An Artist’s War

The Art and Letters of Morris & Alice Meredith Williams
Phyllida Shaw

He was an artist, she a sculptor. Together this husband and wife team captured the Great War like no one else has.

Visitors to Edinburgh Castle see the work of Morris and Alice Meredith Williams every day, and do so in their thousands. And yet both have been largely neglected as artists of the First World War.

When war broke out, Morris Meredith Williams was living in Edinburgh with his wife Alice, a sculptor, and earning his living from book illustration and teaching. A short man, his attempt to join the army in 1914 failed, but six months later he was accepted by the 17th Battalion, The Welsh Regiment, first Bantam battalion.

Never without a sketchbook and pencils in his pocket, he produced an extraordinary record of his surroundings. After the war some of the sketches became oil paintings while others inspired war memorials in various media, most notably for the Scottish National War Memorial, on which he and Alice worked together.

In this stunning book, the Meredith Williams’ art is displayed in fine style, ranging from the touching and heartfelt to the most brutal, stark images of the waste and loss of war.

May 2017 £30.00
978-0-7509-8238-2 hardback
250x250mm, 272 pages 300 colour illustrations

Phyllida Shaw was bequeathed Morris Meredith Williams’ sketchbooks by his second wife, her great aunt. She has worked as a researcher and writer in the cultural sector for thirty years. The book is designed by graphic designer David Grey, who is closely involved with the Northumbria World War I project.

An Artists war

The Response – The North East and the Great War : 1914 – 1918

Full of information collated by the project's volunteers ; written by Ruth Chittenden and Alan Fidler, this 52 page book covers our region's contribution to 'the war to end all wars'. Price £5.00

Lavishly illustrated and full of personal stories of heroism, bravery and tragedy with many photographs of personal artefacts and recollections of the war.

Available to buy from  Keel Row Bookshop, Fenwick Terrace, North Shields : Project workroom, Linskill Community Centre ; Project Shop, Front Street – Tynemouth ; North Shields Customer First Centre (library) and other Customer First Centres and libraries throughout North Tyneside.

Old Low Light Heritage Centre, Clifford's Fort, Fish Quay, North Shields.

Purchase online via PayPal (£6.80 inc. post and packing).


Delicate as Paper

Phil Caffrey has written and recorded a new song 'Delicate as Paper', and it's available for download now from
Phil says: 'The idea for this song came to me whilst I was waiting for the 6.55am 308 bus on my way to the school. I wrote it about two boys who go to school together, and end up fighting together in the First World War. One of the boys dies in battle. Why I wrote it with me in it, I don't really know; maybe it was a an attempt to try and connect with it in some way. Sometimes we are not in control of how ideas develop.

I feel a real sense of pride as I sang this song very recently at the unveiling of the headstone of my Grandad, Andrew Neil. I wrote this song two years ago, not knowing I would do that. I guess it was meant to be.'

You can purchase the new song here.

Written & recorded by Phil Caffrey: All proceeds will go the Northumbria World War One Commemoration Project

Tyneside Tommy

Three Kings Brewery's bottled version of 'Tyneside Tommy' commemorative ale with limited edition 'dog tag' labels. Original 12 now augmented with 9 Tyneside Tommies who served on the Somme and 9 Dominion Geordies.

Have you collected all 30?

Available from Wine Chambers Front Street Tynemouth and Walton Avenue North Shields, Cherry Wines, Trevor Terrace, North Shields, Oddfellows Arms, North Shields, Low Lights Tavern, Fish Quay, North Shields also from Glug... Grainger Street Newcastle and Coppers, Gosforth, Arch Sixteen Café, Gateshead, Rehills Off License, Osborne Ave, Jesmond, Boda Home, Whitley Bay, The Discount Centre, Whitley Bay, Cullercoats Crescent Club, Cullercoats.


Far from Home

Songs and verse of the Great War

Performed by Tyneside folk artist Jed Grimes.


Keep The Home Fires Burning
Christmas 1914
It’s A Long way To Tipperary
No Man’s Land
Oh, It’s A Lovely War
Dulce Et Decorum Est
Spalpeen Aroon (for the Tyneside Scottish and Irish Brigades)
When This Bloody War Is Over
The Spirit
Only Remembered
Strange Hells

Jed Grimes: vocals, acoustic guitar, bozouki.
with Liam Fender: accordion

Available from the Keel Row Bookshop and online.

Price £8 (plus £2.50 P+P online)

Tyneside and the Battle of Jutland

Tyneside and the Battle of Jutland, with a foreword by Hon. N. Jellicoe,the grandson of the Commander in Chief of the Grand Fleet, Earl Jellicoe is available to purchase now, priced £6.99.

A century after one of the greatest naval fights in history, Tyneside and the Battle of Jutland, offers a brief outline of the momentous events at sea on 31st May 1916 and the role played by local men and locally built ships, including a list of local casualties of the battle. Two of the three Royal navy battle cruisers lost in the action were built on the Tyne. After the fighting the region played a key role in repairing damaged vessels and caring for wounded sailors. This book should appeal to anyone with an interest in maritime or local history.

You can purchase the book online here.

Paperback, 92 Pages.