‘I just wanted to be at the war’

The Alnwick and County Gazette in 1915.
The Alnwick and County Gazette in 1915.

The latest in our excerpts from the Alnwick and County Gazette during the First World War.

Saturday, January 2, 1915

The Alnwick and County Gazette in 1915.

The Alnwick and County Gazette in 1915.


Information has been received by Mr and Mrs Wm. Meech, Hulne Abbey, that their son, Corporal of Horse Frank Meech (Royal Horse Guards Blue) is in hospital at Weimar.

On a post-card, bearing no date, the young Lifeguardsman states that his left leg had been smashed through in three places and his foot broken by the bursting of a shell.

He lay a day and night on the battlefield before being picked up.

The Alnwick and County Gazette in 1915.

The Alnwick and County Gazette in 1915.

“You can guess,” he added, “how I suffered.” In another post-card, dated Nov. 22nd and received on Christmas Day, the Corporal of Horse says that he does not yet know whether his left leg will have to come off or not.

Saturday, January 9, 1915


A thoroughly patriotic British Spirit, which makes a nation proud of its soldiers of such stamp, has been shown by Lance-Corporal Joseph B. Bell, of the King’s Royal Rifles. youngest son of Mr George Bryson Bell, Bondgate Without, Alnwick.

When quite a youth, Lance-Corporal Bell was a private in the Alnwick Company of the 1st Volunteer Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, and his connection with this company inspired him for the life of a soldier.

On the 15th September, 1905, he enlisted into the 1st Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers and in the February of the following year he was drafted out for foreign service to India. Not long afterwards he transferred to the Indian Army, being placed on the unattached list. On the 28th August, 1910, we find him sergeant in charge of the Mechanics department of that unit.

When was was declared by Germany against England, the British patriotic spirit asserted itself and he became possessed of an irresistible desire to be at the Front. Consequently he relinquished his charge of the school and his non-com’s rank, and in order to get to the Front more quickly he transferred into the King’s Royal Rifles as a private. A month after he arrived in England and was for three days visiting friends in Alnwick.

He was sent to the Front on Christmas Day and he was promoted to lance-corporal. Referring to relinquishing the good position which he held in India the young solder says: “I may have done a silly thing, but I could not help it. I wanted to be at the war.”