The Northumbria World War One Commemoration Project has now succeeded the Tynemouth Project as the formal name for the work of the community volunteers from across the whole of North Tyneside engaged in expanding the project’s original database to commemorate all those from the other communities making up the modern borough of North Tyneside who died as a result of the Great War, and for which funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund has been obtained to continue our work until 2018. We have now launched the project’s much improved and expanded website which we hope as many readers as possible will find time to view at www.northumbriaworldwarone.co.uk The previous web addresses will re-direct automatically to the new site.
Our popular talks on war related topics will continue this autumn at the Low Lights Tavern on the Fish Quay, North Shields. For the future we expect that talks will be given also in other parts of the borough at suitable venues.
On 22nd September, Peter Coppack will talk on the development of armoured warfare with special reference to the Tank – a euphemistic name used to hide its early development and purpose from the enemy.
On October (27th) Ian McArdle a regular speaker for us will again deliver his very well received talk on Shell Shock, first given on Monday 24th August. The talk was a sell out and once again Ian held his audience with a well-researched and engaging talk given in the Gallery at the Old Low Light, where many works of Victor Noble Rainbird, who himself was possibly a victim of shell shock, are currently on display The exhibition of work by this renowned local artist at the Old Low Light Heritage Centre, Clifford’s Fort on the Fish Quay, North Shields (every day 10am to 4pm.) features two paintings done in France in August, 1916 shortly after Rainbird arrived in France with the Northumberland Fusiliers (2nd/6th Battalion) as reinforcements for the terrible losses suffered by the battalions of the Tyneside Scottish and Tyneside Irish Brigades on 1st July, 1916. The paintings of scenes in front of Vimy Ridge and Armentieres were done when the Tyneside Scottish were in rest in a relatively quiet sector as they refitted and recovered from their losses in front of La Boiselle on the first day of the Somme campaign.The paintings are on display until 6th September when the exhibition closes.
On Saturday 5th September at 11am, at the Exhibition gallery, David Young,who initiated the development of the Rainbird Exhibition will give a talk on Rainbird’s time at the Royal Academy before the Great War and look at some of the work of other artists who suffered from the effects of the war, as reflected in their own works. David has been meeting the many visitors to the exhibition who have come with their own family stories of Rainbird; often bringing his paintings for inclusion in the ‘short-term loan’ section of the display. All proceeds from ticket sales and purchases will be going to the fund to establish a fitting memorial at the site of Rainbird’s final resting place in a pauper’s grave in Preston cemetery. So far the sale of the exhibition catalogue and printed items of Rainbird’s works has raised over £4500 towards the fund to erect a sculpture which will remind people today of the main inspiration for his works drawn from the local area and its life in the early part of the twentieth century.
The Northumbria project’s information centre on Front Street, Tynemouth is open on week-ends and some weekdays until the end of September. Anyone with information about anyone killed or died as a result of the war from homes across all of the areas of the modern borough of North Tyneside is asked to contact the project. The Project Workroom at Room B9, Linskill Community Centre, Trevor Terrace, North Shields is open from 1000 to 1600 each weekday for visitors and for anyone interested to learn more about the project or how to get involved. Our address for correspondence is c/o Essell, 29 Howard Street, North Shields NE30 1AR.