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.
The remains of the late Bombardier Joseph Clark, R.F.A., the youngest son of the late Mr Joseph Clark, of the Black Bull Hotel, were interred with military honours in Morpeth Churchyard last Friday afternoon.
The deceased, who was 29 years of age, joined the R.F.A., in 1907, and entered the special reserve in 1913. On the outbreak of war he rejoined his regiment, and went to France in October, 1914.
He took part in several big battles, and was gassed in July, 1917. He returned from France in January, 1918. After treatment at hospital and in a sanatorium, he was discharged and came home to the Black Bull, where he died from the effects of the gas on July 8th.
Deceased received the Mons ribbon.
A large number of the townspeople assembled at the Black Bull to witness the funeral, which was a very impressive one. A firing party from the East Yorks headed the cortege, and four men from the same regiment acted as under-bearers.
Behind came the hearse with the coffin enveloped in the Union Jack, followed by a large contingent of patients from the local V.A.D. Hospital and members of the Morpeth branch of the National Federation of Discharged Soldiers and Sailors. There were three mourning coaches containing the family mourners and other friends.
The service at the church was conducted by the Rev. M.F. McBean, curate of Bothal, who also said the committal prayers at the graveside. Three volleys were fired over the grave.
Beautiful floral tributes were laid upon the grave.
In honour of France’s Day, the National flag was flown over the Town Hall, and the Clock Tower, Morpeth, last Friday, and in the evening an open air meeting was held in the Market Place, the Mayor (Councillor James Elliott) presiding over a good attendance.
The Mayor said they were there assembled to pay homage to the French nation. He referred to the great sacrifices which the French Army had made, and said it was only fitting that they should show their goodwill and appreciation of what they had done in this great and devastating war.
He announced that he had sent the following telegram to the President of the French Republic:— “The Mayor, Alderman and Burgesses of the Borough of Morpeth tender their heartiest goodwill to France and her people.”
Mr F. Brambald, Bishop Auckland, said that they felt it was their duty to recognise the enormous sacrifices France had made not only in the interest of Great Britain, but in the interest of civilisation and of generations yet to come.
Mr T. Spink, Bristol, also addressed the meeting. A vote of thanks to the speakers and the Mayor brought the proceedings to a close.
A recruiting campaign for Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps will be held at Morpeth tomorrow (Saturday).
Members of the Q.M.A.C.C., accompanied by the Morpeth Pipers’ Band, will form up at the Town Hall at 4.30 in the afternoon, and will march from there through the principal streets of the borough. The Mayor and Mayoress (Councillor and Mrs Jas. Elliott) will send off the procession.
At seven in the evening a meeting will take place in the Y.M.C.A. Hall, when an urgent appeal for recruits for the above corps will be made. The Mayor will preside, and free entertainment will be given by the members of the corps.
During the absence of Lieut. Wm. Duncan on military service the work of the Morpeth Company is being satisfactorily carried on under the direction of Second-Lieut. Chas Gray and Second-Lieut. T.D. Shaw.
As the training is of a varied character and the weather ideal for outdoor exercises, the interest of the men is being well maintained. A special feature of the training is the instruction given in the art of shooting.
A Field Day has been arranged for Sunday first, when it is hoped that every man will make an effort to attend.
The men will parade at the Drill Hall at 8.30 in the morning. Each man will fetch his own rations. An interesting programme has been drawn up and a good day is promised.
ROLL OF HONOUR
Mrs J. Fraser, of Low Clifton, has received official word that her husband, Sergt. J. Fraser, R.F.A., is a prisoner of war in Germany.
Mrs Gibson, 10 West Greens, Morpeth, has received word that her husband, Private W. Gibson, Manchester Regiment, is missing.
Mrs Urwin, of Blue Row, Seghill Colliery, has received official news that her husband, Sapper Wm. Urwin, Signal Company, Royal Engineers, and son of Mr and Mrs Geo. Urwin, of Burradon, has been posted as missing since May 27th.
Mr and Mrs Melvin, 3 Post Office Row, Burradon Colliery, have been officially informed that their only son, Private J.T. Melvin, Royal Irish Fusiliers, reported missing since August 16th, 1917, is now presumed as having been killed in action.
Official news has been received by Mr Wm. Rutherford, The Crescent, Ewesley, Morpeth, that his eldest son, Private William Rutherford, Lewis gunner, D.L.I., was killed in action on July 15th in Italy. Previous to joining the Army he was an engine driver in the employ of the Ewesley Quarry Company.
Private Wm. Westerman, of the East Yorkshire Regiment, is reported missing. He is the younger son of Mr and Mrs Westerman, who formerly lived in the Ashington district, where Mr Westerman was well known as a Wesleyan local preacher. Their only other son, Private I.B. Westerman, of the West Yorkshire, was killed in France over a year ago. Mr Westerman is Wesleyan town missioner at Ossett, but is temporarily engaged in evangelical work at Rosyth.
ROLL OF HONOUR
YULE.— Previously reported missing, 16th Aug., 1917, now presumed dead, Private Andrew Yule, 8th N.F., aged 35 years, dearly beloved husband of Adeline Yule, No. 3 Hampton Court, Morpeth.— Deeply mourned by his wife and children, father, mother, and brother.
WILSON.— Mr and Mrs James Wilson, 116 Chestnut Street, Ashington, have been notified that their son, A.B. Albert D. Wilson TZ/3286, R.N.D., has died in Germany after being missing since December 30th, 1917.
McCREADY.— Killed in action on July 5th, 1918, Bombardier Thomas Williams McCready, R.F.A., aged 24 years. Also his brother, Signaller Richard William McCready, who died of gas poisoning and wounds on May 6th (Duke of Wellington), aged 21 years, dearly beloved sons of James and Bessie McCready, of Ashington, also grandsons of the late George Charlton, grocer, Red Row.— Ever remembered by their father and mother, brothers and sisters.
NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER
The King has expressed his desire that Sunday, August 4th, being the fourth anniversary of the war, should be observed with special solemnity as a national day of prayer.
The King and Queen and the two Houses of Parliament will on that day attend a service of intercession on behalf of the nation and Empire in St Margaret’s Church, Westminster.
PROFIT AND PATRIOTISM
Have you bought a War Savings Certificate?
If you have — it does not matter how recently or how long ago — you should get this week’s issue of “Ideas,” the best of weekly papers. There may be some money waiting for you.
Every week ‘Ideas” offers £250 in free cash prizes to holders of War Savings Certificates.
You have nothing to do except to write in and claim your prize. “Ideas” wants to help you to combine your patriotism with profit.
Get “Ideas” today, and read particulars of this great free offer. Any newsagent or book stall will supply you with a copy. War-time price, 1½d.
MORPETH GAS LIGHT CO. (1902), LIMITED
Notice of Increase of Price of Gas.
In consequence of the recent advances in the price of coal, and other material, increase in wages, etc., the Directors of the Company are compelled to increase the price of gas.
Dating from the next inspection of meters the price of gas to consumers through ordinary meters will be 5/- per 1,000 c.ft., less the usual discount.
The cost of gas to consumers by prepayment meters will remain as at present but the discount hitherto allowed will cease.
18th June, 1918
VEGETABLES FOR SAILORS
The Morpeth Branch of the Vegetable Production Committee will be at the Town Hall, Morpeth, every Wednesday, commencing July 3rd, from 9 to 12 o’clock.
It would be very grateful if people would bring fresh vegetables to send to the Sailors.
BOROUGH OF MORPETH
A house-to-house collection in aid of Newcastle Infirmary will be made throughout the Borough and District of Morpeth, from Monday, July 22nd, to Saturday, July 27th
Ladies will call at every house, when it is hoped that the response will be liberal and generous, as the Infirmary of Newcastle, besides meeting all the needs of the civil population, is doing a good and noble work for the soldiers.
Subscriptions will be gratefully received by the Mayor (Councillor James Elliott); also Councillor R.N. Swinney, Hon. Secretary and Treasurer.
Captain Lord William Percy, D.S.O., Grenadier Guards (Special Reserve), brother of the new Duke of Northumberland, has been appointed Assistant Adjutant-General on the Adjutant-General and Quartermaster-General Staff, and to be temporary Lieutenant-Colonel while so employed.
MORPETH V.A.D. HOSPITAL
The Commandant wishes to acknowledge the following gifts with many thanks:—
Mr J.J. Gillespie, vegetables; Mrs J.S. Mackay, brown loaf; Mrs Philip, papers; Hon. Mrs Joicey, flowers, books, strawberries, and cucumber; Mrs Tweedy, Tritlington, gooseberries; Mrs Bainbridge, Eshott, gooseberries; Mrs Givens, brown bread; Mrs J. Simpson, cake; Miss Dryden, jam and scones; Mrs Hoey, 5 pots of jam; The Vicar, Ulgham, flowers from flower service; Miss Davison, cabbage; Mrs McHughes, magazines; Miss Ward, cigarettes; Mrs Straughan, parsley and mint; Mr Pringle, Tritlington, fresh eggs.
The Commandant wishes particularly to thank the girls of the Morpeth High School for so thoughtfully and generously providing two seats in the town for the use of the wounded soldiers as an “Empire Day” gift, and she wishes to thank Mr Jackson, painter, for painting them free of charge.
MORPETH BOARD OF GUARDIANS
The monthly meeting of the Morpeth Board of Guardians was held on Wednesday.
Mr Craigs said that in the minutes of the last meeting they would see reference there as to the supply of milk. The small committee appointed to see Mr Carmichael had met that gentleman, but negotiations fell through.
The house had been supplied with partly cow’s milk and condensed. The usual quantity of cow’s milk had been reduced from ten gallons to five gallons per day, and the master was using unsweetened condensed milk for tea and coffee.
They had a tender from Mr W.A. Grey for milk at 2/- per gallon. He understood that Mr Grey would supply at 1/8 until it advanced. The only advance at the end of the month would be 1/6 plus 2d, and, therefore they ought to get it at 1/8.
Mr Grey’s tender was a temporary measure.
The committee recommended that the Board advertise for a supply of milk — 10 gallons per day.
The recommendation was carried.
The following tenders were accepted:— Mr Jas. Elliott, greengroceries; Mr W.A. Grey, groceries; and Mr W. Duncan, bread and flour.
Mr Craigs remarked that there was a reduction in the price of flour.
Miss Mary Laws was appointed as foster-mother at the Boys’ Home in the place of Mrs Annett, resigned.
A letter was received from the overseers of the parish of Morpeth recommending that a further war bonus of £10 be given to Mr Geo. Middlemiss (rate collector).
Mr Young moved that the recommendation be adopted, subject to the approval of the Local Government Board.
Mr Whittle seconded the motion, which was agreed.
ODDFELLOWS’ MEETING AT MORPETH
The half-yearly meeting of the Stannington District of the I.O.O. (Manchester Unity) was held in the Lodge Room of the Wansbeck Lodge, Morpeth, on Saturday last.
In the absence of the P.G.M. (J. Clark of Seghill), the chair was occupied by P.P.G.M. Geo. Graham, the D.P.G.M.W.C., P.M., being in the vice-chair.
The Pro. C.S. Bro. W. Hardy was heartily congratulated by the meeting on his recovery from a severe operation.
The District Representative to the A.M.C., held at Cheltenham (P.P.G.M. T. Dixon, Stannington) gave an exhaustive report of the proceedings at the A.M.C and was thanked.
A recommendation to establish juvenile lodges was referred to a special committee to report.
After a good, but strictly rationed tea, the delegates, on the invitation of Mr G. Renwick, visited Springhill, and under the personal guidance of Mr Renwick, spent a pleasant hour in the grounds.
Mr Renwick was heartily thanked for his kindness on the motion of Mr R. Brown.
In response Mr Renwick tendered an apology to the Blyth and Bedlington delegates for his inability to attend their demonstration during the week in support of war weapons.
QUEEN ALEXANDRA ROSE DAY
The Mayor (Councillor Jas. Elliott) has sent cheques to the Headquarters at London, value £15 14s; to Mrs Fullarton James (V.A.D.), £20; to Mrs Baylis (Cottage Hospital), £20; to Mrs Mitchell (Morpeth Dispensary), £5 16s, being the result of the above flag day.
The Mayoress (Mrs Elliott) wishes to thank all the lady workers and the public generally for their untiring efforts and generous support.
MINISTRY OF LABOUR RECRUITING CAMPAIGN FOR QUEEN MARY’S ARMY AUXILIARY CORPS
A meeting will be held in the Y.M.C.A. Hall, Morpeth, at 7pm on Saturday, 20th July, 1918, to appeal for recruits for the above corps.
His Worship the Mayor (Councillor Jas Elliott) will preside.
A free entertainment by members of the corps will be given at the meeting.
A rally of the Q.M.A.A.C., accompanied by the Morpeth Pipe Band, will form up at the Town Hall, Morpeth, at 4.30pm, and will march from there through the principal streets of the town.
The Mayor and Mayoress will send off the procession at the Town Hall.
Recruits are still urgently needed.
Come to the meeting and entertainment and bring your friends.