A touching wartime story

Thomas (Ted) and James Hedley.
Thomas (Ted) and James Hedley.

A poignant story about a father and son who fought in the First World War is being told, as part of a commemorative exhibition.

Memories of the Great War, presented by the Alnwick District WW1 Centenary Commemoration Group, is on show at Alnwick’s Bailiffgate Museum.

The touching display features memorabilia, with explanatory notes, regarding a number of families from the time.

One of the tales to be told is of Thomas (Ted) Hedley and his son James, pictured, who served with the Northumberland Fusiliers during the war.

Thomas was a veteran who fought in the Sudan Campaign of 1888 and received medals for this. These are on display along with his Great War medals. Ted left the Army in 1901, but rejoined in September 1914. The Great War was James’ first taste of soldiering.

The story has a tragic ending though. Derek Gladding, of the Commemoration Group said: “Ted survived the war, but James fell in action. Sadly he could not get back home from France for his son’s memorial service so his wife had to cope with her pain and grief alone.”

As part of the exhibition, there are also exhibits relating to two village communities – High and Low Hauxley, as well as Howick.

These exhibits will cover more than the fighting men.

There will be something about the communities at the time, some Home Front activities and something about nursing.

Derek added: “People will be able to see what the main street of High Hauxley looked like at the time of the war and find out about nursing wounded soldiers at Howick.”

The exhibition runs until Sunday, May 17. The museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays, as well as Bank Holiday Mondays, 10am to 4pm. Admission is £4 adults, £3 conc, £1 children, U5s free. Visit bailiffgatemuseum.co.uk