Chapter 1a – Origins — Copy


The Tynedale district today ( Introduction On the 20th of April 1915, eleven hundred men from the Tynedale district of Northumberland, embarked for the continent with the local volunteer battalion of the Northumberland…

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  1. Crimean War -  1853-1856 
  2. Indian Mutiny – 1857-1859 
  3. Independence from Austria
  4. The militia could not be compelled to serve overseas, but it was seen as a training reserve for the army, as bounties were offered to men who opted to 'exchange' from the militia to the regular army.
  5. An Ensign was the junior commissioned officer. The junior infantry officer had traditionally carried the ensign flag, so the rank itself acquired the name. The rank has generally been replaced by the 2nd Lieutenant rank
  6. Oval shaped box
  7. The shako is a tall, cylindrical military cap, usually with a visor, sometimes tapered at the top and usually adorned with some kind of ornamental plate or badge
  8.  2nd VB uniform was scarlet with green facings and the 3rd VB, scarlet with white facings 
  9. The 6th Bellingham Corps was raised by William Henry Charlton of Hesleyside Hall near Bellingham (Charlton, p. 235) 
  10. Weekend Warriors From the Tyne to the Tweed (Hewitson T. L., p. 91)
  11. The Liberals returned to power in 1868 under William Gladstone. Cardwell reached the peak of his career, as Secretary of State for War. During his six years in the post, in what became known as 'Cardwell reforms', Cardwell reorganized the British army, introduced professional standards for officers (including advancement by merit rather than purchase), and formed a home reserve force.
  12.  The other two were the 2nd Northumberland Rifle Volunteer Corps and the 1st Newcastle upon Tyne Rifle Volunteer Corps
  13. English diplomat and essay writer William Temple (1628-1699) negotiated the Triple Alliance (1688) of England, Holland and Sweden against France. William was an outstanding essay writer and retired to Moor Park in Surrey to write his memoirs
  14. Immediately after the 3rd Anglo-Dutch War 1672 -1674 
  15. The 3rd Viscount Clare was Colonel Daniel O’Brien 
  16. The Northumberland Regiment ( 
  17. The Army Order of Precedence was first laid down in a Royal Warrant dated 12th September 1666. It was an attempt to settle disputes between the Colonels of regiments over matters of ‘seniority’; of great prestige as it determined the order of regiments in line of battle, on parade, on the march and published lists 
  18. The 6th of Foot became the Warwickshire Regiment 
  19. The term ‘Fusilier’ was originally applied to soldiers armed with a light flintlock musket known as the ‘Fusil’. The original purpose of fusiliers was to act as escort to artillery guns and to maintain discipline amongst the civilian drivers. The Northumberland Fusiliers received the designation relatively late, by which time when there was no specific role or weapons (Barnes, p. 28) 
  20. The Six Old Corps saw service in the Dutch Army  
  21. Nevertheless, the fusiliers continued to refer to themselves as the ‘Fighting Fifth’
  22. Newcastle Barracks opened in 1806. The first occupants are thought to have been the North British Dragoons 
  23. 1 Jun 1880. Changed to 1st Northumberland and Berwick on Tweed Volunteer Battalion – 1 Jul 1881. (Order of Precedence No 83)
  24. The Volunteer Service Companies - The Victorian Society (The Victorian Military Society, 1999)
  25. A Soldier's Life - The Story of Newcastle Barracks established 1806 (Hewitson T. L., p. 45)
  26.  Weekend Warriors From the Tyne to the Tweed (Hewitson T. L., p. 98)  
  27. 2nd Northumberland Rifle Volunteer Corps: renamed as 2nd Volunteer Battalion in 1883 
  28. 1st Newcastle upon Tyne Rifle Volunteer Corps: renamed as 3rd Volunteer Battalion in 1883
  29. An infantry company is a subdivision of the battalion. A detailed explanation of the Company system is given later in the narrative
  30. Charles Augustus Bennet (1810-1899) The family seat was Chillingham Castle
  31. The Honorable Frederick William Lambton (1855-1929) was the 4th Earl of Durham
  32. William Lisle Blenkinsopp Coulson (1840-1911) owned Blenkinsopp Castle
  33. Robert Weddell (London Gazette, 1901)
  34.  Henry George Percy, 7th Duke of Northumberland KG, PC, FRS (1846 – 1918) was a Conservative politician. He served as Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland from 1904 until his death in 1918 
  35. Sir Francis Douglas Blake, 1st Baronet CB DL (1856 - 1940) of Tillmouth Park, Cornhill on Tweed was Deputy Lieutenant of Northumberland, Vice Lord Lieutenant in 1920 and 1931, a Justice of the Peace, and a Member of Parliament
  36. The Depots would also provide drafts of men to the ‘Service’ battalions during WW1
  37.  The 2nd Northumberland Rifle Volunteer Corps was renamed the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, and the 1st Newcastle-on-Tyne Rifle Volunteer Corps was renamed the 3rd Volunteer Battalion in 1883. 
  38. The city of Peshawar is at the eastern end of the Khyber Pass in modern day Pakistan
  39. Scareships over Britain - The Airship Wave of 1909 (Clarke, 1999)
  40. Cumberland and Westmorland were amalgamated to form Cumbria in 1974 as a result of the Local Government Act of 1972 
  41. Drift mines take advantage of exposed coal seams on hillsides, rather than driving a shaft down to reach a deep seam. The preference was to exploit a seam running on a slight uphill gradient so rails and gravity could be used to aid the extraction of coal [/notemines began to replace agriculture as the main source of employment from the early part of the 18th century, however, other industrial enterprises associated with coal and lead mining were to follow and in 1843 Haydon Bridge Ironworks opened. There was also the renowned Langley Barony Fireclay Co Ltd producing high grade sanitary-ware. Haydon became an important producer of lead in the 1870s with the development of the Langley Barony mines but their operating life was short. The opening of the Newcastle-Carlisle Railway was particularly important to Haydon, the town not only becoming the railhead for the lead ore mined in the North Pennines but also a tourist destination. By 1911 the town’s population had risen to two thousand and ninety-seven.

    Hexham, the main centre of population in west Northumberland had originally developed around an Augustinian abbey dating back to the 7th century and had become an important market town trading in livestock and grain. The heart of the town consisted of a number of medieval buildings lining a network of relatively short streets and these were surrounded by Regency and Georgian buildings. The leather trade was central to the economy throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, the town manufacturing a range of leather goods including shoes, hats and the renowned ‘Hexham Tans’ gloves, but this industry had since declined. The 1835 opening of Hexham railway station stimulated residential development, the more affluent members of the Newcastle workforce choosing to live in the leafy market town and to commute to the city.The confluence of the South and North Tyne rivers lies fourteen miles downstream from Haltwhistle at Warden Rock. A string of towns and villages mark the eastward passage of the river from here to the North Sea; most notably from the 4th NF perspective, Hexham, Corbridge, Prudhoe and Newburn.

    Corbridge parish incorporated the settlements at Aydon, Aydon Castle, Clarewood, Dilston, Halton, Halton Shields, Thornborough, Great Whittington and Little Whittington. In the first half of the 19th century shoemaking, lime burning and market-gardening were the most significant industries in the parish, however there were numerous orchards around the town and records show that in 1855 five smithies were trading. Lime was produced for agricultural purposes at a number of kilns in the surrounding countryside and a paper mill was in production on the south side of the river at Dilston. The town’s population in 1911 was two thousand two hundred and thirteen; brickworks were in production, but agriculture was still the main source of employment.Four miles downstream from Hexham on the north bank of the river was Corbridge, an important crossing point long before the Romans marched into northern Britain. The Romans selected Corbridge as the point for Dere Street, the main highway linking York with Scotland, to cross the Tyne. The need to protect the northern boundary of the Roman Empire from the threat posed by the north British tribes led to the construction of Hadrian’s Wall. Taking advantage of the hard craggy Great Whin Sill rock outcrop the Wall spanned the country from the North to Irish Sea skirting Corbridge a mile or two to the north. Chesters Cavalry Fort was built to guard the only significant gap in the wall where it intersected the North Tyne. From here on Corbridge was very much the hub of highways linking the south with the upland drove roads of the border region and the east with the west coast. Traveller’s inns were still an important part of the town’s economy.

    Eight miles downstream from Corbridge the next sizeable settlement was Prudhoe, a village sited high above the river on the north facing slope of the valley. Prudhoe today is very much a dormitory town for the Tyne and Wear conurbation with a population exceeding eleven and a half thousand. However, the population back in 1801 was only sixty-two, rising to three hundred and eighty-six by 1851 and as late as 1855 it was still only described, in Whellan’s History, Topography and Directory of Northumberland [note] History, Topography, and Directory of Northumberland (William Whellan, p. 786) 

  42. The district has many associations with the famous engineer George Stephenson, who was married in Newburn Parish Church and worked in the Water Row pit in the village. The village was also the birthplace of steam pioneer William Hedley, whose first locomotive Puffing Billy was built in 1812, two years prior to his rival's first locomotive. The future railway engineers Joseph and George Armstrong both lived in the village from 1824, and found their first employment at nearby Walbottle Colliery
  43. Northumberland (Haselhurst, 1913, p. 18)
  44.  Crossing occupation borders: migration to the north-east of England (Renton, 2006). 
  45.  Northumberland (Haselhurst, 1913, p. 68). 
  46.  In the Wylam, Ryton and Crawcrook area 
  47.  A Vision of Britain through Time (University of Portsmouth) 
  48. 'Landed gentry' was an informal designation referring principally those members of the landowning classes who were not members of the peerage. One belonged to the landed gentry if other members of the class accepted that one did so.
  49.  Houses of the Industrial Class (Sunderland, 2010). 
  50. Lead Manufacturing in Britain (Rowe, 1983, p. 182)
  51. A Nation in Arms: a social study of the British Army in the First World War (Beckett, p. 65)
  52. Orderly Room staff
  53. The primary role of the battalion pioneer’s was to assist in route clearance and minor engineering tasks, such as the construction of field fortifications
  54. On the battlefield bandsmen performed the role of stretcher-bearers
  55. Plashetts (Disused Stations)
  56. The territorials also had new drill halls built in Amble, Ashington and Whitley Bay
  57. A  regular soldier detached from the …. Battalion
  58. Lt Frederick Swan - (Kelly's Directory, 1910) [note] and Col Sgt Instructor George Hitchiner [note] George Hitchiner
  59. The Maxim gun was first used by Britain's colonial forces in the Rhodesian 1st Matabele War in 1893 and 1894. During the Battle of the Shangani, 50 soldiers fought off 5,000 warriors with just four Maxim guns. They were also used 1898 during the Battle of Omdurman in Sudan
  60. Subaltern refers to a junior army officer below the rank of captain
  61.  Twenty of the requisite drills were to be completed before the annual camp 
  62.  The Alexandra, Princess of Wales Own Regiment is better known as the Green Howards