A parade to mark 100 years to the day of a Tyneside Scottish battalion’s march from Newcastle to Alnwick, where it prepared to go off to war, took place in Alnwick this afternoon.
Led by the Pipes and Drums of the Northumbrian Army Cadets, the parade began at St Paul’s RC School, passed through the town and ended at Alnwick Castle, where the current Duke of Northumberland hosted a private reception.
A few hundred hardy souls turned out in the freezing conditions to support the parade as it recreated the last mile of the march by 20th Battalion (1st Tyneside Scottish) Northumberland Fusiliers to Alnwick Camp on Sunday, February 1, 1915. The then Duke of Northumberland had allowed them to use land on the Pastures beneath Alnwick Castle for a training camp.
Event organiser, Dave Barras, of the Western Front Association, said: “The event enabled our community to give a moment’s thought to those local men who selflessly volunteered to serve in the Tyneside Scottish Battalions of the Northumberland Fusiliers who marched into Alnwick 100 years ago on the first stage of their journey to the Western Front, the Battle of the Somme and beyond.”
The parade included two detachments of the Northumbria Army Cadet Force – Heaton Manor (Jesmond) detachment, from Z Company, and Kingston Park detachment, from Y Company. There were also representatives from 204 Battery of the Royal Artillery, which is based in Newcastle and currently hold the name of the Tyneside Scottish, members of the 5th Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, the Royal British Legion, who were marching with standards, various veterans associations and some Second World War veterans.
They were also accompanied by members of the Time Bandits, a group of military historians based on Tyneside who wore replica uniforms and carried authentic weapons from the time.
The event was part of a series to mark the anniversary, which included an act of commemoration at Barrasbridge, Newcastle, in St Thomas the Martyr Church yesterday afternoon and, in the evening, a talk at Felton Village Hall to set the historical context to the march and the wider story of the Tyneside Scottish Brigade.