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Book looking at impact of First World War on Tynemouth is launched

Alan Fidler.
Alan Fidler.

A new book looking at the impact of the First World War is to be launched as the centenary of the conflict approaches.

Alan Fidler has spent the last seven years working on Articles of War which looks at the impact of the war on the former borough of Tynemouth.

The Tynemouth (later Northumbria) World War One Commemoration project – which Alan is a co-ordinator of – has been publishing a weekly article in the News Guardian about the impact of the war on individuals, families and the local community.

As well as 148 articles, the book includes the powerful map of losses recorded street by street across the borough showing very few households unaffected by the bitter conflict.

It also includes images, many previously unpublished, drawn from the project’s research over eight years.

Alan said: “This project was all about researching, recording and recognising all those in the former Borough of Tynemouth who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

“I am very proud to have been coordinating the project as well as being able to record the stories of those remarkable local people who sadly never came home.”

The book will be launched in Newcastle on Monday at 6pm at the Literary and Philosophical Society Library, 23 Westgate Road. The book, £10, can be purchased from Keel Row Bookshop, Fenwick Terrace, North Shields; main libraries; and the Linskill Centre, North Shields.

Former editor of the News Guardian, Ian Arkle said: “Giving space in the paper each week for such an important subject has been a privilege.

“While newspapers predominantly record immediate issues, they also have a significant role in reflecting the past.

“The News Guardian prides itself as being a community newspaper and it was only right we gave the Tynemouth project the support and column inches it deserved.

“We are delighted to have been able to support the project from its beginnings to its conclusion with this marvellous new book.”

Publication of the book has been supported by North Tyneside Council.

Mayor Norma Redfearn CBE said: “The council is pleased to be supporting the publication of this book, one which tells an important and poignant story about our local history.

“I would like to thank Alan Fidler and the Northumbria World War One Commemoration Project for their brilliant and hard work – I know it has taken a lot of time and effort, all of which has been on a voluntary basis.

“The group has dedicated so much of their own time to produce such an important project on which the series of articles was based, and they should be incredibly proud.

““I’m sure, like me, many residents have enjoyed reading the articles regularly in the local paper and will be looking forward to the launch of the book bringing them together.”