In this feature to commemorate the First World War, we will bring you the news as it happened in 1918, 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.

Saturday, 13th October 2018, 14:32 pm
HERALD WAR REPORT: Advert from the Morpeth Herald, October 11, 1918.

In an honours supplement of the “London Gazette” is recorded the name of Engineroom Artificer Fred G. Hallowell, a younger son of Mrs T. Hallowell, Ellington, who has been officially mentioned in dispatches for meritorious services and devotion to duty whilst in action with enemy submarines.

Previous to joining the Navy he was an apprentice fitter under the Ashington Coal Company.

HERALD WAR REPORT: Advert from the Morpeth Herald, October 11, 1918.

Mrs Hallowell has other two sons in the Army, viz., Private O. Hallowell, N.F., missing, Dardenelles, August, 1915, and Wheeler T. Hallowell, A.S.C., now serving in Mesopotamia.


Mr and Mrs John Callaghan of High Row, Seaton Burn, have received news that their only son, Corporal John Callaghan, N.F. has been killed in action.

Mr and Mrs Brodie, 114 Newgate Street, Morpeth, have received official news that their son, Signaller Frederick Gordon Brodie, East Yorks, is now reported killed in action on the 10th April. He was previously reported by the War Office to have been killed in action on the 25th March 1918. Prior to enlisting he served his apprenticeship with Mr Rutherford, Hairdresser, Bridge Street, Morpeth.

Mrs Young, of Morpeth, has received word that her son, Signaller R. Young, N.F., died of wounds on Saturday, Sept, 28th.

In a letter, S.H. Hare (Chaplain) states:— “I an afraid that nothing I can say will make your great sorrow lighter. He was very brave, and I am glad to tell you that he practically did not suffer. I buried him in the English cemetery, and a cross will be put up over his grave.”


The monthly meeting of the Morpeth Town Council was held last Tuesday evening. The Mayor (Councillor James Elliott) presided.

The Town Clerk read the following telegram from Mr A. Bonner Law:— “At the close of the first year’s campaign for National War Bonds with the magnificent results, I should like to take the opportunity of thanking you for your efforts. I am sure I can rely upon your continued help during the new campaign which is staring tomorrow.”

The Mayor said that the War Aims Committee had this under consideration and he expected that it would result in a public meeting being called.

The Mayor received the following communication from the Mayor of Wandsworth:— “At a meeting of the Metropolitan and suburban Mayors, the following resolutions were passed:—

(1) “That the Metropolitan Mayors, representing more than five millions of people, at a conference held at the City Hall, Westminster, express their unanimous opinion that no person of enemy alien birth, whether naturalised or unnaturalised, should have any right whatever to vote at Parliament or Local Government elections, and such should be prevented from becoming Members of Parliament or holders of any public office. And they view with considerable apprehension the undesirable eventualities which might arise at the ensuing elections, should their names remain on the register.”

(2) “The Mayors consider that for the maintenance of the Empire’s integrity, Parliament should, upon re-assembling, immediately pass a Bill whereby all such voters would automatically come off the registers.”

(3) “That copies of these resolutions be sent to the Cabinet Ministers and the Members of Parliament of Divisions and Boroughs asking them to support these resolutions, also to their respective Councils.”

Mr Swinney proposed that the Mayor intimate his support of the resolutions. Mr Fearby seconded the motion, which was agreed to.

The Mayor said they had got back their old colleague, Ald. Duncan, who had been on military service for a few months. They were all pleased to see him back. (Applause.)

Ald. Duncan, in reply, said his duties had been very light as compared with the gallant gentlemen who were fighting in France. It was pleasing for him to know that his work had won their admiration.

The Town Clerk reported the receipt of six applicants for merchant stands in the Corn Exchange, but that on account of war conditions there was great difficulty in procuring stands, neither timber nor labour being available.

The Corporation Committee intimated that the Town Clerk had reported having called the Committee together to visit Sunderland and inspect the National Kitchen there. He also read a circular from the Ministry of Food recommending the establishment of national kitchens as a means of (amongst other things) economising fuel.

The Town Clerk said he had not prepared any written report on the visit, but perhaps some members of the deputation would speak on the subject.

The Mayor said that the deputation from the Council was well received. The whole kitchen was in working order and working satisfactorily. The question of management was all right, and there was no trouble, and the cooking arrangements were excellent. It was for the Council to decide whether it was expedient to have one at Morpeth.

Mr Swinney said he could endorse everything the Mayor had said. The dinners were excellently cooked. He had much pleasure in advising the starting of a national kitchen.

Mr Armstrong said that he was favourably impressed with everything he saw. The cooking arrangements were excellent and the food was excellent. They had an opportunity of sampling the different kinds of food prepared, and he could say they were up to the mark. The kitchen itself was one which would be very suitable for Morpeth.

All boroughs and towns had been asked by the Government, through the Ministry of Food, to establish those kitchens in the interest of the country. By doing so they would effect great economy in food and fuel. They would be working in the best interests of the people of this town if they were to establish this kitchen because the people would be able to get, not only cooked foods, but a varied assortment of food at a price very much cheaper than they could purchase and cook themselves.

They had heard it said that kitchens started in various places had not been a success, and that some authorities had lost money. He did not dispute it, but the result of that was bad management. If the kitchen was established in the town he had not the slightest hesitation in saying that it would be a success, but they must have good management.

The staff would be paid, and the only voluntary help would be the committee of management, and that committee must insist on good management. They did not want to make any profit. They simply wanted the kitchen to be self-supporting, and to put aside sufficient to pay off the money borrowed to start the scheme.

They should commence without unnecessary delay as the winter time was coming on when hot meals would be most essential. He had great pleasure in moving that the Council take the necessary steps to establish the kitchen in Morpeth.

Mr Fearby said that he could bear out what the others had said. He was agreeably surprised at the orderliness and method. The food was well and beautifully cooked. In fact he could go so far as to say that, after sampling the viands, they went to a cafe for their lunch and he was sure they did not get anything better at that cafe, and they paid four times as much for it.

There was a great want in the town for a kitchen of the sort. There were several places where people could get a meal at a certain price, but that price was sometimes beyond the capacity of the working classes, and sometimes there was no accommodation for a large number of people dining in any place in the town.

He believed that they should not only have good food to supply customers to take away, but that they should go to the extent of providing a restaurant as well, and if commodious premises could be procured it would be much better and serve a double purpose.

There was a large number of people in the town who would benefit from this kitchen. He thought the money would be well spent in providing a national kitchen, and would supply something which did not exist, and that was to enable poor people to get a hot meal cheaply.

Mr Waterston said he did not favour the national kitchen. In Morpeth it would not be a success at all. They had borrowed sufficient money. In the first place it would cost them £18 a week for wages alone, and what about the cost of food? That would be a serious item.

In winter time the people had little work, and how were the people going to get money to pay for those hot meals? He thought it was a mistake. If they had a hard winter they would have to put their hands down and have a soup kitchen and not a communal kitchen. As for borrowing money, £1,000 at 5 per cent, was a large item.

Mr Grey: I cannot see how Mr Waterston arrives at his £18 a week. The expenses, I should say, will be £10 a week. By putting a third profit on the price of food, as is done in Sunderland, the kitchen will be self-supporting. At Sunderland they took £8 in a day, and we should do that.

Town Clerk: £7 18s was realised from food which cost £4 2s 6d.

Mr Grey: We do not wish to make any profit, but I shall be much surprised if the scheme does not pay under reasonable management. Mr Waterston talks about a soup kitchen, but the British public don’t want charity.

The child will get a fair meal at the kitchen for twopence. There are many women working outside who cannot get home to cook a meal. It seems to me this system will do well in Morpeth, and also pay. A lot of children who are going to go without a hot meal will be in a position to get one. Small householders are going to be allowed so little coal that making a hot meal will be a serious problem to them.

Ald. Duncan said there was one thing they should be clear upon, and that was the suggestion that a restaurant should be run in connection with this kitchen. They knew that they had several caterers in the town who had rates to pay, and people were struggling along to meet those rates. Were they going into competition with those people in the business?

If not, he was in favour of the communal kitchen. He was not in favour of anything which was going to deprive people, of whom there were several in the town, of a livelihood, and who had to have profits to run their businesses. They could not afford to do what the communal kitchen could do, to run without profit. He did not want to cut these people’s throats.

He did not want the kitchen to be run for outsiders, and did not want to take the living away from a certain number of tradesmen who depended on outside people for the success of their business.

Mr Fearby said he was the last one to run counter to any business in the town. When he suggested the restaurant it was for women at work who had not time to go home and cook their dinners. He did not think it would touch the class Ald. Duncan had been speaking about.

Mr Charlton said he was quite agreeable to the kitchen when it was needed, but they should not run in opposition to the tradespeople. He thought at the present time, owing to high wages, there was sufficient money to pay for food.

If there was a hard winter he would support the kitchen. He seconded Mr Waterston’s amendment.

Mr Temple said he would support Mr Armstrong’s motion. It was a place where people could go and have a good meal at a cheap rate. There were a lot of families who wished to have the kitchen started. He did not favour the restaurant which would deprive other people of their living.

The Mayor said he took the same view as Ald. Duncan with regard to the restaurant. If they attempted to open a restaurant in connection with the kitchen he was afraid they would withdraw that trade from the proper parties who were already catering in the town. Apart from that, the national kitchen would be a great boom to working women and others.

Mr Armstrong said his resolution was for a national kitchen only. He had made no mention of a restaurant. He took it if the Council wished to have a restaurant attached it would be a question of another resolution.

Mr Waterston had made mention that they had borrowed sufficient money already. No doubt they had, but he would remind him that the money was lent by the Treasury to local authorities free of interest. Again, they did not require £1,000. He thought they would manage to secure premises already built. All they required was sufficient money to equip the kitchen.

Mr Charlton had referred to the fact that the people of Morpeth did not require the kitchen at the present time on account of wages being so high. They wanted to establish the kitchen in order to economise on food and fuel.

The Mayor suggested that the committee, with the view of starting a kitchen, endeavours to get suitable premises and the cost of the scheme and report to the Council.

Mr Armstrong: I have no objection to that.

Mr Swinney: We were told that Sunderland kitchen only cost £300.

It was finally decided by nine votes to one against to establish a national kitchen (without a restaurant at present) and that the present committee ascertain and report to the Council as to suitable premises and cost.

The Surveyor said that they would remember some time ago, through Mr Noble’s generosity, seats were placed in certain places in the town, especially for wounded soldiers. Since the dark nights came on some of the seats were a danger and someone had fallen over one of the seats the other night.

He suggested the taking of the seats inside during the winter months. It was too cold to sit about at nights.

After some discussion it was agreed that the seats be painted white at each end.


Numerous have been the calls made upon the district to subscribe towards local war charities, and judging by the response to the appeal of the New War Hospital, Stannington, that spirit of generosity is likely to be maintained until the end of hostilities.

Being a comparatively new hospital, it lacks the various amusements found in other establishments which brightens the hours of our wounded soldiers and sailors.

In order to raise funds to procure these necessary comforts, a concert party was inaugurated by the patients themselves, who made their first appearance at the Playhouse, Morpeth, on Thursday afternoon, October 3rd.

In a few appropriate words the chaplain (Rev. L. Gethen) thanked the people of Morpeth for the hospitable way they had treated the wounded from Stannington, and on behalf of the committee and the artistes themselves he wished to thank the Mayor (Councillor Jas. Elliott), Coun. R.N. Swinney, and Mr S. Hoey for assisting to make the concert a success in every way.

The programme was brought to a close with the singing of the National Anthem.

The handsome sum of £64 16s 6d has been handed over to the Colonel by the Committee.


BRODIE.— Killed in action, 10th April, 1918, Signaller Frederick Gordon Brodie, 4th East Yorks Regiment, 22 years.— Ever remembered by his loving father, mother, and brother Will (in Italy).

BOWART.— Killed in action on August 22nd, 1918, Pte. Charles Y. Bowart, 270226, Northumberland Hussars, aged 35 years, beloved son of Edward and Dorothy Bowart, No. 11, 4th Row, Ashington.— Deeply mourned by his father and mother, brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law, and sisters-in-law, also brother George Bell Scott, in France.

GILL.— Killed in action, September, Pte. Henry Gill, of M.G.C., aged 22 years, eldest son of Joseph, and Edith Gill, of Bedlington Station, late of New Row, Alnwick.— Deeply mourned by his sorrowing father, and mother, sisters and brothers, and all who knew him.

DUNN.— Reported wounded and missing on October 12th, 1917, now officially reported to have died on that date or since, aged 22½ years, George Robert Dunn, Corporal of Horse Household Battalion (1st Life Guards), eldest son of William and Mary Isabella Dunn, 44 North Terrace, Bedlington.— Deeply mourned.

DICKINSON.— Killed in action on September 22, 1918, aged 20 years, Pte. W.J. Dickinson, of Fosters Buildings, Scotland Gate.— Ever remembered by his uncle and aunt and family, T. and M.A. Dickinson.

BROWN.— Killed in action in France, 2nd Sept., 1918, aged 38 years, Pte. J.W. Brown, Canadian Infantry, dearly beloved husband of Ruby May Brown, of Winnipeg, Canada, and only son of Mr and Mrs Robert Brown, of 3 Fenwick Grove, Morpeth.

GRAHAM.— Killed in action in France, September 29th, aged 19 years, Pte. John (136660), dearly beloved son of Christopher and Dorothy Graham, 22 Cleveland Terrace, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea.— Deeply mourned.


The opening of the winter season of the above sewing meeting was successfully inaugurated on Thursday,10th inst. Tea was give by Mr Alderson, Morpeth Castle, and realised £2 8s.

The hon. treasurer (Mrs Atkinson, Wellbank) gratefully acknowledges the following donations and gifts:— £6 6s from the Ulgham Concert Party in June (per the Vicar of Ulgham); Mrs T. Swinney, Woodside, £1; Mr and Mrs Cassels, 10/-; Miss Renwick, £1; Mrs Halls, £1; Mrs Jobling, Howard Castle, 10/-; a bale of white flannel from Mrs Renwick; socks from Miss Harbottle, Mrs Davies, Miss Davidson (Howard Road).

Mrs Middlemiss, Homeside, Morpeth, will give the tea next week.


As the result of a very successful harvest thanksgiving service, and a most generous response to an appeal for gifts of various kinds, the North Middleton Presbyterian Church has sent a large quantity of vegetables, including no less than 12 kinds, viz. savoys, kale, beet, leeks, parsnips, turnips, carrots, swedes, onions, shallots, marrow and potatoes, together with a fine collection of butter, eggs, jam, jelly, cakes, apples, grapes and cucumbers, to the Whalton V.A.D. Hospitals, for wounded soldiers and sailors.


In connection with the Morpeth Habitation of the Primrose League, a meeting was held in the Constitutional Club last Monday evening, when an address was delivered by Mrs Elliott, of Newcastle, Mr Fred Turner, hon. secretary, presided.

Mrs Elliott said that it would have been better if they, the women, had had a voice in the affairs of the nation long before now, and the lads at the Front thought the same. The first thing they must do, now that they had got the vote, was to understand each other and give head to the chief thing that mattered in life, and that was their Christian life.

The last thought of the lads at the Front had been of God and home. What a lesson to the Church.

The Church has failed in its mission, but she trusted that the women would do much to further the cause of religion. It was to them that the children depended for their religious training.

She referred to what she termed Asquith and his gang. What had been their behaviour to their fellowmen who had given them their confidence and high posts? Free trade and the open door to all foreigners was sure to end in disaster. The Unionist party was the party that would look after their interests in all directions.

Referring to peace terms, she said the women wanted a voice in the making of peace terms. They had given their sons for the country, and they should have no other peace but their own terms, and they would fight on until they got them. Let them have no half-hearted or weakened policy.

A vote of thanks was accorded to Mrs Elliott for her interesting address.