This Week in World War One, 28 May 1915

Berwick Advertiser title 1915






Formal Handing Over of the New Nine Holes to Directors.


A large company of lady and gentlemen members with their friends assembled at the Golf House in the Magdalene Fields, Berwick, on Thursday afternoon to witness the opening of the new eighteen-hole golf course, and the handing over to the Directors of the Magdalene Fields Golf Company of the new nine holes. The Mayor and Mayoress (Mr and Mrs Thomas Wilson) were present, along with the Sheriff (Mr E. W. Stiles), the Chairman of the Magdalene Fields Company (Mr A. J. Dodds), and the Captain of the Club (Mr John Brough).

“For The Town’s Good.”

Mr Dodds, in accepting the new nine holes on behalf of the Company said :- On behalf of the Magdalene Fields Company I desire to take over this extended course which Mr Brough has

Magdalene Fields Golf Course, 20th Century Aerial photograph, Berwick-upon-Tweed
Magdalene Fields Golf Course, 20th Century Aerial photograph, Berwick-upon-Tweed

described to us, and in doing so I feel I must be getting a very venerable old man. (Laughter). The Club is the offspring of the Company, and the new eighteen hole course is the offspring of the Club, and we, as Directors stand in the position of being grandparents to  the new nine holes (laughter).

The fields were originally taken over from the Duke of Northumberland with special instructions that they were for the good of the town. The 18 holes have been carried out exactly in the same spirit and they are taken over in the spirit- for the good of the town. It is only for the members then to make it a huge success. Mr Brough has referred to to the question of the terrible war and perhaps we have some justification for holding this function this afternoon. We have 20 members actively serving in His Majesty’s Forces, and one has laid down his life. The course was laid for the good of the town and so our gathering today is of a public more than of a private nature and this is proved by the fact that it is patronised by the Mayor and Mayoress and our energetic Sheriff. I am glad to see with us an old member, and one who has taken a great interest in the extended course- I refer to Mr Thomas Carter, junior. (Applause) I have pleasure in declaring the course open. (Applause).

The captain said as a memento of the occasion he had pleasure in presenting to the Club a framed plan of the new course which had been excellently drawn up by Mr Carfrae of the Borough Surveyor’s office. (Applause.)

The company then adjourned to the first tee when Mr Dodds drove off the first ball, thereby beginning a mixed foursome competition (handicap stroke).




We learn that Doctor John Paxton, Norham, has received an appointment as surgeon in the Royal Navy. Dr. Paxton left to take up his duties at Portsmouth on Wednesday. Dr. Paxton is the only son of Mrs Paxton, and the late Dr. John Paxton of Norham-on-Tweed. Dr. Paxton succeeded his father in practice at Norham, and he is also Medical Officer to the Rural District Council of Norham and Islandshires.

Berwick Advertiser 28 may 1915 Advert Berwick Cockles
Berwick Advertiser 28th May 1915 advert for Berwick Cockles



Promotion of a Local Soldier- The many friends of Col. Sergt. Sleath, civilian as well as military, will be pleased to hear of his promotion to the important rank of Staff Sergt. Major. he has just left for

Queen's South African Medal with three bars.
Queen’s South African Medal with three bars.

France to take up his duties on the Staff of the General officer in command of the Northern Territorial Division Base. A keen soldier, he has twice been  granted an extension having now served 25 years in the Army, 12 years as Col. Sergeant. he came to Belford seven years ago, as Instructor to “C” Company, 7th N.F., and during his term of years this Company has always held place as one of the most proficient of the Battalion, both in discipline and on parade. this alone shows his worth as an Instructor, especially considering the fact that this Company is recruited from a wide district, there being 30 outlying sections something like 10 or 12 miles from headquarters. On mobilisations he went with his Company to Tynemouth, and thence to Gosforth Park, where, chiefly through his influence, a large  percentage of his company volunteered for foreign service. Shortly after this he was transferred to the Notts and Derby Regiment at Chelmsford. Great disappointment was felt by the men of “C” Company when they learnt that he was not able to accompany them to the front. However, they may happen to stumble across him now, since he has gone out to the base. Needless to say they will all wish him luck on his well-deserved promotion. Staff Sergt. Major Sleath holds the South African Medal with three bars, as well as the Good Conduct Medal.

Genitourinary TB – Part 2

Having looked at a case of genitourinary TB in a young male in our first post from 01/05/2015, part 2 will focus on a case of genitourinary TB in a young female.


Patient 83/1952 was 14 when she was admitted to Stannington from Newcastle General Hospital in May 1952 diagnosed with abdominal TB.  She had first presented with serious illness in November of 1951 with lassitude, loss of weight, loss of energy, and a chest x-ray showing a probable primary in the right lower zone and enlargement of the hilar glands.  Following three months bed rest an additional chest x-ray showed an improvement in the hilar glands and the disappearance of the primary focus and she was able to return to school.  However, it was only a month later that she began to complain of abdominal pains and her abdomen began to swell and loss of weight and appetite recurred.


On admission to Newcastle General Hospital the quantity of fluid in the abdomen began to increase rapidly and her temperature was often raised so treatment with streptomycin and PAS was begun.  She continued to receive the drug therapies when she was transferred to Stannington.  An examination of the abdomen on admission to Stannington read as such:

‘Abdomen distended and taut.  Ascites present.  No enlargement of liver.  Spleen not palpable.  No masses palpable (probably due in part to tautness).  Circumference = 32.5 inches.’


A continuation of the drug therapies throughout her stay at Stannington led to a marked improvement of her condition and she was eventually discharged as quiescent in March 1953.  At no point in her case notes do the medical staff suggest that there might be any signs of genitourinary TB and continue to describe her condition as abdominal TB.  However, the case was followed up by Doctors Miller and Taylor in the following years and published in a book of 1963, in which they describe the case:

“On examination she had pelvic masses clinically characteristic of bilateral tuberculous salpingitis (inflammation of the fallopian tubes).  Despite chemotherapy (streptomycin and PAS) and bed rest the pelvic swellings, especially on the left side, became larger.  A month after chemotherapy began they slowly regressed and in six months had disappeared.” [F.J.W. Miller, R.M.E. Seal, & M.D. Taylor, Case No. 114]


Later correspondence in her file from the Newcastle General Hospital dated from February 1963 indicates the lasting effect that this form of TB had on the patient.  The patient is by this point 25 and married and attending an Infertility Clinic at NGH.  The doctors there are requesting her medical history from Stannington in the hope that something within it might help to explain her current infertility.



MILLER, F. J. W, SEAL, R. M. E, and TAYLOR, M. D. (1963) Tuberculosis in Children, J & A Churchill Ltd. p.558

This Week in World War One, 21 May 1915

Berwick Advertiser title 1915







Mrs Wilsden, The Elms, Berwick, has received the following letter from a trooper who had the good fortune to receive some cigarettes which Mrs Wilsden sent to the front through a lady friend. It is as follows:-

From Trooper F.Bark (72008)

“J” Battery,

Royal Horse Artillery,


Dear Madam, – Thank you very much for sending the cigarettes which were greatly appreciated by myself and comrades. we have been resting almost the whole of the winter, and we are just starting business again now. You may guess that we all feel fit for almost anything that comes our way. we are having glorious weather out here now but not so stifling as at the beginning of the campaign. Hope all our friends in England hold the same opinion on the war as we do out here which is decidedly cheerful. This life far exceeds all my ideas of active service-war, to my idea, was a series of long marches with little and ragged clothing, but here we are, plenty food, well clothed and tended for and living almost as well as at home. I think this is about all I can say at present, so will close by again thanking you and wishing you the best of health.

I remain, yours respectfully,


BAdvertiser 21 May 1915 Presents For The Front-advert
Advert published in the Berwick Advertiser on the 21st May 1915 placed by Ralph Dodds & Son Ltd



Mr A.A. Crisp, tobacconist, High Street, Berwick, is displaying in his window a pretty silk cushion presented by the B.D.V. Cigarette Company. The cushion is to be sold to the highest offerer, and the proceeds are to be given to a local relief find. The highest bid so far is £1.


127, High Street, Berwick.

19th May, 1915

(To the Editor, “Berwick Advertiser.”)

Dear Sir, – I should be obliged if you would allow me to make an appeal, through your valuable paper, for funds for the above society. Since the beginning of the war the Guild of Aid has been doing a great work for our soldiers and sailors.

Over 2,500 articles have been collected and distributed to the Red Cross Society, Her Majesty the

WW1 Propaganda poster shows Red Cross Nurse holding a wounded soldier as she signals for help.
WW1 Propaganda poster shows Red Cross Nurse holding a wounded soldier as she signals for help.

Queen’s Collection, the 7th Northumberland Fusiliers, the K.O.S. Borderers, Lady French’s Collection, and the Ladies Territorial Association. I know that there are many demands made upon the inhabitants of the Borough and the outlying country districts at this time, yet I think that an appeal for this work cannot fall on deaf ears.

The duty of those at home is to see that our brave soldiers and sailors lack for no comfort that we can provide, and anyone who contributes to these funds can be assured that their gifts will be used to the best advantage.

Miss Miller, Longstone View, will be glad to receive donations of money towards this good object, and comforts can be left, addressed “For Guild of Aid, ” at the Townhall; and also at Mrs A. T. Robertson’s, Tweedmouth House.

Yours faithfully,

T.Wilson, Mayor.