This Week in World War One, 29 October 1915

Berwick Advertiser title 1915





Ejection of recruiting sergeant


The ejection of a recruiting sergeant, dressed in full khaki uniform, and with the familiar bunch of coloured ribbons flowing from his cap, caused an unpleasant and regrettable scene at Berwick Station on Wednesday evening. He was a tall middle aged soldier with grey hair, bound south in a corridor train. The temporary loss of his pass was the cause of all the trouble the possessor having mislaid it amid quite a large collection of clothing which he carried. Had the soldier left the carriage quietly it would have been all right, but this he declined to do. He persisted in having another futile search for the missing ticket, and as the express could not wait he was requested to leave the compartment. This he was in no mind to do, and forcibly resisted. The station master ultimately entered the compartment, and with the assistance of other officials, succeeded in forcing the muscular warrior out, all his belongings being heaped on to the platform. It would have fared ill perhaps with Berwick’s stationmaster had he not had assistance at hand, as the brawny fellow in khaki was thoroughly aroused, and made an abortive effort to lay violent hands on whom he considered responsible for his ejectment.

Berwick Railway Station during World War One (c) Berwick Record Office
Berwick Railway Station during World War One (c) Berwick Record Office


Retreating, however, behind the open carriage door, and exclaiming to the discomfited soldier “stand off,” the stationmaster was able to elude the attentions of the angry soldier, and meanwhile some of the other station officials came in between. As the express glided out of the station on its southward journey the soldier found quite a number of sympathisers. “Aye,” exclaimed one woman, “that’s the way they treat the men that are asked to die for us.” The soldier, assisted by some boys, commenced to examine the contents of his luggage, chief attention being concentrated upon the contents of the kit bag which each man in the army possesses. After a short search a woman observed what she took to be the pass, and fortunately it turned out to be the much required parchment. It is much to be regretted that such a scene should be witnessed, and our correspondent thinks it might have been avoided had a little more tact and thoughtfulness been displayed. Would it not have been sufficient  to have taken the name, address, and number of the gallant sergeant, wired to the next station where tickets are examined, and thus allowed him a chance of securing his temporarily lost ticket while en route? It seems incredible to think of such a deplorable incident occurring when the Government has taken over the charge of the railways. The station officials, no doubt, have a difficult task to perform, and, it is understood they have received strict instructions to allow no man in khaki to travel who cannot produce a pass. They were, therefore, presumably strictly carrying out the instruction laid down for their observance.




FEMALE ATTENDANTS WANTED for the Northumberland County Asylum, Morpeth. Applicants must be in good bodily health, not less than 5ft. 5in in height, and able to read and write. Wages begin at £19 5s per annum, with board, lodging, uniform and washing.  Applications, stating age and height, to be addressed to the Medical Superintendent.  At least two thoroughly satisfactory references as to character required; one must be from last employer. The appointment will be made subject to the provisions of the Asylums Officers’ Superannuation Act, 1909.


KNOCKED DOWN BY A MOTOR CAR. A rather serious accident befell Mrs Robertson, Spittal, while she was crossing the Old Bridge on Friday evening about 7.30. It appears that she was crossing from one side of the Bridge to the other pushing a perambulator containing her baby, when she was suddenly knocked down by a car driven by Mr D. Atkinson, dentist Berwick, and she was severely injured about the head. The child was knocked out of the perambulator but marvellously escaped being injured. Mrs Robertson was rendered unconscious and was conveyed in the car by Mr Atkinson to the Infirmary. She had recovered so far on Wednesday as to be removed to her father’s Mr John Renwick, Walkergate, Berwick. Mrs Robertson’s husband is serving at the front.

View of Royal Border Bridge and The Old Bridge




MOTOR CYCLING –  A motor cyclist who has put in a lengthy spell on active service in France writes : – The Dunlop tyres, extra heavy, 26 by 2½  by 2¼ , are doing splendid work, and on most of the machines the original tyres are still in use. The average mileage is at least 8000, traversed over terrible roads, yet the treads are still perfect. The back tyres are nearly as good as the front, due, no doubt, to the chain-cumbelt drive, which is the most flexible drive in use, and largely accounts for the excellent service done by the Dunlop belts, some of the originals being still on. This last point is one of great interest, possibly of debate.






This Week in World War One, 22 October 1915

Berwick Advertiser title 1915





A Sad Story at the New Road


Borough Coroner Wm. Weatherhead and a jury held an enquiry in the Town Hall, Berwick on Wednesday afternoon into the circumstances attending the death of Lilian Thomson, three years of age, daughter of William Thomson, licensed victualler, Anglers’ Arms, Castlegate who was found drowned in the Tweed on Tuesday.

William Thomson, father of deceased, deponed that the child was in the habit of going out by itself. She was generally accompanied by a little dog- a terrier. He never heard of her wandering down to the New Road before the body was brought home about 12.30 on Tuesday afternoon.

Joseph Payne, 47 West Street, message boy with Mr Shiel Dods, butcher, deponed that he knew the deceased girl. He saw her above Scotsgate about ten minutes to eleven in the forenoon on Tuesday near the drinking fountain. She had a little black and white dog with her. She held out her hand to him, and he gave her a piece of apple to give to the dog. Witness told her to go home. He could not make out what she said, but she came down the street and turned into the road leading to Bankhill, the dog being with her.

The New Road (a popular walk beside the River Tweed), Berwick-upon-Tweed. © Berwick Record Office - BRO 0426-119
The New Road (a popular walk beside the River Tweed), Berwick-upon-Tweed. © Berwick Record Office – BRO 0426-119


James Handeyside, retired engine driver, deponed he was walking on the New Road with Mr David Leggat on Tuesday forenoon. They were walking very slowly, and when near the Conqueror’s Well he noticed, near the steps leading to the shore what he thought to be a bladder floating in the water. He stopped and remarked the circumstances to his companion, Mr Leggat. He went forward to the edge of the water, and thought he saw a leg of a child, but he could not see the head. The tide was about full. He too off his topcoat and hat, went down the steps, and waded into the water fetching the body out. A woman assisted him to take the body up the steps as he was afraid of slipping. The body when he first saw it was about fourteen feet past the steps, near to the boathouse. When going down the steps he observed the child’s shoes and stockings.

By the father – he took the body out in two minutes from the time of first observing it.

Witness further stated that he saw the little white dog afterwards.

Mr Leggat corroborated, and said he proceeded to Dr Taylor’s house immediately for medical assistance.

Dr John Taylor said he was called upon about ten minutes to twelve, and went to the New

Berwick Rowing Club Boat House where the body was discovered. BRO 0426-440
Berwick Rowing Club Boat House where the body was discovered. BRO 0426-440

Road. He saw the body at the steps already mentioned. It was lying on the grass at the side of the roadway. He examined it. There did not appear to be any bruises. The mouth and nose were full of froth, and life was quite extinct. He saw the little dog, which was wet up to the shoulders.

In answer to the father he said no amount of rubbing would have restored life as the child was dead, and was so before he arrived.

In answer to the jury, Mr Handeyside said he made efforts to restore animation, and did what he could to expel the water from the lungs. He had in early life received lessons in first-aid.

The Coroner said it was manifest that the child had been a considerable time in the water before it was observed, as it had floated down the stream a bit. It was a very sad case. It was conjectural that the child had taken of  its boots to wash the dog.

The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the evidence.




A team of six chosen from the soldiers at Etal Manor Red Cross Hospital “fought an engagement” with a team from the members of the Ford Reading Room on the afternoon of Saturday, 16th October. The Ford men having the advantage of “ground” carried off the honours of the day by 120 points. The victors then proceeded to treat their opponents to most generous hospitality. For an invitation had been given to all the soldiers (26) at Manor to be the guests at tea, of the following members Messrs W. Gray, W.P. Calder, J. H. Binks, W. Glass, Russell, Smith, Steel, Waters. During the afternoon whist was indulged in by the non-players The Hon. Secretary announced before the close of play that in the future all the soldiers at the Manor were to consider themselves hon. members of the Ford Reading Room. For this privilege our thanks are due to Lord Joicey, Bishop Neligan, and all the members of the Reading Room. Due to the kindness of the Committee a match was played a short time ago at Ford, between the soldiers and a team from Wooler. On that occasion the Right Rev. Bishop Neligan kindly provided tea for all the soldiers.

                                           Etal                                         Ford

 Pte. Glossop            49                     W. Glass                    100

Pte. Swinbourne      47                    W. P. Calder              100

Sgt. Sly                   100                   Mr Russell                  73

Pte. Squires            100                   H. Sanderson             87

Pte. Ramsley           59                    J. Waters                   100

Pte. Carlton             85                    J.H. Binks                  100



On Thursday evening a harvest thanks-giving service was held in the Kiln Hill Mitchell Memorial Hall, Tweedmouth. The hall was crowded, the platform being tastefully decorated with fruit and flowers. Addresses were given by Messrs McBain and Caldwell. Solos were sung by the Sisters of the Faith Mission, and by the choir, under the leadership of Mr Anderson. Mr Mark Anderson presided at the organ.




Sir, – I have seen a letter from the front, written by one of our Territorials in which the following passage occurs – “You might keep me going now in shirts and socks – thick warm ones of both. We do a lot of night work now, and it’s very cold o’ nights here, and besides we often get wet feet. “

The writer of that letter will now have received his first shirts and socks from home, but – here is one of the reasons of your being troubled with this letter – there must be many of our lads at the front who need them as much, but who cannot get them. Can nothing be done to supply their urgent needs by those at home who are comfortable and safe throught the sacrifices of these lads?

Berwick Railway Station early 1900s. © Berwick Record Office - BRO 1636-10-013
Berwick Railway Station early 1900s. © Berwick Record Office – BRO 1636-10-013


Another matter occurs to me as requiring attention. I am told that nearly every morning soldiers arrive at Berwick Station by the 4.30 train. Is it the wish of the people of Berwick that these men, who have come forward to fight for US, should hang about Berwick Station for a few hours on these cold, bleak mornings without a cup of tea or coffee and a bite to eat? I don’t think so Mr Editor. I am inclined to think better of Berwick people than that, and some way of managing it can surely be found if we are willing to pay for it.

Hoping something may be done and that right soon,

I am, yours, etc.,



This Week in World War One, 15 October 1915

Berwick Advertiser title 1915






Wedding of Miss Weatherston and Gunner E. Littlefair – On Saturday last a very pretty wedding took place at St. Aidan’s Church, Bamburgh. The contracting parties were Eleanor, eldest daughter of Mr H. Weatherston of Bamburgh, and Gunner E. Littlefair, eldest son of Mr and Mrs Littlefair of Bamburgh. A choral service, officiated by the vicar (the Rev. E. Williams), assisted by the Rev. F. Long of Lucker, was held. The bride was dressed in white shantung silk, veil, and wreath of orange blossom. Miss S. Weatherston, sister of the bride, and Miss Littlefair, sister of the bridegroom, acted as bridesmaids, and the Misses Campbell, Newcastle, as attendants. The bridesmaids wore dresses of blue silk poplin and fawn felt hats and the attendants wore dresses of white net lace and little mob caps. The bride carried a bouquet of white heather, and the attendants each carried a basket of sweet peas. Sapper P. Littlefair, brother of the bridegroom, acted as best man.

NRO 2409-020 BAMBURGH-(c) Northumberland Record Office
NRO 2409-020 BAMBURGH- © Northumberland Record Office


The bride was given away by her father. A guard of honour was formed by men from the Northern Cyclist Battalion and Sea Scouts. After the ceremony a reception was held at the Lord Crewe Arms Hotel where an excellent tea was provided by the Misses Morpeth, and there were many friends of the bride and bridegroom present. The Vicar made a very interesting speech, as did also the schoolmaster (Mr T.W.Little) and various toasts were given, to which the bride and bridegroom suitably responded. Later in the day the happy couple left for Edinburgh where the honeymoon was spent. The bride’s travelling costume was blue with black velvet hat. The presents were numerous and useful, and included some valuable articles. The bride’s gift to the bridegroom was a signet ring, and that of the bridegroom to the bride was a dressing case and furs. The bridegroom presented the bridesmaids with pendants.





Mary Jefferson, married woman, West Street, Berwick, was charged with allowing her premises to be used as a brothel on the 5th Oct. Defendant did not appear.

The Chief Constable said there had been considerable complaints about this woman.

P.C. Welsh said with P.C. Spiers he went to defendant’s house and found indecent behaviour going on in the house.

P.C. Spiers corroborated.

Defendant was sentenced to two months’ hard labour without the option of a fine.



George Scott Davis, plasterer, Berwick, was charged with being drunk and incapable while in charge of two bullocks belonging to Mr Foreman, butcher, Norham. Defendant pleaded not guilty.

P.C. Spiers said about 1.20 p.m. the previous day he saw defendant in Main Street, Tweedmouth, in charge of two bullocks. Defendant was very drunk. Witness got the bullocks penned and brought  defendant to the Police Station.

P.C. Smith said defendant was very drunk when brought to the Police Station. Defendant was hardly able to look after himself without having charge of cattle.

Fined 5s or seven days.


Berwick Advertiser Advert E.Dickinson & Son
Berwick Advertiser Advert R. Dickinson & Son





Specialist’s Startling Exposure


Gaudy labels and fancy bottles cannot beautify the hair and make it grow; yet, according to one of our greatest authorities on the care of the hair and scalp, there is very little else to recommend the German made hair tonics which are still being offered for sale in this country. Crude methylated spirit, dyes, colouring matter and perfume form the principal

Edwardian girls hairstyles - Image from unknown periodical.
Edwardian girls hairstyles – Image from unknown periodical.

ingredients of most of these hair tonics, and the men and women who use them because they are cheap wonder why their hair turns grey, becomes dry and brittle and finally falls out. The reason is not hard to find. Surely, even if it costs just a trifle more it is  better to obtain a British-made hair tonic. British chemists stake their reputation upon the quality of their products. As an instance there is Lavona Hair Tonic – a preparation which can be obtained locally from John Brown, 5 High Street, Berwick; F.R. Padley, Market Place, Wooler; and most other high class chemists everywhere. There is no need for secrecy regarding the composition of this excellent hair and scalp tonic. It is prepared from 3 ozs. Bay Rum, 1oz. Lavona de Compossee, ¼ drachm Menthol Chrystals, and a little perfume, and readers can, if they wish, obtain the necessary ingredients and make the tonic themselves. But the majority will prefer to obtain the complete Lavona Hair Tonic from the chemist, firstly because it is put up in special sprinkler topped bottles which economise the tonic, and secondly because with each bottle the chemist gives a signed guarantee that he will refund your money unless Lavona Hair Tonic actually makes your hair grow longer and more beautiful and eradicates scurf and dandruff from your scalp.