Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Battalion's Sacrifice Honoured

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Battalion's Sacrifice Honoured

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Henderson Reporter jnl.newsdesk@ncjmedia.co.uk @Hendrover

ACHURCH which forged a bond with a Tyneside First World War battalion renewed the link at a special service.

The colours of the 4th Tyneside Scottish battalion - 23rd (Service) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers - were laid up in 1919 at Jesmond United Reformed Church in Newcastle. It was then a Presbyterian church, which had opened in 1888 in Burdon Terrace.

The headquarters of the Tyneside Scottish was in nearby Eskdale Terrace and the battalion's first church parade was held in the Jesmond church.

Over the years, the colours had become too fragile to display. But now they have been newly restored and were at the centre on Sunday of a service of commemoration.

They will now be on public show, supported by a new exhibit which highlights the history of the Tyneside Scottish.

The Tyneside Scottish suffered terrible casualties in their attack on La Boiselle on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

The commanders of all four Tyneside Scottish battalions were killed.

After the Somme, the Tyneside Scottish fought at Arras and Passchendaele.

Lawyer James Hall, who worked in Eskdale Terrace, was both a church elder and the secretary of the Tyneside Scottish Brigades Committee.

His son, Second Lieutenant Percy Hall, 23, a former Newcastle Royal Grammar School pupil who served in the 4th battalion, was killed on the Somme.

The church hall was used to accommodate troops, with bedding supplied by the congregation. The local community has been involved in various ways to remember the sacrifice of the Tyneside Scottish. This has included children from local schools taking part in an art competition to commemorate the Somme and a poetry competition to mark the Battle of Passchendale.

Two concerts featuring music from the First World War are planned for later in the year and early in 2018. …

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