Articles of War

Recording a community's contribution and commemoration of, the Great War 1914 - 19
Alan Fidler

Alan Fidler was born in North Shields in 1949, where he has lived for most of his life. A graduate of the University of Birmingham he has worked int he private, public and not-for-profit sectors for more than 50 years. His interest in the Great War was sparked by seeing the large number of Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstones and family memorial inscriptions in Preston Cemetery in North Shields, relating to men who died in the war.

The contents of Articles of War are based on contributions published in the News Guardian over the years 2011 - 2018. They have been edited and in some cases amplified with information that came to the project after the original date of publication, particularly in respect of family history and images.


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).


Tyneside Tommy

Three Kings Brewery's bottled version of 'Tyneside Tommy' commemorative ale with limited edition 'dog tag' labels. 

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.

A range of 18 biographical 'dog-tag' labels have been produced. 12 new tags will be available to mark the centenary of the Armistice - November 2018

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.