having larger incomes now than before the war.
It was also recognised that the system did an injustice to soldier-ratepayers who were not the Council’s tenants.
On the whole the committee found that the result of the experiment did not justify its continuance, and recommended that no further allowances be granted and that after July 31st the allowances hitherto granted cease.— Agreed to.
The question of allowances to be made towards loss of wages by the Council’s workmen on service was also considered by the committee, when it was decided to recommend that the allowance to the Council’s original volunteer be continued, but that no allowance be made, except in the case of the married man.— The recommendation was adopted.
AVENUE THEATRE, MORPETH
A programme of all-round excellence is to be provided at the Avenue next week. It is also of a varied character and should appeal to all lovers of animated pictures.
On Sunday evening there will be screened “Whom the Gods would Destroy,” a drama full of stirring situations. Britain’s monster guns in action should prove a most interesting and instructive picture.
On the following three nights the thrilling Swedish Biograph film, “In Enemy Waters,” will be the leading attraction. It deals with the perils of mine strewn waters.
ROLL OF HONOUR
SINGLETON.— Killed in action, July 7th, 1916, Private Albert (Sep.) Singleton (19119), 9th N.F., beloved son of N. and the late G.S. Singleton, 12 North View, Bedlington Station. “He died for his King and Country.”
MORRIS.— Killed in action in France on July 6th, 1916, aged 23 years, Robert, dearly beloved son of Henderson and Annie Morris, of 30 Ninth Row, Ashington. Also in loving memory of his dear brother, William Morris, who was killed in action on August 7th, 1915, at Suvla Bay.— Ever remembered by their father and mother, and brothers.
LAWS.— In loving remembrance of our dear nephew, Private Matthew Laws, who died of wounds received in action at the Suvla Bay landing on August 10th, 1915.— Ever remembered by his uncle and aunt, Annie and Ivy.
GRAY.— In loving memory of Sergt. Thomas Gray, 8th Northumberland Fusiliers, beloved son of Agnes Gray, who was killed in action at the Dardanelles on August 9th, 1915.— Ever remembered by his loving wife and children. East View, Stakeford.
BROWN.— In loving memory of our dear brother, Corporal Frank Brown, who was killed in action August 9th, 1915.— Ever remembered by his loving sister and brother-in-law, Margaret Ann & John McNally, Barrington Colliery.
LOWES.— Killed in action July 1st, 1916, Lance-Corporal George Lowes, aged 32 years, beloved husband of Polly Lowes, of Stakeford.— Deeply mourned by his loving wife and three children, and mother.
DOUGLAS:— Killed in action, July 18th, 1916, aged 27 years, Private George Wm. Douglas, D.L.I., the dearly beloved son of George and Isabella Douglas of Ellington Colliery. The bugle sounded, he answered the call, And like a soldier fell, But the Saviour will lead him by the hand, To the land where angels dwell.— Deeply mourned by father, mother, sisters and brothers, and brother-in-law and sister-in-law, and all who knew him.
WOODMASS.— Died in St George’s Hospital, Malta, 23rd July, 1916, Private Stewart Woodmass, N.F., of 70 Poplar Street, Hirst, the beloved husband of Mary Frances Woodmass. From his broken-hearted wife and family. Deeply mourned. “He did his duty.” Memorial Service, Sunday, August 20th, 1916, at 6.30, Salvation Army Hall, Ashington. All friends kindly invited.
CROZIER.— Killed in action, July 11th, 1916. Private Robert Ellis Crozier (1190), 19th Batt., Tyneside Commercials, the dearly beloved husband of Jane Isabel Crozier, Pegswood. Oh, how our hearts do ache dear husband, When we think of how you died; To think you could not speak to us, Before you closed your eyes. No matter how we pray, No matter how we call; There is nothing left to answer, But your photo on the wall. But the unknown grave is the bitterest blow, None but a wife’s aching heart can know. Though buried in a soldier’s grave, Amid the shot and shell; For country’s sake he gave his life, And stood his trials well.— Sadly missed and deeply mourned by his loving wife and four children.
BROWN.— Killed in France on July 28th, 1916, Private Joe Brown (1285), 19th N.F., aged 20 years and 7 months, beloved and only son of Thomas and the late Elizabeth Alice Brown, of 18 Blagdon Terrace, Seaton Burn, and grandson of the late Archibald and Jane Brown of Humble Steads, Widdrington; and step-grandson of Isabella and the late George Felton of Low Fell. He answered his country’s call, Loved and respected by all. Deeply mourned.
HOGG.— Killed in action, July 7th, 1916, Private P.S. Hogg (16089), N.F., the dearly beloved son of William and Isabella Hogg, of 143 Maple Street, Hirst.— Deeply mourned by his sorrowing father and mother, brothers, (Billy in France), and sisters, and all who knew him.
NICHOL.— Killed in action, August 10th, 1915, Lance-Corporal John Nichol, the dearly beloved husband of Esther Nichol, 64 North Seaton Road, Ashington.— Ever remembered by his loving wife and two children, Ernest & Jackie.
HUNTLEY.— In loving memory of my dear brother, Edward Huntley, who was killed in action in the Dardanelles on August 7th, 1915.— Ever remembered by his sister and brother-in-law, Annie and Richard Smale and family.
COWANS.— Died in France on July 17th from wounds received in action on July 16th, 1916, Sergt.-Major John James Cowans (No. 12/330), 6th Hauraki Coy., 1st Auckland Batt., N.Z., Expeditionary Forces, the dearly beloved and youngest son of John and Harriet A. Cowans, of The Gordon Terrace, Aroka, Auckland, N.Z., and grandson of the late James and Elizabeth Cowans, late of Ulgham; and nephew of Andrew and Margaret A. Short, of Grove Villa, Bedlington Woods, Bedlington. Deeply mourned by a large circle of friends.
CONNELL.— Killed in action, July 10th, 1916, Private Hugh Connell, 14th Batt., N.F., the youngest son of the late R.M. and Barara Connell, of Blyth.
TURNBULL.— Died through wounds on July 16th, 1916, Private John W. Turnbull (14632), “B” Coy., 13th N.F., 6th Platoon B.E.F., France, of 180 Sycamore Street, Hirst.— Ever remembered by his loving wife and family.
DUFF.— In affectionate remembrance of Private William L. Pattison, the beloved son of George and Mary Ann Duff (better known as Willie Duff), who died of wounds in the County of Middlesex War Hospital, Napsbury, on July 20th, 1916, aged 29 years.
HALL.— In loving memory of my dear husband, L.-Sergt. Wm. Hall, East Yorkshire Regiment, of 47 Rothesay Terrace, Bedlington Station, who was killed in action at Suvla Bay, on August 9th, 1915.— Deeply mourned by his sorrowing wife, Lilias Hall, and his three children, mother-in-law, and family, and all who knew him. He died loved by all.
CROZIER.— Killed in action, July 12th, 1916, Private R.E. Crozier, N.F., aged 34 years, the beloved and youngest son of Ann and the late Thomas Crozier, Sheepwash.— Ever remembered by his sorrowing mother and sisters.
BROWN.— In loving memory of our dear son, Corporal Frank Brown, D.L.I., beloved son of Charles and Mary Brown, of Choppington, who was killed in action on August 9th, 1915. — Ever remembered by father, mother, brothers and sisters.
HOGG.— Killed in action, July 1st, 1916.— Private P.S. Hogg.— Ever remembered by his brother Jack, and sister-in-law, Meggie, and niece Lily.
BEDLINGTON OFFICER’S DEATH
Sincere and widespread regret has been expressed at the death of Second-Lieutenant Hutchinson, son of Inspector Hutchinson, who has been killed in action.
He was only 20 years of age, and was a fine manly fellow. Much sympathy is felt for his parents.
An officer, writing to his father, tells how he fell. He was hit by shrapnel, and buried in a little churchyard behind the firing line.
The letter states:— “He was a true soldier and an excellent officer.”
SEATON BURN SOLDIER KILLED
As will be seen from our Roll of Honour column, Private Joe Brown, of the N.F., has been killed in France. The deceased, who was in his 21st year, was a young man who was popular in his district and held in great respect by all who knew him.
Prior to joining the Colours, he was serving his apprenticeship as a fitter at Seaton Burn Colliery, and only had a few months to complete when the call of his country appealed to him and, like so many other young men who so readily responded, he has given his life for a noble cause.
We extend our sympathy to his sorrowing parents in their great loss.
MORPETH WAR SEWING MEETING
The tea at the above meeting was kindly given on Thursday by Mrs Wright of Beechfield, and realised £1 7s.
The handsome mat, made by an enthusiastic party of workers, was won by lot 1219, held by Miss Issie Athey, Cottingwood Lane.
Through the kindness of Mrs Elliott, Bede House, Oldgate, a party of convalescent soldiers, who had previously had a delightful motor drive to Warkworth, were entertained by the same lady to tea in the Soldiers’ Institute.
NORTHUMBERLAND SHOP ASSISTANTS
The report of the National Amalgamated Union of Shop Assistants, Warehousemen and Clerks shows that for the four weeks ending July, 883 new members were enrolled. The minimum wage campaign is being carried on, and a number of co-operative societies and private firms have adopted the scales.
A good deal of feeling has been expressed by shop assistants at the abandonment of the August Bank Holiday. In a number of towns branches, along with the Traders’ Association, have come to arrangements to have not only the Monday, but several days in addition. There is a desire on the part of the shopkeepers to carry out the expressed wish of the Government, whilst in the other hand it is felt that they would be breaking faith with the assistants.
In connection with the Trades Unions Congress, which takes place at Birmingham on Sept. 4th, and the five following days, Mr John Turner, general secretary of the Union has been nominated for the Parliamentary Committee.