Relatives of victims at opening of project’s inaugural exhibition

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MORE than 40 members of the Tynemouth World War One Commemoration Project were joined at an exhibition by members of families who lost relatives in the tragedy which struck the close knit community of Tyne Pilots on New Year’s Eve 1916.

It was on that fatal day in 1916 that the Pilot Cutter Protector was blown up just off the mouth of the Tyne.

The family members were present at an event on Tuesday evening to launch the first exhibition of materials and photographs assembled by Tynemouth World War One Commemoration Project.

The display is open to the public at the Low Lights Tavern in Brewhouse Bank, North Shields, which has kindly allowed the project to hold the eight-week long exhibition in the pub, which is one of the oldest surviving buildings on North Shields Fish Quay.

The project plans to have a series of similar exhibitions over the next two years in the lead up to the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War.

These will feature notable aspects of the conflict in which local men played a part – often in interesting but tragic personal circumstances.

The project also wants the exhibitions to reflect the social and economic impact of the war on the local community, not only through the story of the 1,700 men lost in service but also the broader effects on life at home.

Members of the local community or relatives elsewhere are supplying information about those who served and did not return from the war.

Meanwhile a recent appeal in the News Guardian for a copy of the Tynemouth High School Record of Service received a response within days.

The project database now has photographs scanned from an original document which will enhance the story of the 69 former pupils of the school who gave their lives in the conflict.

Anyone who has documents or photographs from the time of the First World War is asked to contact the project so they can be copied and included in the work of preserving the history of that tragic period in the area’s history.

Anyone who is interested to visit the battlefields of Belgium and France is welcome to join the project members who are going to the Ypres and Arras areas in May on an inclusive excursion with accommodation and coach transfers and local guides, travelling by ferry from North Shields.

Full details of the tour can found at www.dfdsseaways.co.uk/battlefields2012 or by calling 0871 522 9955.

Anyone who has information about men included on this week’s casualty list or wish to learn more about the project, can visit the workroom at the Linskill Community Centre – Mondays to Fridays from 10am to 4pm –or visit our website.

Also, if anyone has material that you think should be included in the project, they can also get in touch.

The next open forum for project volunteers and members of the public will be held at 7pm on Tuesday, March 27, at Linskill Community Centre, Linskill Terrace.

THIS week’s casualty list gives details of men from the borough who were killed or died in March 1916.

Blair, Matthew, age 38, Private, 22nd Battalion NF, KIA, 29th, husband of R A Morgan (formerly Blair), buried Ration Farm Cemetery, Armentieres, Flanders.

Cuthbertson, Joseph, Private, 10th Battalion Yorks Regiment, KIA, 19th, Elizabeth Street, Cullercoats.

Errington, Thomas W, age 26, Private, 1st/6th Battalion NF, KIA, 12th, 42 Park Crescent, son of Thomas and Isabella, of 11 Springfield.

Gray, Henry A, Private, Highland Light Infantry, KIA, 8th, son of Alfred and Isabella – Mesopotamia, commemorated on the Basra memorial.

Hennessey, Patrick, age 23, Private, 1st Battalion, NF, KIA, 27th, 4 Bird Square, husband of Ethel Wales (formerly Hennessey), 5 West Street, Milburn Place.

Hutchinson, A Y, age 19, Lance Sergeant, 26th Battalion NF (Tyneside Irish), DOW, 19th, 54 Bedford Street, son of Mrs A Buckle (formerly Hutchinson) and the late John. A former pupil of Tynemouth High School.

Nightingale, Thomas, age 37, Private, 21st Battalion, NF (Tyneside Scottish), DOW 19th, 2 Front Street, Preston.

Raffle, James, age 23, Private, 9th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment, DOW, 27th, 34 Camden Lane, son of Edward and Jane.

Robson, George Finlay, Lance Corporal, 20th Battalion NF (Tyneside Scottish), KIA, 9th, 29 Church Street. Details needed.

Walton, Percy J, age 28, 2nd Lieutenant, 1st Battalion, Prince of Wales Own (West Yorks Regiment), KIA 8th, 57 Norfolk Street, son of Hannah and late Isaac, husband of Lorna J Walton.

Watson Todd, John, age 21, Lance Corporal, 6th Battalion NF, KIA, 12th, 80 Linskill Street, son of William Watson Todd and Lovie Todd. Former pupil of Tynemouth High School, enlisted September 7, 1914.

Key:

KIA – killed in action

DOW – died of wounds

LAS – lost at sea

NF – Northumberland Fusiliers

DLI – Durham Light Infantry

RND – Royal Naval Division

RNR – Royal Naval Reserve

RFA – Royal Field Artillery

n Anyone with information on this week’s list or who wants to find out more about the project, should visit www.tynemouthworldwarone.org, e-mail contact@tynemouthworldwarone.org or write to Tynemouth World War 1 Commemoration Project, c/o Essell, 29 Howard Street, North Shields, NE30 1AR.