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16th (Newcastle) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- 16th (Newcastle) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers during the Great War -


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16th (Newcastle) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers



   16th (Newcastle) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers was raised at Newcastle in September 1914 by the Newcastle & Gateshead Chamber of Commerce, one of the Pals Battalions. They served with 96th Brigade, 32nd Division, and began training near home then moved in May 1915 to concentrate in Shropshire at Prees Heath. The camp was found to be too wet for training and the Division moved to Wensley and Richmond in Yorkshire, using the firing ranges at Strenshall. In August 1915 they moved for final training and firing practice at Codford on Salisbury Plain. They proceeded to France on the 22nd of November 1915. In 1916 they were in action during the Battles of the Somme 1916, In 1917 they were involved in Operations on the Ancre and the pursuit of the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line. In 1918 they were in action on the Somme and in the Battles of the Hindenburg Line and the Final Advance in Picardy.

17th May 1915 122 Brigade Inspected

22nd Nov 1915 16th Northumberland Fusilers arrived in France  16 Btn, Northumberland Fusiliers disembark at Boulogne from Folkestone.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


24th Nov 1915 16th Northumberland Fusilers leave Bologne  16 Btn, Northumberland Fusiliers entrain at Boulogne for Domqueur (C Coy being at Le Plouy, with 96 Bde HQ)

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


27th Nov 1915 16th Northumberland Fusilers on the march  16 Btn, Northumberland Fusiliers march to Bourdon, via Flixecourt.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


28th Nov 1915 16th Northumberland Fusilers on the march  16 Btn, Northumberland Fusiliers march from Bourdon to Cardonnette.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


30th Nov 1915 16th Northumberland Fusilers on the march  16 Btn, Northumberland Fusiliers continue march along Amiens -Bapaume road, via Albert. B & C Coys to Dernancourt, A & D coys to Meaulte, three miles from the front line.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


1st Dec 1915 16th Northumberland Fusilers go into front line  An advance party of the 16 Btn, Northumberland Fusiliers went into the front line trenches for instruction by 54 Brigade, 18th Division. Two companies formed a working party under Capt G Nesbit behind the line. The battalion suffered its first casualty, Pte A Wilson of B Coy, was wounded.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


3rd Dec 1915 16th Northumberland Fusilers go into front line  Two platoons per company went into the line, later relieved by other two platoons under instruction.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


7th Dec 1915 16th Northumberland Fusilers under instruction in front line  The whole of the 16th Battalion, went into the front line, under instruction from troops of 18th Division. They received the message “hallo Northumberlands” from the German lines.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


8th Dec 1915 16th Northumberland Fusilers take over front line  18th division withdraw, leaving 16th Northumberlands in position in front line. During this period CSM Saville and L/Cpl R.W. Ellis of C Coy joined rescue sappers working in the tunnels.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


15th Dec 1915 16th Northumberland Fusilers relieved by Royal Fusiliers  16th Northumberlands were relieved from their first stint in the front line, by a Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers. The 16th Btn march to Albert, where they were billetted in the hospital. Over the next few days they were to provide working parties for the Royal Engineers.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


20th Dec 1915 16th Northumberland Fusilers second stint in front line  16th Northumberlands return to the trenches in sector e2 to left of their first position.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


29th Dec 1915 16th Northumberland Fusilers relived by 10th Essex  16th Northumberlands were relived in sector e2 by the 10th Essex and marched to Albert then on to Millencourt where they spent the night.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


1st Jan 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers play football against 2nd Inniskillins   16th Northumberlands played the 2nd Battalio Royal Inniskillin Fusiliers in the intercopmany football matches. New Year's Day was a holiday and a special dinner took place.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


2nd Jan 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers move to Martinsart  16th Northumberlands less 3 officers and 100 men, move to Martinsart; the detachment garrisons mount keep.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


6th Jan 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers back in the line  16th Northumberlands go back into the trenches in sector g2 (left of e2) where the battalion spent several months in and out of the line: “the front line system ran along the top of the east bank of the river ancre, which was thickly wooded. the river turned in a big bend, and crossed the line to the left of (the battalion), the trenches running right down to the water, the river being more of a swamp than a well-defined river at this point. opposite and slightly to the left (...) were the ruins of thiepval just behind the german front line. a part of the château still stood and could be seen from (the battalion’s) line.” B Coy suffer casualties from trench mortars; Sgt B.K. Barnes is awarded DCM for action when he and Cpl J Ballantyne rescue four men who are buried in the collapse of a trench.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


10th Jan 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers relieved by 15th HLI  16th Northumberlands were relieved in the trenches in sector g2 by the 15th Btn Highland Light Infantry. The 16th Northumberlands return to Millencourt where they were inspected by the Duke of Northumberland. Lt Col Ritson was taken ill and was replaced by Maj A.W. Little. Maj Archer, from D coy, becomes second in command and D coy is commanded by Lt wake. A coy is commanded by Capt Harvey. C coy commanded by Capt Dunglinson.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


19th Jan 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers relieve 15th HLI  16th Northumberlands return to the trenches in sector g2 to relieve the 15th Btn Highland Light Infantry. Patrols in no man’s land are conducted, led by Lts Proctor, Mclean and Falconer.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


21st Jan 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers at  Authuille  16th Northumberlands are at Authuille, about one mile behind line as brigade reserve, working for the Royal Engineers, engaged in repairing trenches at night. Two platoons from B coy under Lt Proctor acted as garrison for Gordon Castle which was a strong point in the support line.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


26th Jan 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers move to Millencourt  16th Northumberlands move back to Millencourt to prepare for building a new trench system in f sector, work to start on the 2nd of Feb 1916.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


6th Feb 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers march to Martinsart  16th Northumberlands march to Martinsart to be divisional reserve, leaving garrisons at Authuille Keep (under Lt Parker), Mcmahon’s Post and Mill Keep.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


12th Feb 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers A & D Coys relieved by 5th Yorks  A & D Coys, 16th Northumberlands are relieved by the 5th Yorks and return to Millencourt. B & D Coys remain in the front line.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


13th Feb 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers A & D Coys relieved by 4th Yorks & Lancs  B & C Coys, 16th Northumberlands are relieved by the 5th Yorks and return to Millencourt. Teh Battalion spends the next month rotating between the front line (six or eight days at a time), support (four days) at Authuille or Black Horse Bridge, and in reserve at Millencourt or Bouzincourt (four days).

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


3rd Mar 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers C Coy in front line  C Coy, 16th Northumberlands take over trenches 144-146 from 4th Battalion, Duke of Wellingtons.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


3rd Apr 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers relieved   16th Battalion Northumberland Fusilers relieved in front line. They spend the night at Bouzincourt then march to Pierregot for a perios of rest.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


23rd Apr 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers leave Pierregot  16th Battalion Northumberland Fusilers leave Pierregot for Senlis, via Rubempre, Herissart, Contay and Warloy.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


24th Apr 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers relieve 2nd KOYLI at Black Horse Bridge  16th Battalion Northumberland Fusilers march from Senlis to Black Horse Bridge wehere they relieve the 2nd Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in support, with C Coy taking over garrsion at The Keeps.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


25th Apr 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers provide working parties for RE  From the 25th to 27th of April the 16th Northumberlands provided working parties for Royal Engineers in the line.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


28th Apr 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers take over front line trenches  The 16th Northumberland Fusiliers takes over front line trenches from the Inniskillings

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


30th Apr 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers move to Aveluy  The 16th Northumberland Fusiliers are relieved from the front line. Over night the Battalion moves to Aveluy. C & D coys are accomodated in dug-outs at Crucifix Corner, about one mile from Aveluy.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


6th May 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers move to Bouzincourt  The 16th Northumberland Fusiliers moves to Bouzincourt where they provided working parties for the Royal Engineers.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


9th May 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers move to Vadencourt Wood  The 16th Northumberland Fusiliers move into tents in Vadencourt Wood for twelve days.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


9th May 1916 Scheme of Attack is practised  The scheme of attack is practised between Baizieux and Bavelincourt for several days.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


29th May 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers at Aveluy Wood  16th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers are in tents in Aveluy Wood

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


1st Jun 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers move to Black Horse Bridge  16th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers are in the front line trenches, in dugouts at Black Horse Bridge.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


13th Jun 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers relieved  16th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers were relieved from the front line trenches and moves to billets in Warloy-Naillon and for the next week the practice of the attack scheme continues. The Battalion is informed Thiepval is their objective with A & B companies to form leading waves of attackers, a platoon from each forming one wave. C coy to be in support, following on in artillery formation. D to be reserve company and to go over in columns of platoons.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


26th Jun 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers suffer casualties in recce  16th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers suffer several officer casualties during reconnaissance of attacking start positions near Thiepval.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


27th Jun 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers prepare for attack  16th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers moves up to Knight’s Redoubt, near Bouzincourt, to wait in bivouacs, in readiness for the great attack.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


29th Jun 1916 Great attack postponed  The date fixed for great attack is postponed for forty-eight hours. Battalions ordered to "stand fast".

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


30th Jun 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers move to battle position.  The 16th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers moves to its battle position, via Martinsart, Aveluy wood and Black Horse Bridge. To relieve the 2nd Inniskillings at 2.30 am.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


1st Jul 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers attack on The Somme.  16th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers prepare to attack. A coy, led by Capt A.C. Young to attack from Skinner St to Hamilton Avenue, and from Hamilton Avenue to Maison Grise, B Coy, commanded by Capt P.G. Graham. C coy led by Capt E Thompson will be in support in communications trenches, with two platoons in Hamilton Ave and two in Gourock St. D coy led by Lt Proctor to be in reserve in the second line Gemmel trench with Battalion HQ. The battalion stands to for five hours until zero hour at 7.30, then goes over the top. Six officers are killed, thirteen wounded and over 350 other ranks are killed.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


1st Jul 1916 Wounded Rescued

2nd Jul 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers return to from attack  Only 8 officers and 279 other ranks of the 16th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers return to the bluff, north of Black Horse Bridge at 1.30 that morning. At nightfall, they move to C assembly trenches in Aveluy Wood.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


3rd Jul 1916 16th Northumberland Fusilers move to Warloy  16th Northumberland Fusiliers move to Warloy via Bouzincourt.

records of the 16th (service) battalion northumberland fusiliers captain ch cooke mc, newcastle upon tyne 1923


5th Jul 1916 16th Northumberlands move  The 16th Northumberlands move to Varennes

7th Jul 1916 16th Northumberlands move  16th Northumberlands move to Hedauville.

8th Jul 1916 16th Northumberlands to Senlis  16th Northumberlands move to Senlis.

9th Jul 1916 16th Northumberlands to Bouzincourt  16th Northumberlands move to Bouzincourt.

11th Jul 1916 16th Northumberlands relieve 2nd Manchesters  16th Northumberlands relieve the 2nd Battalion Manchester Regiment at Ovillers-la-Boisselle.

14th Jul 1916 16th Northumberlands consolidate points.  16th Northumberlands mount an attack to consolidate points 45 and 63 at Ovillers-la-Boisselle. At night they are relieved by the 2nd Battalion Manchester Regiment, the Northumberlands go into billets at Bouzincourt.

15th Jul 1916 16th Northumberlands on the march  16th Northumberlands leave the billets at Bouzincourt and march to Warloy

16th Jul 1916 16th Northumberlands on the march  16th Northumberlands march north from Warloy to Beauval.

26th Jul 1916 16th Northumberlands on the march  16th Northumberlands reach La Beuvriere and the battalion provides details for Corps HQ guard at La Buissiere.

29th Jul 1916 On the Move  16th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers move to Houchain.

1st Aug 1916 16th Northumberlands receive reinforcements  A draft of 160 other ranks arrive at Houchain to reinforce the much depleated 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers.

5th Aug 1916 16th Northumberlands on the march  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers march to Bethune and take up billets in the tobacco factory on Beuvry Road.

6th Aug 1916 New commander for 16th Northumberlands  Lt Col Ritson relinquishes command of 16th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers and returns home. Major Little replaces him. The Battalion take part in an open-air service commemorating second anniversary of outbreak of war.

21st Aug 1916 16th Northumberlands march on  The 16th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers leave Bethune, marching via Beuvry and Annequin, for the left sub-sector of the Cambrin sector, where it relieves the 2nd btn Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. A & D coys on right, B & C on the left.

25th Aug 1916 16th Northumberlands relieved at Cambrin  The 16th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers were relieved in the left sub-sector of the Cambrin sector, by the 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. The Northumberlands retired to the village line, B coy leaves the garrison in Arthur’s Keep.

29th Aug 1916 16th Northumberlands relieve 2nd Inniskillings at Cambrin  The 16th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers relieve the 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, in the left sub-sector of the Cambrin sector, resuming the routine of holding the line, rest and working parties for the next couple of weeks.

18th Sep 1916 5/6th Royal Scots relieve 16th Northumberlands  The 5/6th Royal Scots of 32 Division, relieve the 16th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers in the left sub-sector of the Cambrin sector. The Northhumberlands move to quarters in Beuvry.

26th Sep 1916 16th Northumberlands take over support line  The 16th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers leave Beuvry to occupy the support line in the Cuinchy sector, taking over from 2nd btn Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Where they manned keeps and provided working parties for the Royal Engineers.

30th Sep 1916 16th Northumberlands into front line at Cuinchy.  The 16th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers took over the right sub sector of the front line in the Cuinchy sector, from 2nd btn Royal Irish Fusiliers. A, D, and B coys take up position from right to left with C coy in support. Back in the routine of trench duty, trench-mortar activity, reserve and working parties.

8th Oct 1916 2nd Irish Fusiliers relieved at Cuinchy  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers moved to up the line to relieve the 2nd Btn Royal Irish Rifles in the Cuinchy sub sector.

10th Oct 1916 16th Northumberland Fusiliers relieved at Cuinchy  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers relieved by the 2nd Btn East Surrey Regiment and the 2nd King Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in the Cuinchy sub sector. The 16th Northumberlands move to Bethune for training.

13th Oct 1916 New draft join 16th Northumberland Fusiliers   A further draft of 249 other ranks arrived at Bethune to join the 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers. Company training continued.

15th Oct 1916 16th Northumberland Fusiliers on the march  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers marched south from Bethune to return to The Somme sector. They spent the night at Dieval.

17th Oct 1916 16th Northumberland Fusiliers march south  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers marched to Gouy-en-Ternois, via Frevillers, enroute to The Somme sector.

18th Oct 1916 16th Northumberland Fusiliers march south  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers march from Gouy-en-Ternois to Amplier, enroute to The Somme sector.

19th Oct 1916 16th Northumberland Fusiliers march south  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers march from Amplier to Terramesnil, enroute to The Somme sector.

21st Oct 1916 16th Northumberland Fusiliers march south  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers march to Harponville.

23rd Oct 1916 16th Northumberland Fusiliers return to the Somme  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers march from Harponville to Albert Brickfields, via Vadencourt, Warloy, Henencourt and Millencourt. They spend the night under canvas in heavy rain, some in bivouacs.

24th Oct 1916 16th Northumberland Fusiliers prepare to attack  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers undertake reconnaissance to prepare for an attack on Pys and on to Achiet-le-Petit. The advance is postponed because of appalling weather conditions.

26th Oct 1916 16th Northumberland Fusiliers ordered to Warloy  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers are ordered to move to Warloy via Bouzincourt and Senlis.

31st Oct 1916 16th Northumberland Fusiliers join Brigade exercises  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers move from Warloy to Herissart, via Vadencourt and Contay for a period of training and brigade exercises.

13th Nov 1916 16th Northumberland Fusiliers return to Warloy  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers return to thier old billets at Warloy.

14th Nov 1916 16th Northumberland Fusiliers back in front line  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers go back to the line via Bouzincourt, Aveluy and Crucifix Corner, guided by 16th Rifle Brigade. B coy take up position in Schwaben Redoubt with the remainder of the battalion in the former German front line, in support of 19 Division, while remainder of 32 Division moved north to Beaumont-Hamel for an attack from the wagon road (this was abandoned because of mud). During this period, the Battalion recovered and buried its dead from 1st of July.

17th Nov 1916 16th Northumberland Fusiliers rejoin Brigade  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers are withdrawn from the Schwaben Redoubt and move to Mailly-Maillet to rejoin the Brigade, now in support of the Division.

18th Nov 1916 Enemy attack  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers ordered to stand-to owing to enemy attack. They return to billets.

19th Nov 1916 16th Northumberland Fusiliers become Divisional Reserve  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers become Divisional reserve, at Ellis Square, attached to 14 Brigade. A and D coys go into the line to support 1st Btn Dorset Regiment.

20th Nov 1916 16th Northumberland Fusiliers relieve 15th HLI and 1st Dorsets  16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers relieve 15th Btn Highland Light Infantry. B Coy under Capt W Lunn take over on the right and C coy under Capt W. Smith on the left. Communication with the 1st Dorsets on right and 2nd KOYLI on the left, is very difficult beacuse of the deplorable state of the trenches. A and D coys take over from 1st Dorsets.

23rd Nov 1916 14 Brigade ordered to advance  An order is received from GOC 14 Brigade to capture point 88 and point 17, but mud and absence of artillery preparation makes the advance near impossible. 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers suffer several casualties, most caused by "shorts" from British artillery.

24th Nov 1916 16th Northumberland Fusiliers relieved by 2nd Gordons  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers are relieved by 2nd Btn Gordon Highlanders ("one of the finest battalions we met in France"). The Northumberlands move to Raincheval via Mailly-Maillet.

25th Nov 1916 16th Northumberland Fusiliers rejoin 32 Division  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers rejoin 32 Division at Amplier.

26th Nov 1916 16th Northumberland Fusiliers move to Bonneville  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers move to Bonneville, via Beauval and Valheureux, to rest.

04 Dec 1916 16th Northumberland Fusiliers inspected  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers inspected by Brigadier-General Ashburner, the new 96 Brigade GOC

25 Dec 1916 16th Northumberland Fusiliers enjoy splendid dinner  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers enjoyed a splendid christmas dinner, generously subsidised by the Chamber of Commerce.

6th Jan 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers leave Bonneville  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers leaves Bonneville for Sarton.

7th Jan 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers on march  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers continue march, A & C companies to Bus, B & D coys to Couin.

8th Jan 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers provide working parties  B and D coys 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers provide working parties at Colincamps and Beaussart, C coy provides guards for prisoners at Bus whilst the officers reconnoitre the new line in front of Serre.

14th Jan 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers into front line  16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers takes over the new line in front of Serre with A and C coys in front line posts, B and D in support.

17th Jan 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers relieved by 16th Lancs  16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers are relieved in line by 16th Btn Lancashire Fusiliers, and move into huts at Courcelles as Brigade reserve.

19th Jan 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers into front line  16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers relieves 5/6 Btn Royal Scots and 2 Btn Manchester Regiment in trenches. B, C andDd coys in line holding posts and A coy in reserve. This trench relief routine continues until the 27th of January.

28th Jan 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers relieved by 15th Lancs  16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers are relieved by 15th Btn Lancashire Fusiliers and move into billets at Mailly-Maillet amid rumours of an impending advance.

2nd Feb 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers into line  16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers are attached to 97 Infantry Brigade. B and C coys and Ballation HQ march to the line in front of Beaumont Hamel and relieve 2nd Btn. KOYLI. HQ is set up in Walker Quarry, Wagon Road. C coy go into in dug-outs in Beaumont Hamel. B coy go into the front line on the ridge, in posts named Axle, Hell, Hub, Wheel and Peach. A and D coys remain in reserve at Mailly-Maillet but are brought up to Beaumont Hamel the next day.

3rd Feb 1917 Heavy Shelling at Beaumont Hamel  Heavy shelling all night as C coy relieve B coy 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers in the front line and locate the enemy in posts in Ten Tree Alley.

4th Feb 1917 Heavy Shelling continues at Beaumont Hamel  Further heavy bombardment forces Peach post to be temporarily evacuated by the 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers, during night B coy relieves C.

5h Feb 1917 16th Northumberlands at Beaumont Hamel  D Coy 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers, take over the line from B coy. A coy moves into the HQ dug-out at Walker Quarry whilst B and C coys are in reserve in cellars at Beaumont Hamel. Orders recieved for 97 brigade to attack and A coy are to guard their left flank, they are sent to Mailly-Maillet for training. C coy take thier position in Walker Quarry.

9th Feb 1917 16th Northumberlands at Beaumont Hamel  B Coy 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers are relieved in the line after suffering several casualties.

10th Feb 1917 A Coy, 16th Northumberland Fusilers advance  A Coy, 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers arrive at start position and the advance commences.

11th Feb 1917 Fighting Continues  A Coy, 16th Btn Northumberland Fusilers inflict a number of casualties as fighting continues. Capt Lindsay and Lt Baird are awarded the Military Cross for Gallantry.

12th Feb 1917 Fighting Continues  A Coy, 16th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers are relieved by B Coy and take over Hub post from C coy, which returns to Walker Quarry; D coy are in dug-outs in Wagon Road.

13th Feb 1917 17th HLI attack Ten Tree Alley  17th Battalion Highland Light Infantry attack a strong point in Ten Tree alley. B Coy, 16th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers suffers casualties and A coy send reinforcements forward, whilst C coy reinforce A coy in Hub post. the 16th Northumberland Battalion are relieved in the line by the 2/6 Btn West Yorkshire Regt who have just arrived from England. The Northumberlands return to billets at Mailly-Maillet and Bertrancourt.

14th Feb 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers on the march  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers leave Mailly-Maillet and Bertrancourt, marching to to Lealvillers.

16th Feb 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers march South  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers leave Lealvillers and march south, first to Contay.

17th Feb 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers march South  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers march into 4th army area, to Villers-Bocage.

19th Feb 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers march South  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers march from Villers-Bocage to Camon, a suburb of Amiens.

20th Feb 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers on the march  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers march from Camon, Amiens towards Beaufort, along the Amiens-Roye road.

22nd Feb 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers receive new draft  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers receive a new draft of 100 men at Berteaucourt.

23rd Feb 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers into Brigade Reserve  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers arrive at Beaufort via Fresnoy and go into Brigade reserve.

24th Feb 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers in dug outs  C and D Coys, 16th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers move up to dug-outs at Warvillers.

27th Feb 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers relieve 16th Lancs  A and B Coys, 16th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers move up to the dug-outs at Warvillers to join C & D Coys. At night they move to line, taking over from 16 Btn Lancashire Fusiliers. All companies are in the front line over a very extended front.

1st Mar 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers return to Beaufort  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers are relieved in the front line and return to Beaufort for a week of drill and training. A further draft of 135 men arrives.

8th Mar 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers relieve 15th HLI  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers relieve the 15th Battalion, Highland Light Infantry in close support at Le Quesnoy. Lt Col A.J. Scully MC, takes command of the 16th Northumberland battalion.

11th Mar 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers relieve 2nd Inniskillings  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers relieve 2nd Btn Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, on the extreme right of the divisional sector, the french are on right of battalion with the connecting point at the Amiens-Roye road.

15th Mar 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers relieved by 2nd Inniskillings  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers are relieved by the 2nd Btn Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, on the extreme right of the divisional sector, up to the Amiens-Roye road, with French troops to their right.

16th Mar 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers receive orders  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers are in dug-outs at Bouchoir, they are ordered to be ready to support the French attack south of the Amiens-Roye road, forming defensive left flank for them.

17th Mar 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers move forward  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers move forward, encountering no opposition due to the beginning of German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line.

18th Mar 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers cross the German line  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers cross the German line through Parvillers and move on to the line Sept Fours, pausing at Etalon for the night.

19th Mar 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers advance  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers set out from Etalon and enter Nesle they continue to advance to Canal du Nord, with Quiquer on right of the Battalion front. A further advance is ordered to Voyennes and Offoy on the Somme Canal. Here they remain for eight days, engaged in digging bridge-head defences.

29th Mar 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers leave Offoy  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers leave Offoy for Matigny, where they take up billets in cellars.

31st Mar 1917 96th Bridage launch attack  The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers man the outpost line, with Battalion HQ at Germaine. A strong enemy rearguard party is located at Savy Wood and 96 brigade are ordered to clear it. The 2nd Inniskillings and 15th Lancashires attack with 16th Northumberlands in support.

1st Apr 1917 Attack captures objectives  96th Brigade attack Savy Wood and capture their objectives, the 16th Northumberlands occupy the quarry for about one week, suffering fairly heavy casualties. 3 Officers wounded, 23 Other Ranks killed, 78 ORs wounded, and 5 ORs missing.

11th Apr 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers relieved  The 16th Northumberlands are relieved at Savy Wood and move to Germaine for two days.

13th Apr 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers support attack  The 16th battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers are ordered to Attilly to support the attack on Fayet.

13th Apr 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers hold town  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers take over Fayet from a Battalion of 14 Brigade.

20th Apr 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers relieved by 2/6th Ox & Bucks  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers are relieved at Fayet by the 2/6th btn Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry, the Northumberlands withdraw to Germaine.

21st Apr 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers on the march  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers march from Germaine to to Athies and take up billets in cellars.

23rd Apr 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers celebrate St George's Day  In Athies the 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers hold St George’s day celebrations.

2nd May 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers on the march  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers leave Athies and march to Rosieres via Omiecourt, to join XIV Corps under Lord Cavan.

30th May 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers move  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers leave Rosieres for Guillaucourt.

1st Jun 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers entrain  34 officers and 737 other ranks of the 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers entrain for Caestre, arriving at 6.30 in the evening. The take up billets in Bleu, to prepare for GHQ reserve during Battle of Messines, their role being to support II Anzac Corps, if needed.

6th Jun 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers stand to  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers stand to as GHQ reserve for the launch of Battle of Messines, their role being to support II Anzac Corps. The battle went well and they were not needed.

9th Jun 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers stand down  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers stand down from their role as GHQ reserve for the of Battle of Messines as the battle went well and they were not needed.

12th Jun 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers receive draft  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers receives a large draft of men and leaves Bleu for Steenvoorde.

15th Jun 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers move north  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers arrive at St Malo les Bains, via Wormhoudt.

16th Jun 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers move up  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers leave St Malo les Bains and proceeds up the line to the Nieuport Bains sector.

18th Jun 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers into the line  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers take over from the French 141st Infantry Regiment in the Nieuport Bains sector.

21st Jun 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers under fire  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers endure heavy fire in the Nieuport Bains sector. The enemy attacks at 1.0 am and enters the trench, capturing the battalion post.

23rd Jun 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers relieved by 8th Berkshires  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers are relieved in the Nieuport Bains sector by 8th Btn Royal Berkshire Regiment and withdraw to Coxyde.

25th Jun 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers on the march  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers march from Coxyde to Ghyvelde, in France. They are billeted here for ten days, practising platoon, company and battalion attacks.

4th Jul 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers move up  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers march from Ghyvelde to Jeanniot camp, outside Coxyde, catching a fleeting glimpse of HM King George V who is on a visit. The Battalion moves to Nieuport to take over from 15th Btn HLI, less C coy which demonstrates raid on blockhouse for the King.

9th Jul 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers prepare for attack  C coy, 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers commanded by Lt Watson, reconnoitres No Man’s Land to select the precise objectives and best approach for the planned attack.

10th Jul 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers endure bombardment  In Nieuport the 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers endure the heavy bombardment of Nieuport, the Battalion stands to in cellars, now under orders of 97 brigade. C coy moved to a road junction 300 yards west of the town to await orders, suffering about 30 casualties. At about 10.00 pm the other three companies moved into inner defences of the town, along west bank of the Yser canal.

12th Jul 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers relieved by 5/6th Royal Scots  On the west bank of the Yser canal, the 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers were relieved by the 5/6 Btn Royal Scots. The Northumberlands withdraws to Nieuport under orders to man the defences in case of need. The War Diary records: "C coy moved forward, but came under heavy machine gun and rifle fire from the left which inflicted heavy losses and prevented further advance. As they did not reach the line held by D coy the attack by the latter coy could not be carried out. Both C coy officers advancing with the attack, 2/Lt N.R. Futers and 2/Lt T.V. Wheeldon, were wounded." At night the 1st Dorsets take the Northumberland’s place in Nieuport and they withdraw to Ribaillet camp.

15th Jul 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers return to Nieuport  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers return to Nieuport, taking over from 15 Btn Lancashire Fusiliers. The Battalion is later relieved in Nieuport by 1/8 Btn West Yorkshire Regiment (49 division) and marches back to Jeanniot camp, remaining there for eight days engaged in working and carrying parties. Two drafts join, totallying 240 men in all. From there they move to to Bray Dunes, taking over the coast defences.

31st Jul 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers move up  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers move up from the coast defences at Bray Dunes to Coxyde because of very heavy casualties in 49 Division whcih suffered their first experience of mustard gas.

1st Aug 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers move back  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers move back from Coxyde to Ribaillet camp.

3rd Aug 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers on the move  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers move from Ribaillet camp to St George’s sector, many casualties are caused by frequent and intense bombardments.

6th Aug 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers undertake raid  Lt Townsend and sixteen men of the 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers raid rat post, killing all Germans found there. The Lt and four men are wounded. That evening B coy relieved C coy, and were ordered to repeat the raid.

9th Aug 1917 16th Lancs relieve 16th Northumberlands  16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers relieved by 16 Btn Lancashire Fusiliers. The Northumberlands move to Ribaillet camp for seven unpleasant days.

17th Aug 1917 16th Northumberlands on the move  16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers leave Ribaillet camp for Coxyde.

18th Aug 1917 16th Northumberlands undergo training  16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers move from Coxyde to Bray Dunes to undergo twelve days of training and assimilating new drafts.

29th Aug 1917 16th Northumberlands move  16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers leave Bray Dunes and return to return to Jeanniot (now Canada) camp.

8th Sep 1917 Temp commander takes over 16th Northumberland Fusiliers  Following a shell burst on Battalion HQ sleeping quarters, which injured the commanding officer, Capt Lindsay (attached Bde staff) takes over command of the 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers temporarily.

12th Sep 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers relieve 5/6th Royal Scots  16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers move into Lombartzyde sector, relieving 5/6th Royal Scots.

15th Sep 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers raid enemy lines  16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers in the Lombartzyde sector, undertake a raid on enemy raid on lines, casualties fairly heavy.

17th Sep 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers relieved by 2nd Inniskillings  2nd Battalion, Inniskilling Fusiliers relieve the 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers in the Lombartzyde sector.

21st Sep 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers relieve 2nd Inniskillings  2nd Battalion, Inniskilling Fusiliers are relieved by the 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers in the Lombartzyde sector.

24th Sep 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers move from trrenches  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers leave the trenches in the Lombartzyde sector and move into the reserve at Nieuport where they are engaged in working and carrying parties.

24th Sep 1917 Reliefs

26th Sep 1917 Shelling

29th Sep 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers on the move  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers leave the reserve at Nieuport for Coxyde

29th Sep 1917 Enemy Active

2nd Oct 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers on the move  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers move to La Panne.

5th Oct 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers to rest camp  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers move to the Divisional rest camp at Fort des Dunes, near Dunkerque and Malo les Bains.

26th Oct 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers on the move  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers leave the Divisional rest camp at Fort des Dunes, they move to Zeggers Cappel for training and rest.

11th Nov 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers on the move  The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers leave Zeggers Cappel and march to Ledringhem, en route for Ypres.

12th Nov 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers on the move  16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers march to Oudzeele and on to Turco Farm. For the next week they are engaged in supplying shells to batteries.

18th Nov 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers on the move  16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers march from Turco Farm to Brake Camp, near Poperinghe where they receive orders for an attack. The battalion is to be attached to 97 Brigade as counter-attack troops.

30th Nov 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers into the Line.  16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers goe into line, two days before the attack, taking over from the 2nd Inniskilling Fusiliers.

2nd Dec 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers attack  16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers launch attack

3rd Dec 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers withdraw  16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers are withdrawn to Irish Farm.

13th Dec 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers return to the line  16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers return to the line, taking over the front between Paddebeek and Lekker Botterbeek, with battalion HQ at Hubner Farm.

17th Dec 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers relieved  16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers are relieved, and move to Siege Camp for six days. Casualties while in the line are recorded as 1 officer 2/Lt Collings missing, 4 officers wounded, 23 ORs killed, 83 ORs wounded and 10 ORs missing.

23rd Dec 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers move  16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers exchange quarters with 2nd Manchesters, in the Ypres-Comines canal bank.

29th Dec 1917 16th Northumberland Fusiliers on the move  16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers march from the Ypres-Comines canal bank to Irish arm and entrains for Audruicq. They then march to Sanghem and Alembon, near Calais.

18th Jan 1918 16th Northumberland Fusiliers on the move  16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers begins return to front line with two days march, via Landrethun, to Audruicq to entrain. The battalion detrains at Elverdinghe, occupying Dirty Bucket Camp.

22nd Jan 1918 16th Northumberland Fusiliers work on army line  16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers moves across the canal to Irish Farm, for work on defensive system “army line”.

28th Jan 1918 16th Northumberland Fusiliers on the move  16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers marches to Baboon Camp.

30th Jan 1918 16th Northumberland Fusiliers relieve 2nd Inniskillings  16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers relieve 2nd Inniskillings in the front line, near Poelcappelle Station. Major Thompson is severely wounded while visiting front line posts during the night.

31st Jan 1918 Enemy takes Prisoners  During heavy mist, the enemy raids a post held by elements of D coy, 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers and take ten prisoners. Determined attempts are made on each of the two succeeding nights to retaliate but the enemy are very much on the alert.

1st Feb 1918 16th Northumberland Fusiliers in the line  The war diary of the 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers states: "Battalion holding the line on right sector, from approximately v 7 b 15 40 across the Staden railway to u 6 d 90 60. In the evening, an inter-company relief was carried out, A coy relieving B on the right, and C relieving D on the left. During the night a battle patrol under 2/Lt Brownrigg made a determined attack on an enemy post near Turenne Crossing and succeeded in entering the post. But the germans had withdrawn to two pill-boxes close at hand from which a heavy fire was opened on the patrol. A further attack on the pill-boxes was attempted but the fire was too close and accurate, and the patrol withdrew with the loss of two killed and one wounded. All the casualties were successfully brought back."

2nd Feb 1918 16th Northumberland Fusiliers in the line  The war diary of the 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers states: "At night a battle patrol under Lt Watts attacked an enemy post in front of the left company but were met with heavy machine gun fire, and forced to withdraw with a loss of one or killed, one missing believed killed, and three wounded. Other patrols under 2/Lt Brown were out on the nights of 1st/2nd of February and 2nd/3rd February, but did not succeed in getting in close touch with the enemy, who was very alert and kept his machine guns active."

7th Feb 1918 16th Northumberland Fusiliers disbanded  16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers was disbanded.

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Those known to have served with

16th (Newcastle) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers

during the Great War 1914-1918.

  • Buck Bertie. Pte. (d.13th Feb 1917 )
  • Burdon Wilkie. Pte. (d.9th Apr 1918)
  • Cummusky John. Pte. (d.17th Jan 1917)
  • Gordon MM.. Thomas Alexander. Sgt. (d.2nd Feb 1918)
  • Hays T. Pte (d.14th Mar 1916)
  • Hope MC. Ernest Stelling.
  • McEwan William. Pte. (d.1st July 1916)
  • McNair John Alexander. Pte. (d.22nd Aug 1916)
  • Pattison John Forster. Pte. (d.12th Feb 1917)
  • Serginson Harold. Captain (d.27th February 1918)
  • Swanston John. L/Cpl. (d.1st Jul 1916)
  • Wilby Sydney Charles. 2nd Lt.
  • Wilkinson MM.. Edward. (d.7th Aug 1917)

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1206004

Pte. Bertie Buck 16th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers 96th Brigade (d.13th Feb 1917 )

Bertie Buck served with the 16th Btn. Northumberland Fusiliers, he was one of 7 brothers serving with the colours.

Maurice Buck




232045

2nd Lt. Sydney Charles Wilby 7th Btn. Northamptonshire Rgt.

Charles Sydney Wilby was born in Finedon, Northamptonshire on 1st July 1896, and his birth was registered on 6th July 1896. When he applied for a duplicate birth certificate after the end of the First World War, he put Sydney Charles Wilby on it. All his military records are listed as Sydney Charles Wilby.

He enlisted in the Army on 14th September 1914, having attested that he was aged 19 years 2 months, not 18 and that his trade was engineering. On his enlistment papers it states that he was 5ft 3 inches tall, of sallow complexion with dark eyes and hair and was a Wesleyan.

He was posted to the 7th Northamptonshire Regiment on 15th August as a Private and appointed (unpaid) Lance Corporal on 1st December 1915 and (paid) Lance Corporal on 24th December 1915. On 18th September 1916, he was promoted to Corporal. On 30th October 1917, he was discharged to a commission in the Northumberland Fusiliers.

The 7/Northamptonshire were formed at the behest of Edgar Mobbs an England Rugby International who was killed in WW1.

Sydney Charles Wilby was first sent to the Western Front on 31st August 1915 and remained on active service until 11th May 1917, when he returned to England for officer training, going back to France in November 1917. He took part in the Battle of Loos in September 1915. The regiment then moved up to Ypres in early 1916.

On 29th April 1916, he was wounded in action, probably at Hell Fire Corner at Ploegstraat, Belgium. His wounds included a shrapnel wound to the face. He was admitted to a field hospital and transferred to the Military Hospital in Boulogne on 30th April before being moved to Etaples. He was then transferred to the Canadian Field Hospital in Boulogne, where the Doctor was Lieutenant Colonel John McRae, who wrote the famous poem ‘In Flanders Field’. Lance Corporal Wilby was discharged to base on 13th May and returned to duty in the field on 20th May 1916.

The 7th Northants were not present at the start of the Battle of the Somme, but moved there in early August 1916. They were ordered to take the village of Guillemont, attacking east from Trones Wood, which had been captured in July. Other attacks to take Guillemont had failed, as did this one. The casualties were as follows: 45 killed, 49 missing and 258 injured. In September the regiment did another tour at the front, near Delville Wood before moving away from the Somme to Vimy, where they were remained in the trenches for a few weeks and raided German lines. Lance Corporal Wilby was promoted to Corporal on 18th September 1916. In October 1916 the regiment moved back to Loos where they stayed until March 1917, when again they moved back to Vimy, taking part in the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917.

On 11th May 1917 he was sent to England for appointment to a cadet unit and returned to the front on 30th October 1917 as a 2nd Lieutenant with the 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. During his time with the Northumberland Fusiliers, he took part in the defence of Operation Michael – the German offensive to push the British back from St Quentin to Amiens in late March 1918. He was wounded again on 31st March 1918 in the jaw. The casualties on the British side were high, and the battalion was sent to Givenchy, near the river Lys, to rebuild. However, they were hit by Operation Mars, a second German offensive in early April 1918. Again there were large numbers of casualties.

After this, the battalion was sent to Notre Dame les Dames on the Aisne, and fought there on 27th May 1918. By now, the battalion was so severely depleted that it was broken up and the remainder transferred to the Lincolns.

He joined the Lincolnshire regiment on 19th June 1918 being posted to D Company on 25th June. During the latter part of 1918, he took part in the final advance on Albert, on the Somme in August 1918, Epehy in September 1918 and Cambrai in October 1918.

On returning to England he was transferred again to the Northumberland Fusiliers and relinquished his commission on 21st December 1920, but retained the rank of 2nd lieutenant.

He was finally notified that as he had reached the ‘age limit of liability’ on 20th November 1945, he could finally relinquish his commission.

Christina Cazalet




217258

Edward Wilkinson MM. Northumberland Fusiliers (d.7th Aug 1917)

Edward Wilkinson 16th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers 6810 died 7th August 1917. he is commemorated on the Nieuport Memorial Belgium. He was 23 years old and 2 other brothers were also killed.

On the night of 11/12th July 1917 he was in charge of a Lewis gun when an attack was developing. He opened fire under intense barrage. He continued to fire until all his team had been killed or wounded and then moved his gun to another shell hole further forward and continued firing until the gun was knocked out with the force of a shell. He then brought the back to his trench. He showed the greatest devotion to duty and an absolute disregard of danger. For this he was awarded the Military Medal.

Mrs J Harris




216525

Pte. William McEwan 16th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers (d.1st July 1916)

William McEwan served with 16th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers and was aged 23 when he died on 1st July 1916. Born in Jarrow in 1893 he was the son of William and Euphemia McEwan of 1 Kent Villas Jarrow. On the 1911 census, William McEwan age 18 Drapers Assistant is listed as living with his parents William and Euphemia McEwan and family at 75 St. Paul's Road, Jarrow. He enlisted in Newcastle.

William is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial and is commemorated on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church Jarrow.

Vin Mullen




216455

Pte. John Alexander McNair 16th (Service) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers (d.22nd Aug 1916)

John Alexander McNair enlisted Newcastle and served with the 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. He was killed in action age 24 on the 22nd August 1916 and is buried in Cambrin Churchyard Extension. His medal card records the award of the 1915 Star, War and Victory Medals and that he was killed in action.

John was born in Jarrow 1892, son of John Alexander and Margaret McNair nee Nesbitt of 23 South Eldon Street, South Shields.

Vin Mullen




216248

L/Cpl. John Swanston 16th Battalion, C Company Northumberland Fusiliers (d.1st Jul 1916)

John Swanston died aged 37. He was born in Gateshead and was the husband of Edith Ann R. Swanston (nee Fairbank). In the 1911 Census, he is recorded as John Swanston, age 33, a Drapery Traveller, lived with his wife Edith Ann Swanston & their 2 daughters at 31, Rose Street, Hepburn-on-Tyne. He enlisted in Cramlington

John is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial and is commemorated on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church Jarrow.

Vin Mullen




215326

Pte. John Cummusky 16th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers (d.17th Jan 1917)

John Cummiskey was aged 25 when died on 17th January 1917. Born in Runcorn Cheshire he lived in Jarrow and enlisted in Cramlington. Son of the late John and Mary Cummusky of 7 Old Church Jarrow. On the 1911 census he is recorded as John Cummiskey age 19 Assistant Chemical Chemist at Chemical Works living with his parents John and Mary Cummiskey and family at 7 Old Church, Jarrow

John is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial and is commemorated on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church, Jarrow.

Vin Mullen




210812

Pte. John Forster Pattison 16th Btn. Northumberland Fusiliers (d.12th Feb 1917)

John Pattinson was killed in Action in France.

Lynda




209473

Sgt. Thomas Alexander Gordon MM. 16th (Tyneside Commercials) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers (d.2nd Feb 1918)

Thomas Alexander Gordon, known as Tom, was born on 2 March 1890, at 25 Sopwith Street, Benwell, Newcastle upon Tyne. His father, William Gordon, aged 35 at the time of Tom's birth, was employed as a furnace-man at the Elswick engineering works. His mother was Hannah Gordon, nee Thompson, aged 32 at the time of his birth. It would appear that he was named Thomas for his mother's father, and Alexander for his father's father. Tom was the second of four sons born to William and Hannah. It seems that William, the eldest son, served in the Royal Marines for some time. After Tom came Duncan, probably born in 1896, who enlisted during WW1 and was killed in the Pozires sector on 29 March 1918, when serving with 1st Bn The Royal Dublin Fusiliers. The fourth brother, Robert Rutherford Gordon, also served in WW1 and apparently was gassed and invalided out.

Tom Gordon was working in the clothing department at the Newcastle Cooperative Society, as a tailor's cutter, when he enlisted in the 16th (Service) Battalion in September 1914. The Newcastle and Gateshead Chamber of Commerce raised the entire battalion in the space of eight days between the 8th and 16th of September. The battalion thus earned the nickname of "Tyneside Commercials" which its members bore proudly alongside their comrades of the "Tyneside Scottish" and the "Tyneside Irish". Tom may nonetheless have hesitated a little - his battalion number was 16/701, as he had married at the beginning of 1914, and his wife, Edith (nee Orr) was six months pregnant with their first (and only) child, William.

When the battalion landed in France, at Boulogne, on the 22nd of November 1915, Tom appeared on the embarkation list, as printed in Captain CH Cooke's "Historical Records of the 16th (Service Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers", as "TH Gordon". He was in C Company, commanded by Captain D Lindsay, who went on to win the MC and, as a Major, to be 2 in command of the Battalion. At Thiepval, Tom served in N11 platoon, if he was already in that platoon on embarkation it was then commanded by 2/Lt R Reed.

The Battalion moved rapidly from Boulogne into the front line, in the Thiepval sector of the Somme, to be greeted with the cry "Hallo, Northumberlands!" from the German lines. They remained in this sector, in the front line, or in support, or in reserve, or employed in working parties, until the big offensive known as the "First Day on the Somme", 1st of July 1916.

On the day, the battalion took up its battle position at 02:30, and finally moved forward at 07:30. A and B Companies led the attack, C Company (now commanded by Captain E Thompson) were in support, and D Company in reserve. Tom Gordon (still shown as "TH Gordon") is in the list for 11 Platoon, under the orders of Sgt CA Yarrow who had enlisted shortly after Tom. At the end of the day, the platoon had lost five killed (including two of their Corporals) and had twenty two wounded. The following day only eight officers, and two hundred and seventy nine other ranks of the battalion were able to march into their quarters.

In 1917, on 17 September (London Gazette), by which time he had been promoted to Corporal, Tom was awarded the Military Medal, along with eight other NCOs and men of the Northumberland Fusiliers. This also appeared in the 29 September issue of the regimental journal, St George's Gazette. There were no citations published for the MM (created in March 1916) but family tradition says that he had rescued a wounded officer lying out in No Man's Land, presumably on the 1st of July. By a strange coincidence, his son William, serving with the Royal Artillery in the Knightsbridge Box in 1942, was in his turn carried back to the British lines by his officer, after collapsing with rheumatic fever.

In November 1917 the battalion moved to Belgium, in the Ypres salient. Tom Gordon, now a Sergeant, was able to go home on leave for the Christmas/New Year period. It was during this leave that the only photograph of him, with his wife and son William (who had just celebrated his third birthday) was taken.

It is not known when Tom rejoined the battalion which at the end of January was in the front line near Poelcappelle, in the Ypres Salient. His death in action was reported to have occurred during the night of 1 - 2 February 1918. The battalion War Diary has this to say: "Battalion holding the line on right sector, from approximately V 7 b 15 40 across the Staden railway to U 6 d 90 60. In the evening, an inter-company relief was carried out, A Coy relieving B on the right, and C relieving D on the left. During the night a Battle Patrol under 2/Lt Brownrigg made a determined attack on an enemy post near Turenne Crossing and succeeded in entering the post. But the Germans had withdrawn to two pill-boxes close at hand from which a heavy fire was opened on the patrol. A further attack on the pill-boxes was attempted but the fire was too close and accurate, and the patrol withdrew with the loss of two killed and one wounded. All the casualties were successfully brought back."

The battalion was disbanded on 7 February 1918.

Apparently, Tom Gordon's burial place was not recorded, or else was lost. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, in response to a query, wrote: "His grave was among those which the Graves Services were unable to trace after the war and he is, therefore, commemorated by name on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Passchendaele."

After the war, his widow, Edith, was married again, to a former colleague of Tom's from the Co-op, Ernest Kennedy. They had no children. When Edith died, in 1942, both her son William and her husband Ernest were serving abroad in HM Forces and so were unable to return home. It appears that Tom's letters and other papers, which Edith had kept, were thrown out by her second husband's family. Ironically, Tom's War Office records, along with many thousands of others, were destroyed by fire as a result of enemy bombing of London during WW2. Fortunately, when Tom and Edith's son, William (my father), returned to Newcastle at the end of WW2 he was able to recover his father's decorations, including his Military Medal.

Keith Gordon




2009

Pte T Hays 19th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers (d.14th Mar 1916)

Hays, T. Private, 19/147 Killed in action on 14th March 1916. Aged 21 years.

Buried in Vieille-Chapelle New Military Cemetery, Lacouture, Pas de Calais, in grave III. I. 6.

Son of John Hays. Born at South Shields. The CWGC records show him as attached to the 16th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers.

From the 19th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers Roll of Honour.

Dave Willis






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