Final preparations are being made ahead of special events to commemorate the centenary of a key event for the North East during the First World War.
More detailed plans have been announced by Alnwick District WW1 Centenary Commemoration Group for a series of events to mark 100 years since the march of the 20th (Service) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers (1st Tyneside Scottish) from Newcastle to Alnwick Camp which will take place in just over a week’s time.
At the heart of the events is a parade in Alnwick to recreate the arrival of the 20th Battalion in 1915 on Sunday, February 1, from St Paul’s School all the way through the town centre to the Castle, but there are also others things going on in Felton and Newcastle.
A call is being made for those wishing to participate to contact the organisers if they have not done so already.
There is still time for anyone with family links to the men who marched from Newcastle 100 years ago; those with ancestors who served with the Northumberland Fusiliers during the First World War, especially with the Tyneside Scottish and Tyneside Irish battalions; and those with a particular interest in those war years, to be accommodated.
They are being encouraged to contact the group’s 2015 events project manager, Dave Barras, as soon as possible to book their places, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07703 603792.
A century ago, the local population turned out in force at Newcastle, along the route and at Alnwick to support and cheer on all those who marched to the town for training at Alnwick Camp.
Organisers of this year’s commemorative march are hoping it will be a colourful spectacle to attract the town’s people and visitors alike to also turn out to watch and remember a moment in time when international events saw local people from our own communities being drawn into the First World War.
Saturday, January 31, 11.15am
There will an act of commemoration at Barrasbridge, Newcastle. This will take place at St Thomas the Martyr Church and will involve Army representatives, Tyneside Scottish Association, Northumberland Army Cadet Force, Western Front Association, Royal British Legion, re-enactors in period uniform, civic dignitaries and others in a short act of Remembrance and a wreath-laying.
Saturday, January 31, 7.15pm
At Felton Village Hall, a talk will be given to set the historical context to the march and the wider story of the Tyneside Scottish Brigade. The well-known military historian and published author John Sheen will give a short talk, other speakers will cover the background to the March, there will be a historical display about the Tyneside Scottish Association including its TS100 project group, a re-enactor with period uniform and equipment will be present and there will be a short musical interlude. Light refreshments will be available. Copies of Ian Hall’s book, Alnwick in the Great War, will also be available or sale.
Sunday, February 1, 1.15pm
The parade will assemble at St Paul’s Middle School, Alnwick, before marching at 1.15pm through Alnwick town centre to Alnwick Castle. The Northumberland ACF Pipe Band will lead the parade, with participation from civic dignitaries, veterans, serving military personnel, historical associations, and members of the Royal British Legion and Western Front Association. It will involve the closure of the road between 1.15pm and 1.50pm.
Sunday, February 1, 2pm
For invited participants only, the march will be followed by a private reception at Alnwick Castle, where the Duke of Northumberland will be guest of honour.