In summer 1914, south Jesmond was swept up by the horror that was to be known as the Great War. This was deemed to be the worst ever, until it was succeeded by an even worse war in 1939, and so it is now often called the First World War. The Presbyterian Church (now Jesmond URC) in this suburb on the north fringe of Newcastle upon Tyne was to be closely involved because of its links to the 4th Battalion Tyneside Scottish, to the nearby First Northern General Hospital to which injured servicemen were repatriated, and by its own members, at least 106 of whom served and 26 were not to return. The initial response of the members, the fate of those who served, details of the nurses from the congregation and the provision of ‘comforts’ to the troops, visiting the injured, and provision of support and entertainment for those billeted in the church hall are described in Jesmond in the Great War.
The first major action in which members fought was the Battle of the Somme in 1916, and here the Tyneside Scottish suffered badly at La Boiselle.
The Battle of Arras in 1917 is less well known, but this was to be the point at which the Tyneside Scottish proved themselves to be an effective force which contributed to a considerable victory.
The Tyneside Scottish had a substantial role in the actions of Spring 1918 which were to contribute to the Armistice in November that year, and they were able to return home to present the Colours of the 4th Battalion to be laid up in the Church, where they remain to this day. We hope that you find the material informative, and please remember that we are always seeking new information, contacts and corrections. We are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for grant support for this research and for the restoration of the Colour.