THE third anniversary of the First World War passed with the ill-fated campaign in Flanders bringing with it an almost daily toll of men killed or died of wounds.
Meanwhile at home, those not serving were the subject of criticism as the best of the nation’s youth was slaughtered in France.
Gordon Stewart Cameron, killed in action on August 20, 1917, was the son of Elizabeth Ann, the widow of John, who ran a ship’s chandelry business in Northumberland Dock.
His brothers and sisters – seven in total – were perhaps comforted by the sentiments expressed in a letter to the press from a Mr RW. Ancrum, of the British Empire Union, which appeared in the Shields Daily News on September 5, 1917.
An extract from the published letter reads: ‘Sir, Thomas Grey, the poet, in his beautiful elegy says: “The paths of glory lead but to the grave.” Such is the ultimate of all paths. Yet is seems to me, that there is as much glory attached to duty well done in the humble walks of life, for every man has his mission, and every woman, as there can be in other spheres. And even in the higher altitude duty is the keynote. King Alfred, Wolfe, and Nelson are bright examples. The subject of these few remarks is a humble example. Gordon Cameron was a son of the people, as well as a widow’s son. Nay, he was more than the latter, for he was the mainstay of her little ship-chandler business at Northumberland Dock, which kept the home together, and provided for five or six little ones. Thus, once again, the widow’s son goes out to die. Meanwhile, the loafer, rich and poor, dodges round, and in a dozen nefarious ways evades the “duty of citizenship.’
Mr Ancrum was keen to chastise those shirking their duty by ‘loafing around at home’ whilst pointing out the sacrifice of another son who was the mainstay of his family who had done his duty and been sacrificed for the Empire.
George Lloyd Kemp was one of the youngest victims of the war. Aged 15, he was the son of Mrs Ada Kent, of 15 Northumberland Square.
An apprentice on ss Claverley of Newcastle, he had spotted a mine and saved his fellow crew members but then sleeping in his berth the ship struck another mine and he was drowned.
His name was included on the information board recently placed in Northumberland Square, where the four victims from the Square are remembered.
Kingswell Kemp had been severely wounded on the Somme and was travelling in a motorcycle sidecar near Cleadon.
Discharged from the army as no longer fit for service, he died of his injuries when he was struck by a lorry.
His companion, Mansfield Ward, a draughtsman of York who was living with him at Preston Avenue, was also killed.
Both died in Southwick Hospital in Sunderland and are buried in Preston Cemetery.
Anyone with information on this week’s casualties or anyone killed or died as a result of the war is asked to contact the project.
The project workroom is open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday for visitors and for anyone interested to learn more or to get involved.
The exhibition featuring Richard Simpson, a survivor of the sinking of HMS Hampshire but then killed in 1917, is currently on display at the Oddfellows Arms in Albion Road, North Shields.
The battle of the Somme exhibition with details of the 78 men killed on July 1, 1916, and for whom the project is seeking information, is at the Low Lights Tavern, Brewhouse Bank, Fish Quay, North Shields.
THIS week’s list gives details of men from the former Borough of Tynemouth who were killed or died in August, 1917.
Cameron, Gordon Stuart, age 22, Private, 7th Battalion Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, KIA, 20th, Delaval Cottage, Northumberland Dock, son of Elizabeth Ann and late John Simpson Cameron. See story.
Halliday, Joseph, age 21, Private, 8th Battalion West Riding Regiment, KIA, 27th, Robin Hood Inn, 2 Pant Street, husband of Ann Halliday, 75 Northumberland Avenue, Newbiggin by the Sea. Tyne Cot Memorial.
Hewitt, John Robert, Private, 8th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders, KIA,22nd, 6 Bewick Street, Willington Quay, born North Shields, Tyne Cot Cemetery.
Jessup, Joseph William, age 21, Private, 9th Battalion KOYLI (formerly Royal Horse Artillery and RFA), KIA 13th, previously wounded on two occasions in May and July, 1917, son of Ellen A and William John, Cleveland Cottage, Cleveland Crescent. Croisilles British Cemetery.
Johnson, John William, Private, 10th Battalion Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), formerly NF (19th Battalion) DOW, 3rd, 49 Belford Terrace, husband of Mrs L Johnston, Barman , Lambton Arms. Mendinghem Military Cemetery.
Kemp, Kingswell, age 24, Private, 16th Battalion, died in road accident August 13, 1917, having been discharged when severely wounded on July 1, 1916, son of Charles, retired Master Mariner, 45 Preston Avenue, former pupil of Tynemouth High School. Tynemouth Cemetery.
Kent, George Lloyd, age 15, Apprentice, ss Claverley (Newcastle), drowned 20th, son of Ada Annie and late Robert Patterson Kent, 15 Northumberland Square. Tower Hill Memorial. See story.
Palmer, Herbert Frederick, age 35, Private, 2nd/6th Battalion King’s (Liverpool) Regiment, DOW, 12th, 40 Beverley Terrace, son of John and Mary Palmer, husband of Eleanor B Palmer, 10 Alexandra Terrace, Whitley Bay, died at Base hospital, Etaples, born Gloucester. Information needed on how his family came to live in Cullercoats.
Reddy, James, age 20, Private, Prince of Wales Own (West Yorks Regiment), formerly 19th Battalion NF (Pioneers), KIA, 18th, 197 Stephenson Street, son of James and late Margaret.
Yeaman, Joseph Henry, age 32, Private, 11th Battalion NF, died 26th, 46 Camden Street, formerly of Ashington. Two others in family killed in war. Died of stress induced illness one month after discharge. Buried in Preston Cemetery.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Tynemouth World War 1 Commemoration Project, c/o Essell, 29 Howard Street, North Shields, NE30 1AR.