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.
Another Morpeth soldier has received recognition for distinguished service in the field in the person of Corporal A. Routledge, of the Light Trench Motor Battery, Tyneside Scottish. He has been awarded the Military Medal.
The wife of Corporal Routledge resides at No. 1 Percy Court, Morpeth.
THE LIGHTS TROUBLE
What is proving a great source of revenue to the county exchequer is the money derived from the fines imposed on householders and shopkeepers for having failed to obscure the light of their premises according the regulations laid down under the Defence of the Realm Act.
Nearly every day persons are being summoned for their seeming neglect to carry out the regulations. It is quite apparent from the numbers that find their way into court that the authorities are determined to strictly enforce the Order for securing as complete darkness as possible.
There is no doubt, speaking generally, that the people realise the dangers from unshaded lights, and have taken the necessary precautions to keep within the law on the matter; but in some cases which have come before the local magistrates defaulters have shown that they have taken the precautions to darken their windows with green blinds, but have overlooked the fact that, owing to the blinds not extending right across, a shaft of light is thus allowed to penetrate from the sides.
As it has been proved by recent air raids that darkness baffles the occupants of enemy aircraft as to their whereabouts it is for the people to see that no light is visible from outside their premises. Therefore, by strictly obeying the regulations the people will assist materially the powers that be to defeat the ends of the enemy.
ROLL OF HONOUR
Private G. Dixon, Seaton Delaval, killed.
Private J. Robson, Choppington, missing.
Sergt. W. Earl, Ashington, missing.
Private R. Nichol, Backworth, missing.
Private T. Scott, Bedlington, missing.
Private T.W. Terrier, Bedlington, missing.
Private C.F. Arkle, Earsdon, missing.
Private W. Doney, East Cramlington, missing.
Private J. Davidson, Shiremoor, missing.
Private T.H. Logan, Stakeford, missing.
Private J.B. Jordan, Bedlington, missing.
Sergt. R. Tait, Cramlington, missing.
Private R. Crosby, Hartford, missing.
Lance-Corpl. W. Bone, Ashington, missing.
Private D. Robson, Morpeth, killed.
Private George Dowson, Morpeth, wounded.
Private J.W. Ellison, West Cramlington, missing.
Private W. Jamieson, Bedlington Colliery, missing.
Private Nichol Hudson, of 16 Isabella Pit, missing.
Bugler H.D. Thompson, Barrington Colliery, missing.
Private V.H. Robinson, Canadian contingent, of Choppington, missing.
Private W. Dowdall, Hector Street, Shiremoor, killed in action.
Private G.H. Stevens, 18 Disraeli Street, Blyth, killed in action.
Private T. Gates, N.F., of High Cross Row, Seaton Burn, missing.
Private R. Coleman, son of Mr and Mrs W. Coleman, 32 Beaumont Street, Blyth, killed in action.
Sergeant Robert Tait (667), 20th N.F., posted missing July 1st. Any information regarding him will be thankfully received by his mother at 7 Bog Houses, Hartford, Cramlington.
Mr and Mrs Tait, West Stobswood, have received information from the War Office that their son, Corporal William Lowry, has been missing since July 1st.
Private William Graham, of Blyth, is reported missing since July 3rd, on which date he was wounded.
Mr and Mrs J. Rodda, of Garden Row, Dudley, have received an official notification that their son, Private J.H. Rodda, N.F., has been missing since July 1st.
Mrs Johsntone, of 13 Enid Street, Hazelrigg, has received official news that her husband, Pte. A. Johnstone, N.F., has been reported missing since July 1st.
Mrs Beadling, of Angerton Terrace, Dudley Colliery, has been informed that her husband, Private John Beadling, N.F., was killed in action in France on August 18th.
Mr and Mrs E. Kendall, of Gosforth Park, have received an official communication that their son, Private A. Kendall, N.F., previously notified as missing, is now reported killed.
Mrs Wilson, of Sanderson Terrace, South Cramlington, has been officially informed that her husband, Corporal Geo. R. Wilson, N.F., has been reported missing since July 1st.
Private Walter Ballantyne Gowland (better known as Hertwick), of 110 Salisbury Street, Blyth, killed in action on August 3rd. He was only 18 years of age.
Mr and Mrs Geo. Thompson, Blue Top Row, Cramlington, have been informed that their eldest son, Private Joseph Thompson, has been reported as missing since July 1st.
Mrs Tenwick, of Mares’ Close, Seghill, has been officially informed that her son, Private J. Tenwick, who was attached to the Somersets, has been killed in action in France.
Mrs Fawdon, of 10 Union Street, Morpeth, has received official information that her husband, Private G.R. Fawdon, is missing since July 1st. Information of her husband will be gladly received by Mrs Fawdon.
Mrs J.W. Ellison, of Lane Row, West Cramlington, has received official news that her husband, Private J.W. Ellison, 1st Tyneside Scottish, has been reported missing since July 1st.
Private A.F. Turner, Quayside Co., 9th N.F., son of Mr and Mrs F. Turner, Morpeth, has been admitted to Hoole Bank Hospital, Chester, suffering from injuries to his knees, sustained at the front.
Mrs W. Allan, 30 Hawthorn Road, Ashington, has received information that her son, Private G.W. Allan, was killed in action on August 19th. He was a member of the Australian contingent. He left Ashington in September, 1912, for the Antipodes.
Private J.T. Clark (No. 385), “C” Company, 1st Batt. Tyneside Scottish, of Annitsford, has been reported missing since July 1st.
Mr and Mrs George Storey, Wansbeck Road, Dudley Colliery, have received news that their eldest son, Private J.T. Storey, was killed on Monday, August 21st.
Mrs Hunter, of 10 Manchester Street, Morpeth, has received word that her son, Trooper James Hunter, 3rd M.F.A. Brigade, East Africa, has been admitted to the military hospital, Elementieta, suffering from malaria fever and dysentery.
Mr J. Smyth, of the Gardens, Hartford House, Bedlington, has received official intimation of the death of his youngest son, Lance-Corporal Henry R. Smyth, who was killed in action on July 1st. Mr and Mrs Smyth have now only one daughter left to comfort them; both of their sons have made the great sacrifice in defence of their country’s honour.
Henry, like his brother Tom, was for five years at Morpeth Grammar School, and afterwards for three years with Bessler & Waechter, Collingwood Street, Newcastle, studying languages. He joined the Army at the outbreak of hostilities. Those who knew him intimately entertained high hopes of a brilliant future for him and justly had great admiration for his manly character and sweet disposition.
It is very sad that such painful news should be announced to the parents while their heads were yet bent in sorrow for the loss of their eldest son on 30 July. All will sympathise with the family and pray that strength may be given to beat the heavy trial.
Official information has been received by Mr and Mrs George Pattinson, Lloyds Bank, Alnwick, that their eldest son, Private Robert B. Pattinson, Northumberland Fusiliers, has been killed in action.
Mrs Julia Matthewson, of Wardle’s Yard, Felton, has received word that her husband, Private Thomas Matthewson, K.O.S.B., of Morpeth, has been invalided home suffering from neurasthenia. Private Matthewson has been six months in the firing line. He is now in Charing Hospital, Eastleigh, Hants, but expects to be removed to the north soon.
ROLL OF HONOUR
DODDS.— Killed in action, August 4th, 1916, Private Andrew Dodds, N.F., aged 20 years, the dearly beloved grandson of the late Thomas and Isabella Dodds, Widdrington. Deeply mourned by his mother, grandmother, and brothers and sisters. Sleep on, dear brother, in a foreign grave, Your life for your country you nobly gave; Though no friends stood near to say good-bye, But safe in God’s keeping now you lie. One of the best that God could lend, A loving brother and faithful friend. (Ever remembered.)
MONTGOMERY.— Killed in action, June 25th, Private William Montgomery, aged 42 years, beloved husband of Margaret Ellen Montgomery, School Row, Barrington. (Deeply mourned by his wife and children; also his parents and brother and sister.)
ROSE DAY AT PONTELAND
As a result of the strenuous efforts of a committee of ladies, presided over by Mrs Langton, the sum of £26 9s. has been paid over to the treasurer of the Queen Alexandra Rose Day Fund. This sum, which constitutes a record for the district, was raised by the sale of roses in the streets and by house-to-house collections.
FREE GIFT SALE
The arrangements for the free gift sale, which is to take place at Morpeth on Sept. 20th, in aid of the British Farmers’ Red Cross Fund, are now well in hand, and the promoters are eagerly looking forward to a real good sale. Of course, they have pleasant recollections of last year’s effort for the same object, when over £700 was raised.
The Farmers’ Red cross is a very worthy institution, and through its agency an incalculable amount of good work has been done in the various theatres of war. In once again organising an effort for the farmers’ fund the promoters are working for a good cause. We hope that the public during the coming days will give a good response to the committee’s effort, and all gifts in kind or cash — nothing too large and nothing too small — will be duly acknowledged.
The sale arrangements will be similar to that of last year — in the Market Place at 11.30am and in the Cattle Market at 1pm. The entries comprise livestock, produce, butter, eggs, poultry, furniture, etc. Previous to the auction a short meeting will be held, when the Mayor, Mr George Renwick, and Mr Ralph Crawford (chairman of the committee) will be the speakers.
Messrs Thos. Waters and Son, Thos. Clark, and R. Gray (Ashington) are hon. secretaries and auctioneers, and they will be pleased to receive entries or donations. In order to augment the fund a flag day has also been arranged.
THE WAR LOAN
The following letter has been addressed to the editor of the “Newcastle Diocesan Gazette” by Mr Charles Harmer, of 31 Albert Street, Amble:—
“Some of the Northumberland miners have decided on making a much more real memorial to their fallen friends than is represented by any of the suggestions hitherto made. They propose to unite themselves with the dead by also making a real sacrifice — the sacrifice of their savings. They will invest in War Loan or some other of the Government Stock and then publicly burn the bonds in a brazier to be preserved as a memorial.
“Anyone taking part in this sacrifice may nominate a hero of the country, alive or dead, for the Roll of Honour, which will be presented to the King, together with a list of the bonds, which would thus cease to be a liability to the country. The money will not thus be lost but presented to the country.
“Can we ask through your column others to join us? A representative committee will check the amount and identify the bonds destroyed. Money or script can be sent to the Red Rose Account, Liverpool Bank, Amble.”
This is the title of a sensational and romantic chapter in the great world-story of munitions presented in a five-part film drama at the Wallaw Picture House, Ashington, on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday next week.
It is adapted from the renowned play by Winchell Smith and Paul Armstrong. It is a thrilling drama of the invention and manufacture of big guns and also of the sinking of a beautiful yacht by a mine, and how the passengers and crew were saved “Via Wireless.”
We would remind our readers that the time draws near when this popular entertainment hall will be showing the great war film of “The Battle of the Somme,” and as Charles Chaplin in “His Trysting Place” will be shown on the same date, September 18th, patrons will be well advised to book their seats at once.
VEGETABLES FOR THE FLEET
Sir,— May I make an appeal to your readers for the necessary funds to enable me to carry on the work of the Cramlington branch of the Vegetable Products Committee through the coming autumn and winter months?
This organisation is now well known in this district, and the good results achieved in the past make me specially desirous that there should be no falling off in the supplies of fruit and vegetables which it has been our pleasure to collect and send to our brave defenders in the North Sea.
We have received much generous assistance, but in the months of scarcity that are ahead of us we need a definite sum in hand for working expenses and for purchasing supplies when gifts in kind fail us, so that “Jack” may not think we have forgotten him in his long and ceaseless vigil in the North Sea, to which we owe our comparative immunity from the horrors of war.
Our silent and invincible Fleet has not only kept our savage foe from landing on our shores, but it has swept all enemy warships from the seas and left us free to trade with all ports of the earth, and has safely convoyed our armies to far-distant battlefields and has kept them supplied without hindrance with those munitions and stores so necessary for their maintenance.
The first and immediate purpose of the Vegetable Products Committee, which is a purely voluntary body, is to supply our warships, the crews of which get practically no fresh vegetables and no fresh fruit whatever except what they pay for out of their own pockets. They cannot well afford to do this, and even if they could it is practically impossible under present circumstances.
The value of the fruit and vegetables to sailors on protracted sea service is inestimable. The fitness of our men in the North Sea should be our paramount consideration. The strain and exposure which they are now undergoing call for our deepest sympathy, and demand from us every possible effort to ameliorate the severe conditions under which they are cheerfully and heroically carrying out the important work entrusted to their worthy hands. The Torpedo and Submarine Flotillas and Minesweeping Trawlers are receiving the committee’s special attention.
Contributions will be received by F.H. Hardy and Wm. Kell, hon. secretaries, 3 Blagdon Terrace, Cramlington.
MORPETH WAR SEWING MEETING
A most successful tea was given at the above meeting by the Misses Harbottle and King, Bella Vista, Morpeth, and realised the sum of £1 12s. in aid of the funds. The committee acknowledge with grateful thanks a donation of 10s. from Mrs Carr and Mrs Pyle, Hudson Place; also six pairs of socks from Miss Harbottle, Bella Vista; socks from Mrs Halls, Mrs Sherring, Miss Scott, and many other kind friends.