Articles of War
Recording a community's contribution and commemoration of, the Great War 1914 - 19
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 in the 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
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
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.
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).
Three Kings Brewery's bottled version of 'Tyneside Tommy' commemorative ale with limited edition 'dog tag' labels.
Available periodically from Wine Chambers Front Street Tynemouth, 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, Rehills Off License, Osborne Ave, Jesmond, Boda Home, Whitley Bay, The Discount Centre, Whitley Bay, Cullercoats Crescent Club, Cullercoats.
To date a range of 30 biographical 'dog-tag' labels have been produced.