The Home Front

The Recruiting Campaign

Letter published in Hexham Herald Saturday - 16th Jan 1915


Sir, - I shall be obliged if you will allow me through your columns to thank the ladies and inhabitants of the Haydon Bridge district through whose kindness a large consignment of Cardigan jackets was received at Christmas for the benfit of the NCOs and men of this battalion. I need hardly say that we highly appreciated their kind thought and all their efforts on our behalf. The garments were most welcome and have been of great benefit to the men who received them. - Yours faithfully.

A.J.FOSTER, Lieut - Col.,Commanding 4th Batt. Northumberland Fusiliers.


Article published in Hexham Courant - 22nd Dec 1917



The Wooley and West Side Working Party sent to soldiers the following: - 24 parcels of food, 12 pairs of socks, 4 pairs mitts, gloves and cigarettes.


A meeting convened by the Haydon Parish Council, was held on Thursday night, in the Town Hall, Haydon Bridge, to form an association for looking after the welfare of soldiers belonging to the parish, particularly to see that soldiers on leave were given a warm welcome home; to send parcels to men at the front, and to arrange, through the official association, for the supply of food to any prisoner of war. Mr Makepeace presided. It was decided to call the new body the " Haydon Parish Soldiers' Welfare Association, " and the following gentlemen were appointed to carry out the work: - .........

To reduce the work of the secretaries, it was decided that the committee meet fortnightly, on a fixed day, the first meeting to take place on Monday, the 7th January.

Cigarettes and tobacco

Article in Hexham Courant Newspaper - 29th May 1915


As most of our readers are aware, Mr Waugh, the popular manager of the Gem Picture Palace, Hexham, collected a considerable sum to send cigarettes and tobacco to the local men out at the Front, and has sent out 30,000 woodbines, 7,000 gold flake, 3,000 capstan and 100oz of twist tobacco. In reply to a letter advising the despatch of these, Captain F. Robinson writes: -

Dear Mr Waugh, - Many thanks to yourself and patrons of the Gem for the magnificent gift you are sending to the two Companies. It has not arrived yet, but when it does I will see that it is shared all right. I am glad the picture you took was a success. It certainly came out well. I am only sorry that so many of the boys on it are no loner here, but they certainly have done spendidly, and are still doing so. I hope Hexham will send us some more of the same sort as we need them, for there are only about 130 of us now out of 234. The picture referred to by Capt Robinson was one taken of the two Companies at Blyth before they left.

Letter published in the Hexham Courant - 12th Jun 1915.

From Quarter-Master Sergeant A.G Richardson,

‘Just a few lines on behalf of the Hexham and Corbridge Companies to thank the patrons of the Gem and yourself; for the handsome gift of cigarettes which we received all right on Friday last. As there was such a large consignment Lt Turner our Coy Officer, advised me to hand them over to Colonel Foster, who said I had better divide them among the battalion. This I did, and everyone got a good share, as I am sorry to say our numbers are now greatly reduced. Our Coy started with 253 and we are now 127 strong, but several of the men who were wounded near Ypres are now returning, and gradually bringing us up again. Our boys had a second dose in the trenches over Whitsuntide, for 10 or 11 days, being attached to the Somerset Regiment, and had an adventurous time. We are now back resting for a while. The weather is very hot during the day, but still rather cold at nights. I hear we are to remain here for some time unless something happens to disturb us. I hear you have Capt Robinson back at Hexham. We all wish him a speedy recovery and hope to soon have him back here again as our leader, also that Capt Plummer will not be long following. All the boys that are here are enjoying good health, only the heat is very tiring through the day. I wish you could have had a picture of them, the way we are living in these woods. A lot of them say they are going to live outside when they get back to old England again, and that they will not be able to rest when it comes to lying on feathers. You can let the Hexham people know that Sammy (the regimental dog) is still going strong and goes wherever we go. He has had his dose of gas, same as most of us, but he is alright now and enjoys himself chasing the pigs around about when we are billeted at farms. Last Saturday the men were all taken to a large brewery, and had a good bath (not in beer), as some of them wished it had been, but in hot water in the large vats there. I expect you will soon have your new place ready and that it will go all right. You might send a free ticket for the opening night and we might take a trip by aeroplane to see what it is like that night


 Article in Hexham Courant - 29th May 1915


At Falstone an egg collection has been made for wounded soldiers. A box containing 96 eggs, collected by Miss Inglis, has been forwarded to London. The contributors were Mrs Brown, Highfield; Mrs Moscrop, South Stokoe; Mrs nicholl, Hawkhope; Mrs J.B.Elliot, Plashetts; Mrs Hutton, Billing, Plashetts.

Article in Hexham Courant - 29th May 1915


The children attending Greenhead Church Schools have shown considerable zeal in collecting in ten weeks over 1,200 new laid eggs for our wounded soldiers, which have been forwarded each week to hospitals in the North of England. Mr Spencer Bell, the assistant master, has taken the responsibility of packing and dispatching the eggs, and the many grateful letters received by him show how much appreciated are the gifts of the children.

Comforts committee


 Published in Hexham Courant - Saturday 1st May 1915


In response to an appeal from Mrs Taylor of Chipchase Castle and Mrs J.H.Cuthbert for respirators for our soldiers we have been displaying in the window of the "Courant" office a specimen respirator and details of how to make them.We had intended to follow up this by an appeal through our columns, but on Thursday the Press Bureau stated that -

Thanks to the magnificent response already made for respirators for the troops, the War Office are in a position to announce that no further respirators need to be made.


 Published in Hexham Courant - Saturday 1st May 1915


The members of the choral society are arranging a concert for Saturday, May 8th, on behalf of the fund for providing a Red Cross motor ambulance for the 4th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers. The programme will be on popular lines, and will include the performance of Romberg's Toy Symphony. In addition to the choir, the Belgian musicians, Messieurs Voordecker, and Mr J.S.Potts, humourist, have promised their services, also Miss Sadie Walton, who will contribute dances. As the ambulance is for the use of our own men, it is hoped that there will be a good attendance.

Published in Hexham Courant - 15th May 1915

Motor Ambulance for the Fusiliers

About £200 has been secured towards the fund for purchasing a fully equipped Red Cross Motor Ambulance van to be sent as a gift from the county to succour the Northumberland Fusiliers at the Front. Among recent contributions is the sum of £4 contributed by the ladies attending the Newcastle and Gateshead Gas Company's cookery demonstrations. About £150 is still required before the ambulance van can be obtained, and Dr Stewart, Hexham, is making an aearnest appeal for subscriptions.

Dr Stewart wishes to acknowledge the receipt of £6 from the Haydon Bridge Choral Society

Published in Hexham Courant - 10th Jul 1915

Motor Cars for the Northumberlands
Motor Cars for the Northumberlands
Motor Cars for the Northumberlands

A few weeks ago, I recorded the wonderful success achieved by Doctor Stewart of Hexham in his appeal for funds to provide motor ambulances for the various units of the ‘Fighting Fifth’ that are at the front. So splendid was the response that he was able to purchase a Napier and three Ford cars, fully equipped and up to government standard.

The Napier has now been delivered and the three Ford cars will shortly be also available for the work of helping the Northumberlands at the front. The Napier has been named by Doctor Stewart ‘The Tynedale’ and as it is the premier car, the compliment to this district will be appreciated.

The Fords will be named ‘The North Tyne’, ‘The Bambrough’ and ‘The Adam Scott’. The last is named after a well-known north country sportsman, having been a magnificent supporter of the fund. Each car will bear an inscription that it was presented by the Northumberland branches of The Red Cross Society for service with the Northumberland Fusiliers in the field.

Doctor Stewart has still some £200 in hand and will welcome suggestions from subscribers as to how this sum should be disposed of. There is a suggestion that an X-ray apparatus should be purchased. Though this would involve the raising of a further £300 - £400, the response to the first instance was so ready that there is little doubt the money could easily be obtained.

Note – William Beattie of Walwick Farm left Hexham for France, in 1915, as driver of ‘The North Tyne’. William died of pneumonia in Italy in 1917 and is remembered, alongside his brother James, on the Humshaugh village memorial.