Archive for This Week In World War One

This Week in World War One, 8 March 1918






There was a large gathering of farmers and farm servants at Belford hirings on Wednesday but comparatively speaking; the amount of hiring done was not great, owing to the strong desire on the servants’ part to have very high wages and the desire on the farmers’ part to keep wages within what they considered reasonable bounds. Several engagements were effected at wages ranging from 35s per week to 38s, and in a few instances £2 weekly was received by really good men; lads were engaged at a few shillings per week less. In all cases the usual perquisites were received. Female farm workers were engaged at £1 and 25s weekly. There was a general scarcity of food supplies for the visitors. There was little or no meat, and the few pies the bakers had prepared were speedily sold out. One of the public houses had ample beer supplies, and did a large business.



Arrangements are now possible for the formation of Depots of German prisoners in different parts of the county who will be available for agricultural work, and enquiries are now being made as to the extent to which farmers will desire to take advantage of such labour if provided.

This photograph shows the role of women working in the fields at that time, flax pulling at Selby, Yorkshire: Scottish, English, Irish and Belgian girl farm workers, and a Japanese student at work in the fields. Wikimedia Commons.

In future an applicant for exemption will only have to appear before the Tribunal when the National Service Representative objects to his appeal. Otherwise he will get his exemption automatically. The concession is a little late in coming, but it will still save a good deal of time being wasted.




At Berwick Petty Sessions on Thursday 7th March, John Dudgeon, baker, Walkergate was convicted of having used over twenty five per cent of imported flour in making of loaves in contravention of the Food Controller’s Regulations. The defence was that bread was baked on the half sponge system which obtains in Scotland, and was also affected by the temperature of the particular day on which it was manufactured. The police on the other hand, produced local master bakers to disprove this; holding that if white bread of this nature could be made at Berwick it would be sold in other towns as it would command a ready sale. The Chief Constable stated that he had on several occasions warned Mr Dudgeon as to the risk he was running in continuing to ignore the regulations, and was latterly forced to adopt proceedings. The Bench found defendant guilty, and imposed a fine of £5.




MEAT CARDS are being posted this week to all Persons who were resident in the above District on 5th October last, and registered under the Sugar Scheme.

Persons who have removed into this District since that date must make application to me for a Card by TUESDAY, the 12th instant, stating names and ages of the Household.


Executive Officer


March 7th, 1918






NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the above Scheme will come into force in the Glendale Rural District on the 25th March 1918, after which date supplies of MEAT, TEA, BUTER and  MARGERINE, BACON, and CHEESE, will only be procurable on production of a Food Card and from a retailer with whom the holder of the card is registered.

Cards will be issued to all Individuals, and any who have not received cards by 15th March should make immediate application to the Food Office.

ALL RETAILERS of the above mentioned Foodstuffs and all owners of Hotels, etc., will required to be registered, and must apply for Application Forms for Registration by March 11th.


Executive officer

Registry Office

WOOLER, 5th March 1918.




We are pleased to learn that letters have come to hand from Lieut. Wm. Gregson, R.F.C., son of the late Mr John Gregson, formerly editor of the “Berwick Advertiser,” and Mrs Gregson, High St. Berwick, stating that he has undergone an operation and has luckily retained his foot which was badly wounded, and that he was soon hopes to be well enough to be sent across to “Blightly”.

A French Red Cross train WW1. © Author: Paul Thompson, Wikimedia Commons.

Lieut. Gregson says he had just arrived at the rail head at a Casualty Clearing station, when he looked up and saw Private A. E. Constable of Berwick. Both recognised each other instantly and at the Clearing Station a good talk about Berwick and old times took place. Private Constable is serving on the Red Cross Ambulance Train.

Private Constable writing home says, “I was assisting to carry a Flying Officer, when I found I was carrying that old friend Wm. Gregson of Berwick. He recognised me at once and quoted a line of Juvenal. He had a pretty painful wound, but is one of our most cheery patients and is very anxious to talk about Berwick. Private Constable also writes that not long ago he came across the 7th N.F., and saw Lieut. Stiles, Lieut. Herriott and  Major A. H. M. Weddell.




A farm servant employed at Heatherytops, when following his occupation, fell from a cart and broke some of his ribs. We understand he is making progress towards recovery.

We understand the annual Egg service will be held in the Parish Church on Easter Sunday and in view of the need for eggs in our hospitals gifts of these will be most thankfully received.

We learn that a ballot of men employed at Scremerston Colliery, under provisions of the Man Power Bill, took place on Wednesday.

An early image of Scremertson Colliery © Northumberland Archives Berwick, BRO 515-209.


Little progress appears to be made with the Volunteer movement in the village, and there are only a few men taking part in the drills held at the Old Institute. One cannot help thinking it would be better for men who have the time to join the Volunteers before the next comb out takes place.

The Hope of Coldstream members (17) visited the Scremerston Lodge on Monday night. The Hope of Coldstream is a Lodge recently re-started, and they owe the re-start to the Hope of Scremerston, which was incidental in sending their present Chief Templar, Bro. W. Logan, who went to Coldstream a few months ago. Along with Sister Black he managed to get a few members together, and they have at the present 54. The Coldstream members filled the offices, and supplied the programme, which was very much enjoyed. The Scremerston Lodge provided them with a light refreshment before they proceeded on their way home.

This Week in World War One, 22 February 1918








We are pleased to see home on leave from France, Gunner G. P. Pringle, Tank Corps, a Murton lad. He has had some trying times, but looks fit and well. Gunner Pringle was one of the crew of a disabled Tank, but luckily he escaped with only a few scratches, while his comrades fell at his side. We wish him every good wish and best luck until he finally returns. When on leave he had the pleasure of meeting his brother Richard, whom he had not seen for some eighteen months. Driver Richard Pringle enlisted at the time when his parents received the news of another brother’s death in July 1916. Mr and Mrs Pringle have every reason to be proud of their family’s record. All three lads were born at Berwick-on-Tweed.

Looking the picture of health, we are pleased to see Dispatch Rider John Logan, son of Mr. Adam Logan Lloyds Agent, Berwick, home on a leave from France. He joined up in the

WW1 Bronze Star

early stages of the war and there being great need at the time for dispatch riders he was almost immediately drafted into France. He took part in the trying engagements at the beginning of the campaign and was attached to the Indian Cavalry. Cyclist Logan is one of the local men who are qualified for the 1914 Bronze Star and he proudly wears the ribbon which signifies his connection with the “Old Contemptables.” We understand he has been recalled for duty and there is a possibility of his being sent East. We are sure his many friends in the borough will wish him every success and the best of good luck in the future.




A little amusement was occasioned in the early part of the week by a joke perpetrated by some local humourist. People passing the old stocks at the Town Hall were surprised to find a recumbent figure assuming every air of penitence pilloried in the orthodox fashion. Closer examination proved that the figure was not of the flesh and a message was sent to the military authorities who removed it to its proper quarter. To save any misapprehensions we may state that it was one of the stuffed dummies used for bayonet practice by the troops in training at the Barracks.

The Royal National Life-Boat Institution has just sent a new and powerful Motor Life-Boat to the Tynemouth Station, to replace the Motor Life-Boat which has been stationed there since 1911 and has saved 68 lives since then. The new life-boat was built by Messrs. S. E. Saunders Ltd., of Cowes, Isle of Wight, and is of the self-righting type, 40ft long by 10ft. 6ins beam with a 40 B. H. P. Tylor Motor and Gardner. Reverse Gear installed. The boat bears the name “Henry Frederick Swan” in accordance with the wishes expressed by Mrs. Lowes of Bath, who has presented the boat to the Institution.

While senior footballers are playing a sterner game on foreign fields, local juniors are doing their best to keep fit for the world struggle likely to come after hostilities end.

Almost weekly teams of juveniles are meeting and if the results do resemble a cricket score it shows at least that they are playing the game strenuously. Last week two games were played. Messrs W. Elder & Sons’ lads received a beating on Saturday to the tune of five goals to nil at the hands of Spittal Hearts, while Mr Peacocks’ school boys on Thursday waltzed home over the British School team by 8 goals to nil.




Not much happens on the Holy Isle to disturb the even tenor of its life. When, however, the gun from the lifeboat calling its crew to immediate services, suddenly strikes the air, life is electrified into action. Last Monday, just before noon, the Island had, once again, that experience. All that could be gathered from the Coastguard was, that a small sailing ketch was on the Castle-head rocks which skirt the northern beach. One drew comfort from the consideration that, although the sea was rough, it was by no means wild.

In a very short time a large crowd were gathered round the lifeboat; nine-tenths of whom were the active womenfolk belonging to the fishing homes. That they had not come as curious spectators was soon apparent by the orderly manner in which they, seizing the towing ropes, and headed by the Vicar, hauled the boat down the beach and into the water; daunted no way by the waves, and never desisting till they knew she was properly afloat. There could not have been a finer snapshot than that launching of the “Lizzie Porter,” a most worthy subject for the pencil of any artist. The Vicar remarked, when the service rendered by the women was referred to, so many men were away to the mine-sweeping, that if it were not for the women of the Island, no lifeboat could be launched.

An early photograph of a Holy Island lifeboat (c) BRO 2333-007

The motor boat being afloat in the harbour, and the sea not being insurmountable, proceeded to the wreck, in front of the lifeboat, and managed with care to take off the crew of three men, and to land them safely ashore. As nothing else could be done; the ship, being water logged and solid, was left to its fate. She was found to be a small sailing ketch; her name, the “Thomas Henry,” and was carrying a cargo of about 120 tons of coal from the Firth of Forth. This craft had been in difficulties off Burnmouth, and had only left that harbour on Saturday.

It may be mentioned that the wreck was first discovered by George Douglas, sea scout, and his uncle, Thomas Douglas, home on leave, both of whom were walking in that direction.

Seaman Henderson, belonging to the lifeboat crew, and Private John Grey, both home on leave, took an active part in the work of the day.

This Week in World War One, 8 February 1918




We are pleased to learn that Bombardier Arthur Skeldon. R.F.A., has been awarded the Military Medal for “having extinguished burning ammunition and for coolness and accuracy in laying his gun while under heavy shell fire and when the rest of his detachment had become casualties.” He was also promoted bombardier on the field. He is a present in one of the Base Hospitals suffering from shrapnel wounds in the leg. This gallant soldier has been in France for three years, joining up when only a schoolboy when the war began. He is well known in Spittal, being the grandson of the late Mr Joseph Johnson, who was for a many years Dock Master at Tweedmouth. His younger brother Joe, has now joined up and is a corporal in the 19th Hussars at Aldershot. They are both nephews of Lieut. J. Johnston, R.E., who was awarded the D.C.M., for “conspicuous bravery” and given a commission on the field; and of Mr James Johnson, R.N.R., who was called up on August 3rd, 1914, and who along with so many of our local lads has done splendid service on that gallant ship the Macedonia. Good luck to them all.




We are pleased to announce that official news has been received to the effect that Corporal O. Carr has been awarded the Military Medal. He is the first Wooler man to receive this distinction, and is to be congratulated on his success, which was well deserved as he has proved himself a brave soldier and gone through a lot of fighting. Previous to the war he was a member of the Territorial Force, and when they were mobilised he with others of the Northumberlands was called upon, and after undergoing their course of training were drafted out to France. It will be remembered that on their arrival at the front they were immediately sent into action at the first battle of Ypres, when Brig. General Riddell (another Wooler man) was killed. After completing his four years he was discharged, but joined up again and since then he has been in the thick of it. Corporal Carr is a son of Mr Alexander Carr of Wooler, and in civil life worked with Messrs T. Smart and Sons, slaters and plasterers, Wooler. He was home on leave quite recently, looking fit and well and as eager as ever. Let us hope that he will soon be able to return safe and sound after a complete victory over the unscrupulous enemy.




The members of B. Coy. Northern Cyclists at present stationed in Seahouses under Lieut D. F. Thomson, together with service men on leave or discharged were entertained to a social evening by a few friends in Seahouses. The entertainment was organised by Miss Ord, Seahouses Post Office, who has in a general way befriended the Cyclists stationed here since 1914. She was ably assisted by the following ladies who provided cakes etc., Mrs Geo. Smith, Mrs W. A. Matthews, Mrs R. W. Mackenzie, Mrs M. Cuthbertson, Mrs H. A. Lawson and Miss Turnbull. Subscriptions were given by Mrs L. B. Ross and Messrs R. and C. W. Dawson, tobacco by Mr L. B. Ross and each man to the number of 50 were presented with a packet of cigarettes by Mr Geo. Smith. Supper was served in the billet, and after it had been thoroughly enjoyed the company adjourned to the large cycle shed which had been artistically decorated by the military under the direction of Mr Geo. Smith. Here they were joined by a number of young ladies. Mrs L. B. Ross kindly lent her piano and excellent music was provided by Corporal Whillicks (piano) and Cyclist Brown (violin). Games and dancing were enjoyed and songs were sung by Miss C. S. Walker, Miss Lizzie Cuthbertson, Miss Helen Young, Quarter Master Sergeant Dixon and Cyclist Gill. Cyclist Potts also gave an exhibition in step dancing. Second-Lieut. Jobson on behalf of the men thanked Miss Ord and those who had so kindly assisted her in providing such an excellent evenings’ entertainment. The men showed their appreciation in a hearty manner. Mr R. W. Mackenzie courteously acted as M.C. Tea urns and ware were kindly lent by Mrs James Young, Longstone House and others.




The donations for providing of Christmas parcels for members of Wallace Green Church serving at the front were £16 1s 11d., and the retiring collection £12 5s 8d., making a total of £28 7s 7d. 188 comforts, consisting of woollen goods, cigarettes, soap, etc., were sent in 25 parcels were dispatched to the east, 62 to France, and 46 for home, making a total of 133 parcels sent to the different places. Mr Macaskill has received 64 letters and 4 visits from those who got parcels. It was feared that the Salonica parcels had been sunk by enemy action. The Committee are glad to say such is not the case as Mr Macaskill has had leers from Salonica. Thanks are accorded to Mr Geo. Martin, for the free printing of the Christmas letters and to Messrs Bishop, for a handsome gift of Berwick Cockles.




Margaret Aird, married woman, Tweedmouth, was charged with having neglected her five children, aged respectively 12, 10, 9, 7 and 3 years, on 1st February. She pleaded guilty to leaving her children in the house without a fire guard.

The Chief Constable explained that this was one of the cases they were loath to bring before the Court. She was the wife of a soldier in Salonika, had 39s 6d allowance, and with the income of the oldest child had £2 7s. There had been complaints about the defendant’s conduct for some time past and the police had had her under surveillance. She had been gradually selling the house furniture and the allowance was being diverted to other channels.

Sergt. J. McRobb said on Friday evening, 1st February, he was on duty in Well Road with P.C. Lindsay watching the house. They met defendant going home and on returning with her found there was a large fire on and no guard. All the children were in bed but Mary, aged 12, who was sitting at the fireside. The children were scanty and dirtily clothed, and there was a room she would not open. There was a half loaf and some tea and sugar in the house. Defendant said that a mattress was utilised for the rest sleeping on the floor. Witness had seen her twice or three times coming home between 11 and 12 o’clock at night in one week and she had been under their surveillance for three months.

By Mr Herriot – The children did not appear to be starved, but they could have been better.

Capt. Norman enquired if defendant was ever seen under the influence of drink, and the reply was the negative.

The Chief Constable said it was worse than a case of drinking.

Witness (resuming) said he had seen her twice at night at Borewell, Scremerston, and she was not alone on these occasions.

P.C. John Lindsay said he had seen defendant on several occasions late at night with different parties, and he thought it was improper conduct when her husband was away.

Defendant, in a voluble and forcible manner, addressed the Bench, and denied that she had neglected her children, maintaining that there was animosity shown towards her by her own people because she would not speak to them.

The Mayor enquired if the children had been kept regularly at school.

The Chief Constable said that so far as he knew there were no complaints on this ground and the police had not made enquiries; the complaints were with regard to defendant’s nightly conduct, which had continued for some time.

After a private deliberation lasting over fifteen minutes the Mayor said that the Magistrates had found defendant guilty, but for the sake of the children they would not send her to prison. She would be bound over for six months under £5, be placed under the observation of the Probation Officer, and would be asked to pay the costs, 5s.

This Week in World War One, 25 January 1918




War News


Second Lieutenant A. McCall


Second Lieutenant A. McCall, K.O.S.B. who was wounded on 31st July, near Ypres, and subsequently died in hospital in France, was awarded the Military Cross. The following is the official account of the act of gallantry for which the decoration was awarded:-

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When all the other officers of his company had become casualties, he took command and led them with the greatest gallantry and skill during the severe fighting which ensued, returning after the capture of each strong point and collecting more men, whom he led forward. While doing this gallant work, he fell severely wounded in the head, having materially assisted in the capture of the position.

Lieut. McCall was the elder son of Hon. Sheriff-Substitute M. McCall, British Linen Bank House. He obtained his commission in the K.O.S.B., in June, 1916, and went to France in April of last year.

The Military Cross was recently presented to Sheriff Mccall, as next-of-kin to the late Lieut, MCCall, by Colonel Maclaren of the K.O.S.B., at Berwick.


Private W. J. Dalgleish

The anxiously awaited news reached Mrs Dalgleish, West End, Tweedmouth, last Thursday that her husband, Private Wm. Joseph Dalglesih, N.F., who was reported in December to have been missing since 26th October, is now stated to be a prisoner of war in Germany. Private Dalgleish joined up at Alnwick on 16th June, 1915, and proceeded in to France in Nov. 1916. We trust that he will return safe and well to his native town, when the war is over.




Large queues outside the grocers’ shops were distressing sight in Berwick on Saturday. A drenching rain was falling during the greater part of the day and the miserable conditions were intensified by the unfortunate people having to stand ankle deep in snow slush. So bad were the conditions that in two instances women through exposure and excitement fainted and had to receive attention.

Berwick Advertiser 25 Jan 1918 Advert Food Control


Fair supplies of bacon were to be had in some of the shops while margarine which had been scarce commodity during the greater part of the day, was in better supply in the evening, a consignment having arrived late in the afternoon. It is to be sincerely hoped that sights like that of Saturday will never again be allowed to take place, and they could be prevented if a system of equal rationing, not only of butter, margarine, bacon, tea and cheese, but of butcher meat, was immediately introduced. The situation demands immediate and drastic action, but it should not be out with the power of the local Food Control Committee to grapple with the problem quickly and effectively.

Former pupils of the Berwick Grammar School will be pleased to know that Mr Jones (who acted as a modern language master from 1907 to 1913) is still in the pink after two years’ service with the Royal Engineers in France. Mr J. N. Peace, B.A., junior master, is still on active service and feeling fit. We are sure that the “Old Boy’s” will wish them both continued good luck. No less than fifty copies of the School Magazine were sent by the pupils to former pupils at the front last year.

The sudden thaw after the phenomenal spell of frost has produced a scene on the River Tweed which has not been equalled for many years. Ice and snow piles which had gathered on the floes were on the evening tide of Sunday night, being swept to sea by the swollen stream, in considerable quantities. On Monday forenoon the sight presented to the onlooker was not likely soon to be forgotten, and more closely resembled an arctic scene than anything else. As far as the eye could reach a mixture of pack ice, snow and tree trunks was spread over the surface of the river.

(c) Berwick Record Office. Children sledging, River Tweed in the background.


About ten thirty, fishermen on the Quay observed a large tree root being carried down to the sea. Running backwards and forwards and evidently alarmed at their plight two rabbits were seen. The poor creatures had evidently been foraging for food on the tree trunk when it broke away further up the river. The state of the river made it impossible for boatmen to attempt then capture and it is possible that the luckless bunnies would meet a sailor’s end in the choppy waters at the harbour mouth. At the mouth of the river the ice pack presented an almost unparalleled sight when meeting with the breakers rolling over the bar. As each succeeding sea rolling in it met the ever increasing volume of ice and water and an almost straight wall of water was set up, just as one party remarked “like the Red Sea when the Israelites passed through.” The grinding and crashing of the ice was heard for a considerable way from the riverside.

A very pretty and quiet wedding took place in Wallace Green Church on Monday 21st inst the contracting parties being Sergt J. R. Young, R. F. C., eldest son of Mr and Mrs George Young, Christon Bank, and Mary eldest daughter of James MacNab, J. P. and Mrs Macnab, Station House, Tweedmouth. The ceremony was conducted by Rev. J. Macaskill, M. A., minister. The bride was given away by her father and had her sister Miss L. MacNab and Miss Young for maids.

St Andrew’s Church of Scotland, Berwick-upon-Tweed. © Bill Henderson, Creative Commons Licence.

The groomsmen were Cpl C. Johnstone N.H., cousin of bridegroom, just home from France the same morning, who has twice been taken prisoner by the Germans, and Mr Williams of North Shields. The bride was dressed in grey Gaba dine trimmed with mole stole and hat to match, the maids wore mole coloured coat frocks and black silk hats. The happy couple left for Retford by 6.40pm Express, where Sergt Young is at present stationed he having been sent back to this country for duty after nearly three years in France. Another brother of Sergt Young is in Italy also in the R.F.C. Both families have given of their best for our Country’s cause. The bride’s travelling dress was of navy blue. At the close of the wedding a reception was held at the home of the bride’s father.

This Week in World War One, 11 January 1918





Tragic Death of Lieut. Fedden





Berwick was shocked to hear on Monday after news of the death of Lieut. Fedden, who only some six weeks ago was married to Miss Shena Lennox Fraser, eldest daughter of Dr. Chas. L. Fraser, Elder House, Berwick. He met his end by exhaustion, through having been compelled to come down in the Channel on account of engine trouble, while flying near Bythe.

Lieut. Fedden during his short stays in, the town had won the respect and esteem of all who knew him, and admired him for the capable officer he was. An experienced and reliable member of the Air Service his will indeed be a loss to the Country, and we are sure that we voice the feeling of all in Berwick when we extend to the young widow, and both families our deepest and heartfelt sympathy in the great affliction which has come upon them.

Lieut. Fedden was the son of Mr. T. Player Fedden, of Glenthorpe, Barnet, served with the Punjabis in Mesopotamia and France, and had been wounded in the arm. Since then he has held important appointments at certain Aerodromes where his knowledge of aircraft has proved of great benefit to the service. In November, when his marriage took place, he was under orders to proceed to important work in Italy. He has died before he got his marching orders.

Lieut. Fedden was one of the officers who gave evidence before the Commission which enquired into the Mesopotamia campaign.

Just a fortnight ago he was with us in the town on short leave, today he is but a memory, yet a memory which is pregnant with all that we feel for a soldier and a gentleman who has fought and who has yielded up his life in the service of his country.




Of course there are many grumblers, but on the whole, people are managing fairly well with their half-pound of sugar a week. We hope the sugar will be more constant than the

An example of a WW1 sugar rationing card.

paper ration. Imports of paper were first reduced by a third, then the two-thirds that was left over reduced by half, and now the one third of what was used in 1914 is to be reduced by another third, leaving only 29ths or under a quarter of the 1914 supply.





“Where I am now we get very little news and very seldom get the chance to see a paper. I have only had one mail during the last three weeks, and the latest letter was dated November 26th, so it is rather a change from France, where everything went so smoothly. We have been in the line now for about three weeks, but there are hopes of my Brigade being out for Christmas. I am afraid the boys will not get any plum puddings this year, though we can get plenty of turkeys and geese; you can buy a very good one for from 7 to 10 lire (3s 6d to 5s). There are no E.F.C.’s yet and cigarettes and tobacco are not to be had unless you can go a long way back. Some of the men have actually been reduced to smoking tea leaves, etc. I am running a small canteen, but can only get about 200 lire worth of cigarettes a week, and then have to go nearly 40 kilometres for them.

The country is very pretty, and up at the front line it is a most extraordinary contrast to what we were used to before. The two lines are separated by a very broad river bed (1400 to 2000 yards across) so there is no sniping. There is very little water in the river just now, as the snow has just begun. Very high mountains rise up from the river bed, and it is magnificently pretty.

When we first took over the line it was very quiet, and to give you some idea of what it was like, an order came out in D.R.O. that “No clean washing had in future to be hung out to dry on the wire entanglements in front of the front line trenches. “Men used to go down to the river and wash their clothes in the middle of No Man’s Land. It is very different now, and there is quite a lot of shelling, though officers in the front line can still sleep in very comfortable beds in the little houses along the banks of the rivers.

We can make ourselves very comfortable as the people fled and left all their worldly goods behind. We have very dry weather, but it is fearfully cold and frosty at nights, and generally bright during the day. We have a lot of boys in our Brigade now from the North of England, and some from round about Haggertson and that way. Of course we area north country division.

I was very lucky, as I was one of the entertaining officers at our departure station in France, and came in with two N.F.’s by ordinary passenger train all the way to the frontier, and managed a day and night in Paris, and half a day in Genoa. I am afraid we shall get no leave from here for along time, which is rather rotten. If we have a heavy snowfall it may hurry it on a little.”




We have decided to open a “Berwick Advertiser” fund to provide a new boat for Bart Lough of Spittal who, as we reported last week, has lost his coble, the “Mary Harrison”.

In the ordinary way one should expect a fisherman to insure his boat and tackle when their loss mean so much to him. We are told that this is practically impossible. Lloyd’s is the only available agency, and they are not interested in such small craft. We feel, therefore, we have a strong case to put before the public. Mr Lough is not to blame for not insuring his boat; it was lost through no fault of his own, but rather by his own perseverance in providing food for the nation, when food is short. All along the coast he is known as a fearless and experienced fisherman, who has frequently risked his own life and property to assist others.


This Week in World War One, 28 December 1917







Sergeant Frank Swinney, N.F., is home for a 14 days’ leave from the Front. He is looking well in spite of the hardships he has endured. He went out with his regiment in April, 1915, as private, has been wounded twice, and has earned his promotion in the field.

We notice cadets Tom Burn and R. C. Clements also home; the former well known as one of our foremost footballers, and the other our late Boy Scouts’ Leader and Schoolmaster in Spittal Council School.

Lance-Corporal Borthwick is also here from the front. In his avocation as a postman he is well-known. He is married to a daughter of Mr R. Gladstone of West Street, Spittal.

Private J. Boston, son of Mr R. Boston of Forge Cottages is home for Christmas, also Seaman Jas. Johnston, one of the crew of the (will we call it the Spittal ship) the Macedonia.





We are pleased to see an old friend in the person of Private Thomas Ryan, West Street, Belford, enjoying his leave at present. Tom has been 13 months in France and has had some rough experiences, being wounded in the right arm and right leg on one occasion. His photo and brief sketch of movements appeared in these columns in November last. He has our very best wishes for the future.

Corporal E. Fenwick, M.M., eldest son of Mr and Mrs Fenwick, Middleton, Belford, is a present enjoying his 14 days’ leave from France. Our young friend is looking exceedingly well to have spent 14 months in the firing line. A brief sketch of his career and photo appeared in these columns in June last. We wish him a continuance of his past good luck.

It is quite a pleasure to see Private Edmund Henry, 4th son of Mr and Mrs Henry, Plantation Farm, Belford, enjoying a few days leave prior to going overseas with his regiment, East Yorks. Edmund enlisted shortly after attaining his 18th birthday, and has been in training since. Our young friend is looking well and appears to have increased in height and width since joining up. He has our best wishes for his future welfare.




An entertainment was given in the Playhouse on Monday afternoon to 1000 school children, whose fathers or brothers are serving, or have served, in the Army or navy during the present war.

© Berwick Record Office, BRO-1250-123.

The idea originated with County Alderman Thomas Darling, who collected the necessary funds from his friends. A series of pictures was shown, and a conjurer gave a display. Needless to say, the young folks were delighted. After the singing of the National Anthem, Mr Willits moved a vote of thanks to Mr Darling and the other donors, and expressed the pleasure that the treat would give, not only to the children, but to the brave men who are fighting for us.

Towards midnight on Christmas Eve, the crew of Berwick Lifeboat were summoned for the purpose of placing on board their boats in the bay, four members of the crew who had come ashore in small boats and were unable to reach their crafts owing to the heavy sea which had suddenly arisen.

Image 8 – Lifeboat – RNLB Matthew Simpson – Left to Right – Not known, Not known, Not known, John Wood, Knot known, Jack Lough, George Lough, Bartholomew Lough, Thomas Martin (possible), Not known, Not Known, Alex Patterson Lough.


The lifeboat went to the mouth of the river, and found that the craft had disappeared, but they were just in time to rescue two members of the crew who had been left in charge of their own boat, which had broken adrift, and would in a minute or two more have been swamped by the tremendous sea. Unfortunately, the lifeboat was a good deal damaged by the sinking boat being hurled against its side with great force. The men left by rail to rejoin their boat in the Firth of Forth.

Last week we reported a police case where boys in the K.O.S.B. Band raided Mr Crisp’s tobacconist shop. It came out that one of the boys, Laubauch, a lad of under sixteen, had already had no less than ten charges of theft against him. We believe that the theft of the motor car was nothing more than the boy going off in the car for a joy ride, and stepping out into the owner’s arms when he returned. He was sentenced to six months imprisonment in all. It is worth considering if the boy has been benefited by his previous punishment, because, if not, there should be some better way found of turning him into an honest citizen. We don’t profess to be able to say what that method should be but the present method of punishing the boy at any rate does not seem very successful.




At the Barracks the Corporals and men of the K.O.S.B. were entertained to a Christmas dinner and in the absence of Lieut. Colonel Maclaren, Major Robertson Glasgow, delivered a short address, being accompanied by Major F. Villiers, Adjutant, and Lieut. Hart. Mr Robertson, Glasgow expressed the hope that the great conflict would be ended before they again met for Christmas. He was pleased to meet so many non coms and men some of whom had gained from one to five badges, and had lent a hand in holding back the initial effort of the German avalanche. At the close, hearty cheers were given for all the officers and a most pleasant time was spent.




The Royal Scots were entertained to dinner in the Dining Hut on the Parade, according to regimental custom. The men were waited upon by the warrant officers and sergeants of the Battalion. The fare reflected great credit upon the Quarter-Master Staff, the Sergeant Cook and his assistants. The Royal Scots orchestra was present, and discoursed popular airs while dinner was in progress. Col. Peterkin with his officers paid a visit to the Dining Hut, and in a few brief remarks spoke of the exemplary record the Battalion had maintained since mobilisation.

The huts on the Parade at Berwick. In one of these (The Dining Hut), the Royal Scots were entertained. © Berwick Record Office, BRO 1944-1-149-1.


Each new year had shown a clean sheet, and he trusted this would be maintained on the present occasion. He was proud to tell them that in connection with the War Loan they had beaten the Brigade hollow in regard to the amount subscribed. The figures showed the 2-10th Royal Scots with £155 7s 6d to their credit, or over £70 more than the next highest in the Battalion. (Applause).They had all done well, but he had no doubt that the well could have been made better. He was sure that money was sometimes spent carelessly by the men that could have been put to a better purpose in the War Loan. (Applause). He concluded by wishing them all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. (Applause).The men gave cheers for Col. Peterkin and the other officers, singing “For he’s a jolly good fellow.” The officers paid a similar visit to the Sergeant’s Mess.

This Week in World War One, 14 December 1917






The committee delegates who each night meet the last north bound train at Berwick, and on behalf of laudable institution which provide meals for soldiers and sailors coming off a long train journey, looks after the men’s welfare, have many strange experiences.

On Wednesday evening when Mr Thos. Boal, Mr Abbott and Mr Geo. Dryden were on duty as the train came in two K.O.S.B. men were happily re-united after having enlisted, trained, fought, and became casualty together.

“As the first lad came off the train, “said Mr Boal, “a K.O.S.B. lad came along, and we asked where he was going.” “To the Barracks, “he answered. “Then you better have a bite of supper before you go.”

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

Just then a Northern Cyclist came along, and he also was offered and accepted hospitality. Two other lads came along, and on one of them catching sight of the first lad, shouted “Hullo, Tom, old man; fancy meeting you here.”

The company adjourned to partake of a short repast, and as they talked the conversation brought out that these two lads had known each other before they joined up, had trained, were sent to France- had been treated at the same dressing station.

“Where did you get your blighty?” asked Mr Boal. “We were about Ypres with the –th then.”

“My friend here has a son who was with you as an officer and was wounded there.”

“What’s the name?” asked both lads.

“Lieut. Abbott,” said Mr Boal.

“Abbott,” shouted both lads, “why, he was our platoon officer.”

Truly the world is a small place after all.




Amongst local Volunteers the Battalion Shoot which will likely take place on the miniature range at Berwick is creating a good deal of interest. Eight men will be selected from each platoon to shoot off and the best eight shots out of the thirty two competitors will be selected to represent the Company when the Battalion Shoot comes off. Now is the time for local marksmen to uphold the name of the Borough. Another competition coming off is one of efficiency. All platoons will compete, and the best platoon of the local Company will meet the best of other companies in the Battalion. The most efficient platoon of the Battalion will be then chosen to meet the best platoon of Battalions in the Northern Command.





Private Albert Richardson

We are sorry to hear that Private Albert Richardson, K.O.S.B., son of Councillor Peter Richardson, Church Street, Berwick, has been wounded in action. He has already been wounded once. Enlisting in the early stages of 1916 he was trained at Duddingston and drafted to France. In civil life he was employed as a grocer.


We are sorry to learn that Private Walter Robson, K.O.S.B., son of Mrs Robson, Church St., Berwick, has been killed in action. He enlisted in the early stages of the war and was only a short time ago on leave. In civil life he was employed as a slaughterman at the Shambles, Berwick. The deepest sympathy is felt for the family in their bereavement.


Private Robert Stokoe

We regret to announce that Mr Thos. Stokoe, 66 Shielfield Terrace, Tweedmouth, has received word that his second and remaining son, Private Robert Stokoe, East Lancs., has been killed in action on November 28th. What makes it all the more sad is that only three months have elapsed since his brother, Private Jas. Stokoe was killed. Both these lads were worthy pupils of Mr Peacock, Boys’ National School, Tweedmouth.

Private Robert Stokoe in civilian life was a traveller for William Redpath and Son, and was very popular with everyone he came in contact with in and around the Berwick district. He was three times rejected before Lord Derby’s scheme came out, and subsequently he joined up in the Northumberland Fusiliers, but after ten days’ training he was discharged. In February of this year he joined up wih the Royal Scots Fusiliers (Labour Battalion) with whom after four weeks training he proceeded to France. After nine months work at the front he was transferred first to the H.L.I., and then to the East Lancs., with whom he met his death. He was a brave, generous, loving, cheerful young man, one of the very best. His letters home were always cheerful, and he was always “sticking it” well. The greatest sympathy will be felt for Mr and Mrs Thos. Stokoe and family on this second sad bereavement.

This Week in World War One, 30 November 1917








James Burgon, Army veterinary Corps, horse-shoer, who resides with his parents at 29 Low Greens, Berwick, arrived home on Thursday morning, 29th November, on a fortnight’s leave. Suffering from a poisoned hand some folks have concluded that he has been wounded, but happily this is not the case. Private Burgon has seen three years’ service, and was a blacksmith with Messrs Caverhill. He is a son of Mr Alick Burgon, motor ferryman.

Lance-Corporal W. Macdonald, Australians, son of Mr Henry Macdonald, formerly a baker in Castlegate, and a well-known oarsman on the Tweed in his young days, broke his journey at Berwick on Wednesday to make a few calls upon old friends. He has just come out of Hospital, this being the 2 time he has been wounded. After being wounded on the last occasion he was for a time at a Hospital in France where Nurse K. Mackay, daughter of Surgeon Major W. B. Mackay, C. M. G., is ministering.

A team of the 2nd Field Ambulance inside a makeshift hospital during World War One. Photograph taken between 1917 and 1918 in France, by Henry Armytage Sanders. © National Library NZ (No known copyright restrictions). Wikimedia Commons.

He was there during the period when the Hospital was bombarded by hostile aircraft, and his one regret is that time did not permit of his calling upon the brave lady’s mother. Lance-Corporal Macdonald served for some years in the Royal Navy, and was one of the crew of H.M.S. Berwick, when the 5th Cruiser Squadron visited this port. He with the other members of the family had been some time in Australia when war broke out, and along with his brother Henry he came to the help of the Motherland. We wish him the best of luck for the future.

We are pleased to see Driver Dick Pringle home on his first leave, he has been 10 months in the army and he has enjoyed his holiday amongst his friends. He is a native of Tweedmouth. Prior to enlistment he was employed by Mr Scott, Branxton Allotments. Driver Pringle has had two brothers in the army, one being killed and the other in France in the Tank Corps. Driver Pringle has two brothers-in-laws serving also. Driver Pringle is the youngest son of Mr and Mrs Pringle, Murton, Berwick-on-Tweed.




A social evening was held in the Mitchell memorial Hall, on Tuesday evening, under the auspices of Mr M. Ross’s Bible Class, for the purpose of providing the funds to supply comforts to serving members. Mr Ross presided, and a number of the local clergy and social workers attended. An interesting programme was gone through and occasion was taken to present the prizes o those members who had attended regularly. During the evening a silver collection was taken as a result of which about £4 will be devoted to the object in view. A few friends generously sent in 130 pair of socks which are to be distributed to the 120 Class lads serving with the colours at home and abroad. The following were awarded prizes for having made the highest possible number of attendance:- A.D. Watt, James Lee, Charles Wright, James D. Wakenshaw, James Young, Thomas Piercy, Joseph Gray, James Walkenshaw, R. Smith, John Walkenshaw, and Wm. Tait. Those awarded prizes only having missed on one occasion were, George Young, G. Hunter, G. White, Arthur Paxton, Robert Stirling, S. Longbone, and Joseph Simpson.

Excellent and fascinating films are being shown at the Queen’s Rooms, Berwick, this week. The pictures are being exhibited clearly and steadily as is now a feature of the management. On Friday and Saturday first there is to be a stirring drama, the “Mystery of the Seven Chests,” and also “Rescued by Wireless,” showing the marvellous utility of Marconi’s invention. On Monday and Tuesday the film will be “The Queen’s Double,” and “Boy Scouts be Prepared.” The later film has been screened in all the leading picture halls, and should powerfully appeal to all our local boy scouts. A children’s matinee will take place on Saturday afternoon at 2.30.





The following men, who had been granted exemption on condition they became efficient Volunteers, and who had not done so, were then called before the Tribunal.

William Bell and William Swinney, employed as potmen at the Spittal Chemical Works, stated that when their work was finished they were so exhausted as sometimes to be hardly able to walk home. They were doing four men’s work, and it was work of a most ardous nature.

Taken later, a photograph of the Spittal Chemical Works where both William Bell and William Swinney worked in 1917. Both men were brought to a tribunal for failing to become efficient volunteers. © Berwick Record Office, BRO 1887-23-7.

The Military Representative – Do you know that in case of invasion you men would be sent into the country with the women and children, and men of 55 would be fighting to protect you? You are immensely better off than if we were sending you to France.

They were ordered to become efficient Volunteers, otherwise their exemption would be cancelled.

James Bryson stated he had joined the Volunteers, but Dr Fraser had ordered him to stop drilling at once. Adjourned for medical examination.

The case of Thomas Mark was adjourned to see if he was drilling regularly as a Volunteer before next Tribunal. The Military representative said that it was quite possible Mark would be in the army before next Tribunal as his exemption was really cancelled through the condition of exemption not being compiled with.

Norman Todd and William Unthank were also informed that if they did not join the Volunteers, and become efficient, their exemption would be cancelled.




The arrangements for the Free Gift Sale to be held in aid of the British Farmers Red Cross Fund are now well advanced.

British Red Cross Ambulance in French service, Northern France. © SMU Central University Libraries (No known copyright restrictions). Wikimedia Commons.

The Wooler Volunteer detachment were engaged in various exercises in the Drill Hall on Sunday morning. The detachment was inspected by Major Graham, O.C. of the Battalion, the previous day, when this officer expressed his pleasure at all he saw.

A Volunteer detachment is being formed under favourable conditions at Ford.

The weekly house-to-house collection in aid of the Wooler War Depot for the weeks Nov. 16th and 23rd realised £1 10s and £1 5s respectively.

It is reported that Corporal C. Carr, son of Mr Alex. Carr, Wooler, now in hospital, has been awarded the Military Medal.

The Volunteers are holding a whist drive and dance on Friday evening next in the Drill Hall in aid of the local War Workers’ Depot.

This Week in World War One, 16 November 1917








Trooper J. Bainbridge, N.H., West End, Tweedmouth is home on a few days leave. Prior to enlistment he was employed in the grocery department, Tweedside Co-operative Stores. His brother Ted, is also serving.

We are pleased to see home from France on a few days leave, Pte. John Patterson, K.O.S.B., attached to R.S. He was wounded in the hand some time ago, his photo appeared in our columns at that time. Pte. Patterson has been 15 months in France. We wish him the best of luck.

Corporal R. Blackhall, N.F., West End is here on a few days leave. Previous to enlisting he was employed by the Border Brewery Coy.

Private John Wood, H.L.I., here from France on a few days’ leave, has been once wounded. Previous to enlistment he was employed by the Maypole Diary Company at Berwick.

Another local lad home on leave from France this week is Private Thomas Short, who resides in Kiln Hill, Tweedmouth. He joined the N.F. about two years ago, and after training at Alnwick proceed to France. He is now in the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment. Previous to enlistment he was employed at the pipe factory, Tweedmouth. His brother George who is a Sergeant in the N.F. is training Volunteers at Hull.

Lance-Corporal J. Burgon, 18 Kiln Hill, whom we reported last week as being home on short leave is in the 2nd Gordon Highlanders, and not in the K.O.S.B.’s The  gallant Corporal is a splendid athlete, and is the proud possessor of five silver cups which testify to his prowess in the field of sport. He is no less keen in the discharge of his military duties, and on three occasions has received the thanks of his commanding officer for distinguishing himself by good service in the field.

Lance-Corporal James Dowens, A. and S. Highlanders, Berwick has spent a short leave in his native town before leaving for Oxford, where he will sit for his examinations for a commission. He was in Africa when war broke out and left a splendid position to come home and enlist. Twelve months ago he was wounded in action, after having been some four months in France, and since then he has been in hospital. We wish him the best of luck.





Our many readers will be sorry to hear of the death of Harry Demee, one of the oldest and best known characters about this town of Berwick-on-Tweed. Young and old, rich and poor, all knew Harry.

He was a sailor by profession, but his connection with the sea, however, was not confined to coasting, for in his younger days he visited Europe, Asia, Africa, and America and filled all the positions on board shop, from cabin boy to skipper.

Many old Berwickers will remember him one of the crew of the Clippers, and steward on board the steamboat which traded between Berwick and London.

The Berwick to Spittal ferry which Harry Demee would have worked on. © Berwick Record Office, BRO 1887-33-3.

Since retirement from the sea he has led a very active life. For many years he was a well-known figure on the ferry between Berwick and Spittal.

In winter time when the “Soup Kitchen” was called into being, Harry was there as cook.

As Church Officer at Chapel Street Church he was favourite with parson and layman alike, and had a cheery remark for all, and the bairns who attended the Sunday School all knew “Old Harry.”

For the last two years he has acted as green keeper for the Working Men’s Bowling Club, and many of the players who frequent the sunny spot in Upper Ravensdowne will recall his yarns told in a way which defied all imitation.





The marriage was solemnised in the Parish Church, Berwick, on Wednesday, between Lieut. Cecil Olcher Fedden, 22nd Punjabis, att. Royal Flying Corps, son of Mr F. Player Fedden, Glenthorpe, Barnet, and Miss Shena Lennox Fraser, eldest daughter of Lieut-Colonel C. l. Fraser (T.) R.A.M.C., J.P., Elder House, Ravensdowne, Berwick.

Pictured is Elder House, Ravensdowne, Berwick, the residence of the bride Shena Lennox Fraser.

The happy event had been fixed to take place on Monday, 3rd December, but owing to the bridegroom, having been offered an important appointment abroad, matters were arranged within the short period of twenty-four hours.

The ceremony was performed by the Vicar of Berwick, the Rev. R. W. de la Hey, and there were a great many friends and well-wishers present.

The bride, who was given away by her father, looked charming. She wore an under dress of gold tissue, with an overdress of champagne georgette with a deep pan velvet border of the same colour. She also wore a veil with a deep border of gold lace, with a gold band fitting tightly to the forehead, and carried a bouquet of bronze chrysanthemums, presented by Mrs Adam Darling, Bondington, Berwick.

The bridesmaid was Miss N. Fraser (sister), and she was dressed in jade green georgette.

The bridegroom, who was in uniform of his unit, was attended by Lieut. Swanston, K.O.S.B., who acted as best man.

The mother of the bride was dressed in grey georgette with coloured sash, while Mrs St. John, cousin of the bride, was dressed in cerise georgette.

Mr Ballantyne, organist of Wallace Green Church, presided at the organ, and gave an excellent rendering of the customary wedding music, whike the hymns, “Love Divine,” and “O Perfect Love,” were sung.

Amongst those present were observed Mrs Adam Darling, the Rev. R.C. Inglis and Lieut. Robert Inglis (who is home on leave), Miss Clay (Ravensdowne), Mrs T. Darling, Miss Darling, Misses Darling-Robertson, Mrs de la Hey, Misses Alder (Halidon), Mrs and Miss McCreath, Mrs Macaky, Miss Pearson, Mrs Riddell, Miss Robertson, Mrs Worsdell, Miss E.F. Smail, Miss Dunlop, etc., etc.

The bridegroom’s presents to the bridesmaids were silver chain bags.

The happy couple left by the 3.9 train for York. The bridegroom, we understand, has been granted ten days’ leave subject to cancellation if his services are required sooner.

The bride’s going away dress was a long champagne coloured coat trimmed with sable fur, while she also wore a brown velvet hat to match, with Russian sable furs, the gift of her mother.

A number of friends accorded a hearty send-off and expressed their good wishes for the future happiness of the couple.

Mrs Fedden will be “At Home” at Elder House, Berwick, on the 28th, 29th, and 40th November.




ANDERSON – In loving remembrance of Private W. Anderson, N.F., who was killed in action on November 14th, 1916, aged 22 years and three months.

In the prime of life I was cut off,

No longer could I stay,

Because it was my Saviour’s will

To call me hence away.

No sin, no care can reach him now,

An angel’s crown is on his brow;

He’s reached the ransomed joyful band

Whose home is in the better land.

 Ever remembered by his sister-in-law, Mrs T. Anderson, Fenham Hill.

Private W. Anderson, N.F., remembered: Graves in the Thiepval Anglo-French Cemetery, seen with the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, Thiepval, France. © This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.


ATHEY – In loving memory of Lance-Corporal J.W. Athey, aged 22 years, who was killed in action in France, November 17th, 1916, the only son of Mr and Mrs Athey, Beal Station.

Although his face we cannot see, his voice we cannot hear,

We often sit and think of him, and shed a silent tear;

Friends may think that we have forgot him,

when at times we are apt to smile,

Little knowing what grief is hidden beneath the surface all the while.

Ever remembered by his loving father and mother and sisters.


DIGGLE – In loving memory of James, the dearly beloved husband of Euphemia Diggle (nee Curle), who died November 17th, 1916.

One lonely year has passed away

Since my dear husband was called away,

And, oh, the pain it was severe

For I little thought death was so near.

When I took around our lonely house

And see his vacant chair,

Where he used to sit with his listening ear

Until I told him all my cares.

But now he is gone, my heard is sad,

Through this dark world I tread,

But methinks I can see how he is waiting for me

In the beautiful land on high.

Sadly missed by his sorrowing wife and family and eldest son, Eddie, in France-Brinkburn, Pauperhaugh.

This Week in World War One, 2 November 1917








We are deeply grieved to have to report that Sergt. Ernest Falla, third son of Mr and Mrs Thomas Falla, North Bank, Belford, has fallen at the post of duty in France. Prior to enlisting this young fellow was employed as footman with Mr Graham, Cartin, Carluke, Scotland, and had a most comfortable place, but his sense of duty to his King and Country was Treasurer, Mr J. Brand, Bank of Liverpool, call for help was given, so on September 3rd, 1914, he enlisted into the H.L.I., and soon after was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps and later to South African Infantry Brigade. On May the 10th, 1915, he sailed for France, and with the exception of one leave in January last has been doing his best to beat the Huns since that time. He won his stripes on the battlefield, and that is sufficient proof of the excellent way his duties have been performed. Ernest was a smart pleasant lad, and his loss is greatly mourned, and widespread sympathy is expressed for the bereaved relatives.



As has already been announced by the Minister of National Service, Great Britain will, for the purpose of recruiting, be divided into 10 regions, at the head of each there will be a civilian Director of Recruiting.

The Director for Scotland is Mr C.D. Murray, K.C., and his region will include the whole of Scotland, except the town of Berwick. Mr Murray is a well-known advocate at the Scottish Bar.

The Director for the counties of Northumberland, Cumberland, Durham, and Westmorland, with the Cleveland District of Yorkshire, and Berwick, is Mr D. H. L. Young, a member of the firm of Messrs James Templeton and Co., of Glasgow. He has had experience of administration of the Military Service Acts as a member of an appeal tribunal.


According to an Army Council Instruction just issued by the War Office, it has been decided to abolish the distinction between categories B and C in the classification of men by categories. As to men fit for service overseas in categories lower than A, the Instruction points out that this will be provided for by special medical examination when the men are required to proceed abroad. The new classification comes into force on November 1.

Category A is for men fit for general service in any theatre of war, from the point of training, as well as good physical and mental condition, and who are able to stand active service work.

Category B will consist of those who are not fit for general service, but will do for home service. There are three sections in B (i.) men fit for field units (at home only) or garrison duty (ii.) in labour units, (iii.) sedentary work.

These are followed in the Instruction by category D for men who may be deemed temporarily unfit for service in categories A or B, but who are likely to become fit within six months.

Category E provides for those who are unfit for services in categories A or B, and who are not likely to become fit in six months.

Category B (iii.), it should be added, also comprises those who, if skilled tradesmen, are able to work at their trades.

Category D is temporary, so far as reserve units are concerned, and a man in a higher category will automatically come under D3, if under medical or dental treatment, rejoining his original category until transferred either upwards or downwards, as the case may be, by the medical officer or travelling medical board.






This year real service has been rendered in work of this class by school children, also women. Many of the rural school boards have risen well to the occasion this year in the way of granting leave. Farmers generally are grateful, not only for the assistance which they have got in this way, but also for the help which women and soldiers have rendered. Many increased their potato area this year to meet as far as possible national necessity, and it is not easy seeing how the crop could have been handled but for the extra help that has been obtained in this way.





The marriage which has been arranged between Lieut. Cecil Olcher Fedden, 22nd Punjabis attached to the Royal Flying Corps, eldest son of Mr F. Player Fedden, Glenthorpe, Barnet, and Miss Shena Lennox Fraser, eldest daughter of Colonel C. l. Fraser, V.D., Berwick, will take place quietly on Monday, 3rd December, in Berwick Parish Church. Lieut. Fedden has seen a good deal of active service, and fought on the Indian frontier in 1911 in the Abor expedition.

Berwick Parish Church. © John Box – Friends of Berwick and District Museum and Archives website.

He was fourteen months in Mesopotamia at the beginning of the present war, being badly wounded at the battle of Ctesiphon. He made his escape out of Kut the day before it was besieged – 3rd December, 1915. Miss Fraser is well known for her good work in Berwick and district. She acted as Secretary for the Berwickshire Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Family Association and worked enthusiastically for the cause, while she also took an active interest in her work as a member of the local War Pensions Committee.



A.B. Robert Lilburn


We are pleased to announce that the Distinguished Service Medal has been awarded to Able Seaman Robert Lilburn, R.N.R., for bravery in saving the lives of the crew of a mined ship in December last. Seaman Lilburn, who is a Holy Island man, and a son of the late Mr James Lilburn, who was drowned many years ago at the Island under distressing circumstances when piloting a steamboat into the harbour, has seen two years’ service with the mine sweeping sections of the Fleet, and has been regularly at sea since then. In civil life he followed the calling of a fisherman. His many friends will heartily congratulate him upon the honour just awarded.



Gallant Lifeboatmen – A pleasing ceremony took place at Holy Island. Mr A. Logan, of Berwick, acting on behalf of the Swedish Government, presented handsome cups to Coxwain George Cromarty and Second Coxwain Thomas Kyle, and a sum of £2 to each of the crew of the Holy Island No.2 Lifeboat, for the rescue of the crew of the Swedish barque Jolani, in Nov. 1916.

An early photograph of the Holy Island lifeboat crew, pictured left to right are Tom Kyle, John Markwell, George Cromarty, Tom Stevenson and Robert Henderson. © Berwick Record Office, BRO 2421-018.

The rescue took place under exceptional difficulties, the wind blowing a gale from the east. The two coxswains expressed their thanks to Mr Logan, and through him to the Swedish Government, Mr Kyle declaring that all the members of the crew had done equally well. On the suggestion of Mr Logan a collection was taken for the Royal Lifeboat Institution, to which all responded heartily.