From early in the development of the Tynemouth World War One Commemoration project the idea of placing some recognition of the individual loss of the town’s families, by means of a plaque on the house at which men killed or died were resident, before or during the war, has been under consideration. The necessary work to contact property owners and residents of those houses still standing today has been a complex process. Now, as the centenary of the outbreak of the war approaches we are able to announce that the first of the ‘blue plaques’ we have designed and manufactured will be installed on houses in North Shields in the early part of June, 2014.
Among the first streets to have plaques installed will be Newcastle Street where 5 casualties of the war lived. The plaque to be placed on 22 Newcastle Street will recognise Colin Miller Jamieson a Second Lieutenant in the 15th Battalion of the London Regiment – known as The Civil Service Rifles.
Working in London before the war he had enlisted in another of the regiment’s units - the Artist’s Rifles. Both battalions were a part of the Territorial regiment of London into which men of ability were recruited and who were recognised as potential officers for the future. Educated at Western Board School, Queen Victoria state secondary school on Coach Lane and latterly at Tynemouth High School – the town’s newly built grammar school (opened in 1904) providing the opportunity for boys and girls of ability from all social classes to get an education that would qualify them to seek entry to university. One of 10 children, his parents would have struggled to provide for his need for uniforms and extra requirements of a grammar school education. He went on to become a schoolteacher with South Shields education authority before moving to London. He had enlisted in the territorials in December, 1913 and went to France in March, 1915. Twice wounded he was reported as missing in action on May 21st 1917 and later presumed killed in action. He is named on the Arras memorial which carries the names of 77 local men killed in action in the battle area who have no known grave. He is also remembered on the Tynemouth High School Roll of Honour Boards which are still in place today in what is now the Queen Alexandra Sixth Form college campus of TyneMet College.
Tickets are still available for the next in our very popular series of talks to be held at 730pm on Tuesday, 27th May in the Low Lights Tavern, Brewhouse Bank, Fish Quay, North Shields. Ian McArdle MA a regular contributor to these events will recount the experiences of a junior medical officer on the Western Front. Charles Wilson (later Lord Moran) survived the war and went on to become Winston Churchill’s personal physician. Tickets (free) must be obtained in advance and can be got from the Low Lights Tavern, Keel Row Bookshop and the Project workroom at Linskill Centre.
Our Information Centre on Front Street, Tynemouth, next door to the library, showing some of our mini-exhibitions, will be open during the holiday week-end and during the school half-term holiday from 1100 – 1600.
The major public commemorative event we are organising in conjunction with North Tyneside Council to take place in Northumberland Square on 3rd August from 10am-4pm, with a formal service of remembrance at 2pm will make special provision for relatives of the casualties on the Tynemouth Roll of Honour, Any relative of a casualty who has not been in contact with the project over the past three years as we have published casualties details can contact the project office to register interest in reserved seating for the event, or e-mail to our contact address.