Marking the centenary of march into Alnwick

The 3rd Tyneside Scottish arriving in Alnwick.
The 3rd Tyneside Scottish arriving in Alnwick.

A number of events are taking place next year to mark major moments of the First World War in Northumberland.

Plans have been announced by Alnwick District WW1 Centenary Commemoration Group for a series of events to mark the centenary of the march of the 20th (Service) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers (1st Tyneside Scottish) from Newcastle to Alnwick Camp at the end of January 1915, their training and that of their sister formations in the Alnwick area from February to August 1915, and the departure of the Tyneside Scottish Brigade from Alnwick, on August 1, 1915.

The 100th anniversary of the March gives a great opportunity to remember a moment in time where international events saw local people from our own communities being drawn into the Great War in very real ways and which have had an impact on the North East which lasts to the present day.

Three events are being organised for the early part of 2015 with the first being an act of commemoration at St Thomas the Martyr church in Barrasbridge, Newcastle, on Saturday, January 31, at 11.15am.

It 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.

At 7.15 pm that evening, 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.

There will be historical presentations about them, a presentation and display by the TS100 project group, a re-enactor with period uniform and equipment to enable people to see what the men wore on the March, and a First World War-themed musical interlude. Light refreshments will be available.

The TS100 project or, to give it its fuller title, the Tyneside Scottish 100 Project, is supported by Northumbria Army Cadet Force.

It aims to chronicle the contribution and sacrifice made by men from the North East who served during the Great War and to leave a lasting legacy to commemorate their service with the Tyneside Scottish battalions, which were part of Lord Kitchener’s Pals battalions and raised in 1914 for service under the colours of the Northumberland Fusiliers.

On Sunday, February 1, a parade will be held to re-create the March of the 20th (Service) Battalion (1st Tyneside Scottish) into Alnwick 100 years before.

The event will see the parade assemble at St Paul’s School, where there is off-street parking and space to assemble before marching at 1.15pm through Alnwick town centre to Alnwick Castle, where there will be a formal reception at 2pm at which the Duke of Northumberland will be guest of honour.

Northumberland ACF Pipe Band will lead the parade, with participation from the Army, Royal British Legion and Western Front Association.