Sad news from the front for area

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The latest in our series of excerpts from the Alnwick and County Gazette in 1914.






When the sad news reached Alnwick on Monday that Lieut.–Col Aymer Maxwell had died from his wounds at the front, a feeling of profound sorrow was awakened in the town, as well as of deep sympathy with Lady Mary Maxwell, and the Percy and Maxwell families. Lieut.–Col Maxwell was a son of Sir Herbert E.Maxwell Bart., of Monreith and Lord Lieutenant of Wigtonshire. In 1909 he married Lady Mary Percy, daughter of the Duke of Northumberland, and there are four children of the marriage. He was born in 1877 and is therefore called to his rest in the prime of his life. He was a justice of the peace and county councillor for Wigtonshire, and Director of Crichton Royal Institution.

He was educated at Eton and at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, served in the South African War with the Grenadier Guards, retiring with the rank of captain. He was a captain of Lovat’s Scouts Yeomanry, and was on the Reserve of Officers when the present war began, and was posted to the Naval Brigade. Having joined the Collingwood Battalion of the Naval Brigade, he left London on Sunday, October 4th, and reached Antwerp on the following Tuesday morning. Next day he was seriously wounded, it was reported, during the defence of the place named.

Lieut.–Col Maxwell’s recreations were shooting, golf, and gardening. He was a contributor of articles on sport to various papers and magazines. During the Boer war he took part in the advance on Kimberley, including actions at Belmont and Enslin, and held the Queen’s medal with clasp.

At St Michael’s Parish Church, Alnwick, on Sunday, the prayers of the congregation were asked for Captain Aymer Maxwell.The Committee of the Northumberland War Relief Fund met on Tuesday at the Moot Hall, Newcastle, Mr. Thomas Taylor presiding, in the absence of the Duke of Northumberland, owing to the death of Captain Maxwell, his Grace’s son-in-law.




Our soldiers attended divine service at 9 o’clock on Sunday morning. An excellent sermon was preached by the Rev. A. E. N. Hitchcock, curate. The men have been exercised in route marches on two or three days during this week.

The classes for instruction in French by Lady Margaret Percy continue to be well attended. Upwards of 40 men were present on Wednesday night.Captain P.G. Reynolds, Commanding D (Alnwick) Company of this battalion, has been appointed adjutant for the home service battalion, and been transferred to Alnwick. Captain Reynolds took over the duties from the 6th inst. A detachment of 59 of the men who have been billeted in Alnwick and undergone a period of training, will to-day (Friday), join the service battalion at Gosforth. These men have been put through a course of musketry.

It is reported that a large number of the men of the battalion will be drafted to Alnwick, Belford, and Morpeth, for musketry practice at the ranges at these stations. Lieut. P. C. Swan is under orders to accompany the contingent arriving at Alnwick. It has been very noticeable that considerable progress towards efficiency in drill and marching has been made by the recruits since their enlistment a few weeks ago. They are a smart, strong lot of young men. Several of them are anxiously awaiting their arms, equipment, and uniforms.


On Wednesday afternoon, Lance-Corporal Cruddas, 6th Battalion Northern Cyclists Corps, stationed at Berwick, was driving an Army Service motor waggon from Berwick to Embleton, having on board Captain Boss and Private Brady of the same corps. When near to Bell’s Hill Pillars, Belford, Lance-Corporal Cruddas observed some cattle on the highway, one of which ran in front of the motor waggon and was knocked down and injured.

The waggon swerved into the fence and was damaged. Brady who was on the body of the waggon was pitched out on to the road and sustained bruises on his right shoulder and arm.

He was attended by Dr. Phillipson, of Belford and shortly afterwards was able to return to Berwick. The motor waggon was going about 15 miles an hour. The cattle had got on to the road over the hedge of a field which had been newly cut, and belonged to Mr. Coxon, farmer, Bell’s Hill.