War news from the archives

An advert for blankets from the Alnwick and County Gazette, September, 1914.
An advert for blankets from the Alnwick and County Gazette, September, 1914.

The latest in our series of excerpts of reporting on the First World War from the Alnwick and County Gazette in September, 1914.

Saturday, September 26, 1914

An advert for music from the Alnwick and County Gazette, September, 1914.

An advert for music from the Alnwick and County Gazette, September, 1914.


The “hutting” of 500,000 soldiers now in contemplation will reproduce in this country a housing condition which has practically disappeared.

The formation of a camping ground in the Pasture has been a boon to a good many men in the town. Artizans who had been thrown out of work, owing to the war, have found employment by turning their hand to navvying and labouring. Now there are joiners wanted and work will be provided for a good many more men.

On Wednesday, five young men belonging Alnwick, left for King’s Cross and Hyde Park to join the Public Schools and Universties Corps, a section of Lord Kitchener’s New Army. They are Messrs. Harold J. Hardy, William Hardy (his brother), Colin Thorp, Thos. Robertson, and Parker Simpson.

There are still about 450 recruits, being billeted and drilled in Alnwick. As one contingent is despatched to join their battalion or possibly some other unit, another lot steps into the breach. The men attended Divine service on Sunday morning in the Drill Hall, conducted by the Rev. Canon Mangin, vicar.

Captain Sitwell, who has undertaken the recruiting for Lord Kitchener’s New Army at Alnwick, Wooler, and Amble, since the outbreak of the war, has been appointed major in the Church Lads’ Brigade. His duties as recruiting officer have been taken over by Colonel Dudley Buckle, whose recruiting office is in Fenkle Street, a few yards below the headquarters of the 7th Northumberland Fusiliers.

The number of recruits enlisting for Lord Kitchener’s New Army belonging to Alnwick and district is most encouraging. As a result of public meetings there have been a number or recruits enrolled at each place, the most successful having been at Whittingham and Glanton. Perhaps the only disappointing village has been Longframlington, where there are a lot of fine useful young men, but none have volunteered their services for the defence of their King and country and themselves but it is not too late.

Through the energy of Colonel Dudley Buckle, of Breamish House, a booklet explanatory of the service has been delivered at almost every house and farm steading in the eastern part of North Northumberland, which is hoped will have the effect of inducing young men to join some arm of the service. On one farm, where the young men of spirit had volunteered their services for their country their places were taken up by boys and women and it is said that one young woman who took a position on top of a stack worked like a Trojan.


Captain A. Murray, of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, who this week is mentioned as having been killed in action fighting against the Germans, was a North Northumberland man, having been born in the neighbourhood of Belford. His father was shepherd at South Hazelrigg.

Captain A. Murray has the proud distinction of having risen from the ranks to a commission. He enlisted at Berwick in 1882 into the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, a smart regiment, in which several Alnwick men have soldiered, one of whom, the late Joseph Swann Howe, retired with the rank of captain.

He was serving in Dublin with his battalion when Germany declared war against England, and they were ordered to the front, and would be at the Mons attack. Captain Murrary proved himself in his military career a credit to North Northumberland. He leaves a widow and grown up family. A brother is living in the neighbourhood of Chatton.


For the 7th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, forty-one recruits have been enlisted since Saturday up till Thursday afternoon; and for Lord Kitchener’s New Army 21 were enlisted on Wednesday and Thursday from the town and neighbourhood.


Mrs Ainslie, the Colonel’s wife, of the 1st Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, is collecting clothing and other comforts to send to the men at the front. Flannel shirts (large size), grey socks, khaki or grey woollen sweaters, khaki woollen mufflers, 1 yd. x 10 in., khaki mittens, handkerchiefs, pipes, tobacco, chocolate. All packages should be sent to Mrs. H. W. Archer, Hope Villa, Alnwick.



Mrs. R Scott (wife of Lieut.-Colonel R. Scott, commanding the 7th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers) wishes to acknowledge with much gratitude, the following articles sent in answer to her appeal for socks and shirts for the men of the 7th Battalion who have volunteered for the Front. All the articles sent are of the best quality and workmanship, and will be greatly appreciated by the recipients:- The Shilbottle Working Party (per Mrs. Lee), 13 shirts and 10 pairs socks; Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Rochester, Alnmouth, £1; Mrs. Barron, Seaton Burn, two pair socks; The Newton-by-the-Sea Working party, 24 shirts, 24 pair socks, 12 handkerchiefs; The Berwick-on-Tweed Working Party, 170 pair socks; Mrs. Bosanquet’s Working Party (Rock), 12 shirts; Mrs. Bowden, South Charlton, one pair socks, six bootlaces, three packets cigarettes.