Chapter 1b – Territorials

Mess break for Sgt ‘Tope’ Smith (seated on the right) and colleagues (Courtesy: Yvonne Weaver - 2009)

1908-1914 - Life of a TF Battalion Accounts of notable events in the battalion calendar were published monthly in the St George’s Gazette (SGG), the Regimental Magazine of the Northumberland Fusiliers and in…

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  1. The city was previously served by Ripon railway station on the North Eastern Railway’s (NER) Leeds-Northallerton line
  2.  The old racecourse at Hell Wath, on the edge of Ripon, was used as a Territorial Army training camp for a number of years and when WW1 broke out it became one of the largest Army Camps in the country. At its height it accommodated more than 30,000 soldiers,which compared to Ripon’s population of 7,000
  3. Sam Browne was a British army officer serving in India. Officers of his era always carried a sword into battle. It hung from a little metal clip on the waistbelt, called a 'frog'. However, the scabbard tended to slide around a lot when they charged the enemy, meaning that it had to be steadied with the left hand before being drawn (Wikipedia)
  4. (London Gazette, 1908)
  5. Cecil Hedley was the author of ‘Early Earthworks in Northumberland’ – published by Kendal in 1923 
  6. A brake (break) is an open-topped horse-drawn carriage designed for country use, common in 19th and early 20th centuries. Shooting brakes were designed so that the driver and a footman/gamekeeper faced forward, and up to six sportsmen on longitudinal benches, with their dogs, guns and game borne along the sides in slatted racks
  7. William J. Bickers-Stephenson (London Gazette, 1909), 1911 Census Summary Books
  8. The British Army had introduced Universal Service Dress (drab olive green) in 1902 to replace a myriad of different uniforms which were in use at the time
  9.  Mafeking is the capital city of the North-West Province of South Africa and the siege refers to a famous military engagement of the 2nd Boer War 
  10. Six miles north east of Newcastle
  11. The Hexham Corn Exchange/ Town Hall was originally built in 1866, but over the years the building served as a bank, ballroom and cinema. It is now (2012) the home of Hexham Library, the Queen's Hall Arts Centre, and a cafe
  12. The Volunteer Officers' Decoration (VD) was created by Royal Warrant under command of Queen Victoria on 25 July 1892 to reward 'efficient and capable' officers of the Volunteer Force who had served for twenty years. The award of the Volunteer Decoration entitled the recipient to the use of the postnominal letters V.D. after their name. The award was superseded by the Territorial Decoration in 1908 
  13. Seymer Hankin 
  14. Beauchamp Tudor St John (b. Kincardine O'Neil, Aberdeenshire); the son of Reverend Edmund and Adeline. In 1891 he was resident at Dalvreck Academy, Crieff, Scotland. In 1901 he was with the 4th NF at York Infantry Barracks. Serving with 1st NF at outbreak of WW1
  15.  Captain Hubert Chase Hall (1876 - 1947) Hubert was the son of Major Henry Hall. He married Caroline Zoë Browne-Clayton, daughter of William Clayton Browne-Clayton and Caroline Barton, on 14 December 1905. He reached the rank of Captain in the service of the NF. (Lundy). The 1901 Census shows that Hubert was garrisoned at York Infantry Barracks with Beauchamp St John. When the 1901 Census was taken the short-lived 4thRegular’ battalion NF was garrisoned at York Infantry Barracks prior to their deployment to Dublin. The 3rd NF was garrisoned in Parkhurst, Isle of Wight 
  16. The suffragettes were campaigning for the right for women to vote
  17.  Hugh Plowden entered the Army as Sub-Lieutenant with the 1st Oxfordshire Light Infantry and reached substantive Colonel in 1900. Served in operations on North-West Frontier of India, 1897-1898
  18. Tilley’s Restaurant was one of many owned by the Carrick family of Haydon Bridge
  19.  A later residence erected adjoining it, probably about 1700, was entirely destroyed by fire, but was in 1906 restored and enlarged by Daniel Jackson M.D. Of Netherton, and is now occupied by John McClare Clark esq. F.S.I. J.P. Haltwhistle Rural District Council Treasurer, War Office, 30th December, 1902. The KING has been graciously pleased to confer the Volunteer Officers' Decoration upon the undermentioned Officers of the Volunteer Force, who have been duly recommended for the same under the terms of the Royal Warrant dated 25th July, 1892:— 1st VB, The Northumberland Fusiliers. Major George Hogarth Bell. Major John McClare Clark. (London Gazette) 30th December 1902 
  20. The School of Musketry was staffed by a corps of experts that was able to train up regimental instructors in shooting skills. They returned to their regiments to train the troops in marksmanship
  21.  John Pattison Gibson (1838-1912) was born in Hexham, the son of W.W. Gibson and was educated at Hexham Grammar School and later at Newcastle Grammar School, before following his father into the family business as a chemist. He inherited the pharmacy on Fore Street, Hexham in 1861 aged 23. He married Elizabeth Walton and had ten children. Two of the children were renowned poets Wilfrid and Elizabeth Gibson. As well as being an athlete and boxer in his youth, Gibson was also a keen shot and interested in military history. He served in the Hexham Rifle Corps from 1859, retiring in 1892 with the rank of Major. At the end of the Franco-Prussian War, Gibson visited the battle sites, and was present in Paris during the commune of 1871. [zotpressInText item="{XNHAQ4IX}"] [zotpressInText item="{4ZT5AFVI}"]
  22.  His nephew Captain James Harold Cuthbert DSO (1st Scots Guards) was already a highly decorated Boer War hero. James was educated at Eton and Sandhurst before joining the Scots Guards in August 1896.  He won the Army shooting championship in 1902, served as High Sheriff of Northumberland in 1904, accidently shot his wife in ……….. and was killed at the Battle of Loos in 1915 
  23. The Scots Guards Colours were presented to the 2nd Battalion by Edward VII in 1903 
  24. Partially opened in 1913 and finally completed in 1914
  25. Major E. C. Bethune of the 16th Lancers raised an irregular unit known as Bethune’s Mounted Infantry Corps during the Boer War at Durban in October 1899
  26. Captain Arthur Lenox Napier (b.1864) – Captain and Adjutant of Yorkshire Regt 1894. Lived at Hardriding, Bardon Mill in 1911 
  27.  British Film Institute:
  28. The three lead conventions were White Lead, Red Lead and Blue Lead
  29. Mr Henry Mylas Carrick (b. 1895)
  30. Miners first reached a coal seam in Plenmellor Colliery during Dec 1912 (The Times, 1912). Byron and Blackett collieries were also near Haltwhistle and Whitechapel Colliery was near Haydon Bridge 
  31.  Clive Montague Joicey (b.1891), Clive was educated at Harrow and Trinity College Cambridge (Harrow Memorials of the Great War: April 11th, 1917, to April 10th, 1918) 
  32. The camp is thought to have been held in the grounds of Greystoke Castle, four miles west of Penrith
  33.  Brigadier James Foster Riddell, Lesbury House, Lesbury, Northumberland (De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour) (b. Eglingham, Northumberland – 1861). Married June 1912 
  34.  It is not clear in this context what bull baiting refers to as the cruel blood sport where bulldogs were used to immobilise a tethered bull had been outlawed decades before
  35. However, in comparison to many others the 4th NF was probably quite healthy
  36. Reservists were those men who had retired from the regular army, but could be called back in time of war
  37. The 1/14th (County of London) Battalion TF (London Scottish) were part of the London Regiment
  38. Wytschaete on the Messines Ridge, Belgium
  39. 'Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it' (George Bernard Shaw)
  40. Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons. (Bertrand Russell)
  41.  Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first (Charles De Gaulle)
  42.  William Straker (1855-1941) was born in Snitter and moved to Widdrington where he began working at the local colliery. He was a Primitive Methodist, known for his teetotalism and became active in the Northumberland Miners' Association. He was elected to its executive in 1882 and became its Corresponding Secretary (General Secretary) in 1905, serving until 1935. With the notable exception of 1912 he opposed almost all strikes. He strongly opposed World War I leading some newspapers to campaign for his removal from post. He was awarded the CBE in 1930.  (Peet, 2008)
  43. Earsdon village is near Whitley Bay 
  44. Heaton lies between Newcastle and Wallsend 
  45. Gosforth Park lies to the north of Newcastle
  46. A Nation in Arms: a social study of the British Army in the First World War [zotpressInText item="{9M778KVP,65}"]
  47. Training to be an Officer (Baker C. ) 
  48.  Clive Montagu Joicey’s father was Honorary Colonel and previously served with the 3rd and 5th NF 
  49. Mervyn Ayton was the son of grain merchant William J. Ayton (b.1851) and Alice J.B. (b.1855), William A (b.1879), Mervyn (b.1887) Shincliffe, Durham
  50. Lt Cecil George Arkwright (b.1890) was the son of Bernard George Arkwright a Mechanical Engineer residing in Elswick, but also the Great Great Great Grandson of Sir Richard Arkwright the inventor of the Spinning Jenny
  51. Henry Cheesmond, son of Jesmond photographer Henry Cheesmond (b.1862) and Isabella (b.1862). Lavender Gardens, Jesmond
  52. Percival Edward Cox, son of Elswick schoolmaster William M. (1857) and Margaret H. (b.1858), Frederick W. (b.1884), Florence E. (b.1886), Eleanor M. (b.1888), Sarah G. (b. 1889), Percival E. (b.1892), William M. (b.1900) (1901 Census, 1901)
  53.  Thomas  William Gregory was the son of Elswick grocer William M. Gregory (b.1866) (3&4 Studley Terrace, Elswick) mother Ann E Gregory (b.1865), daughter Mary E. (b.1891), Violetta (b.1892), Thomas W. (b.1895), James H. (b.1900).
  54.  James Allan was the son of James and Thomasine Herriott (b.1885 - Berwick-upon-Tweed). Educated from 1895 at Cargilfield School and Fettes College, Edinburgh (1901), Clare College, Cambridge University
  55.  James Hope-Wallace (b.1872) son of John George Frederick Hope-Wallace (b.Quebec) (justice of the peace for Northumberland) and Mary Frances Bethune
  56. Charles Osborne Provis Gibson (b.1876 – Newcastle) educated at Uppingham School and Oxford University
  57.  Charterhouse School moved out of London to Godalming in Surrey in 1872 
  58. Uppingham School, Uppingham, Rutland
  59. Dudley is near Cramlington, approximately eight miles north of Newcastle
  60. R Pittendreigh. Probably Robert Pittendreigh (b. 1888) son of George and Jane of Throston, Durham
  61. The Drumming of the Poss Sticks [zotpressInText item="{9G9IVMR9,13}"]
  62. Cambois is a small coastal village to the north of the River Blyth estuary
  63. Prudhoe had three cinemas at the time; the Electric, the Palace and the Rio. The Palace Theatre opened around 1912 on South Street, but by 1915 was in receivership. It became the Working Men’s Club in 1925 and still is to this day (2013). The Rex / Electric Theatre / Electric Palace, was located on Front Street and was licensed from 1910 until 1920. The building had previously served as the drill hall until the purpose built hall was opened in 1914
  64. Sir Hubert Swinburne - 8th Baronet (1867-1964). Family seat – Capheaton Hall, Wallington, Northumberland
  65. Sir Walter Richard Plummer (1858-1917) Conservative MP for Newcastle (1900-1906).
  66. Richard Dunning Holt succeeded Wentworth Canning Blackett Beaumont as the Liberal MP for Hexham (19071918).
  67. Herbert Lees was a Hexham Councillor
  68. Thought to be William Fisher of Hudshaw House, Hexham, a solicitor (Baty & Fisher, Lloyds Bank Chambers, Hexham), the Chairman of the Langley Barony Coal and Fireclay Co Ltd and Director of South Garesfield Collier Ltd
  69. Henry George Percy – 7th Duke of Northumberland
  70. Wentworth Canning Blackett Beaumont was Viscount Allendale
  71. ‘Little Grey House (Home) in the West’ was composed in 1911 by Hermann Löhr (1871 - 1943) with words by D. Eardley-Wilmot. A variation entitled ‘My Little Wet Hole in the Trench’ was written by Tom Skeyhill in 1915 and sung to the same tune (Arthur.p.58)
  72. ‘Coming through the Rye’ is a traditional Scottish folksong of which there are several versions. It appeared in a collection by Thomas Mansfield in 1770/1780, although the words used are thought to have been written by Robert Burns.