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User Guide 20 - World War I
Revised: June 2004

This User Guide outlines many archives associated with the First World War, but is not exhaustive. References to wartime activities and attitudes may also be found in a wide range of general records for 1914-1919. It is also worth checking records for succeeding years to research the long term effects of the conflict eg reparations, 'Homes fit for heroes' and the problems of ex-servicemen.

Local authorities collections are particularly extensive and cover most aspects of the Home Front. Council minutes, committee minutes, reports, files, building control records etc relate to a wide range of public services including public health, wartime adaption of buildings, education and police. The proceedings of the council of Newcastle upon Tyne, for example are particularly useful with indexes covering topics such as enemy aliens, female labour and the local recruiting tribunal.

Similarly the archives of churches, individuals and families, businesses and public utilities contain many references to wartime themes. The records of the North East Coast Engineering Trades Employers Association for example have no specific items with titles related to war issues. However the minute books and circulars contain numerous references to industry adapting to wartime production, including government orders, loss of skilled labour and dilution.

Please note, it is not normally possible to produce unlisted collections for consultation in the Search Room.

Civil Defence and the Home Front

Gateshead

  • Local Emergency Committee Scheme in the event of a landing by the enemy December 1914 DX20/12

Newcastle

  • Gosforth Local Food Control Committee 1917-1919, including Profiteering Committee minutes UD/GO/14/1-2
  • G.H. Gray, Ministry of Food Meat Purchaser's shopping card 1919 966/61
  • Instructions in the event of an emergency raid 1915 604/86
  • Newcastle and Gateshead Butchers Association, minutes re emergency provisions TU/BA/6

North Tyneside

  • Tynemouth CBC: War Damage file 1917-1925 T15/346
  • Billeting of Civilians file 354
  • Notice re precautions in case of enemy landing December 1914 Education Room 321

Miscellaneous

  • Cramlington and Hartlepool, war damage photos DX28/1-2
  • League of National Safety, campaign posters re careful use of food 604/88
  • Wor Contemptible British Army and The Big Push, two poems printed in aid of the Nurse Cavell Memorial Fund for Disabled Nurses DBC 1845/362
  • Poem about Kaiser Wilhelm, Is There Anyone I've Forgot DF/WF/22/1

Conscription and Recruitment

Newcastle

  • John Longstaff, Military Medical Board certificate 1918 1386/43
  • Meeting on work of Royal Flying Corps, Newcastle Town Hall, poster 1917 748
  • Local Recruiting Tribunal (to assess applications for exemption for military service) papers 1916-1918 297
  • Register of Electors 1918, absent voters lists show units of men 601
  • Tyneside Irish and Scottish, swearing in of recruits, newspaper cuttings 1914 1074/554-5

Sunderland

  • Michael Belson, papers including certificate of exemption from military service DX19/2-6

Miscellaneous

  • National Service leaflet encouraging enrolment for industrial work c.1916 Education Room 322

Economy and Industry

Newcastle

  • Armstrong Whitworth report to Board re new naval yard at Walker 1910-1912 1655/1
  • Hawthorn Leslie, letter re protection of warships against submarine attacks 1914; Wages, labour force and cash turnover 1914-18 962/130 & 792
  • J.H. Holmes Electrics, William Leech, builder, taped recollections of his apprenticeship days during war DX31/1
  • Merz and McLellan, photographs of War Office transport including mobile power stations 671/496
  • Ministry of Munitions reports re 'nitrogen problem' 1917 and internal combustion engines, 1918 780/ 1644-5, 1650-55
  • The North of England Protecting and Indemnity Association (shipping Insurance) war risks files including agreements with government, statistics and circulars 1841/41-3
  • Vickers Armstrong, guides, reports, charts etc. re wartime production, including aircraft, airships and munitions D/VA
  • Elswick Works, plans 1914-1918 1027/556/1-12
  • T.G.Trobe, notebook re pay rates at Elswick munitions works for men, boys and women 1916-1919 DX822/1

North Tyneside

  • Linkleters Patent Ship Fitting Co, claims to German government for loss of work, 1919-22 694/149
  • Smith Dock Co. visit by King, 1917 DX10/32
  • Wallsend Slipway correspondence with Ministry of Munitions and files re dilution, recruitment, protected occupations, trading with the enemy and outputs DS/WS/17/1-30, DS/WS/18 and 20

South Tyneside

  • Jarrow MBC, photos of ships built by Palmers 1914-1918 T10/308

Sunderland

  • William Doxford and Sons, Admiralty correspondence re torpedo boat destroyers and barges 1915-1918 1811/86/9
  • River Wear Commissioners: damage reports of ships 1914-1925; war time posters, restrictions to docks etc. 202/2887 & 3887-3890

Education

Durham

  • Durham County Council Education Committee, school circulars contain references to attitudes to the war, Empire Day, rationing etc T156/359

Newcastle

  • Newcastle City Council: Local Education Authority salaries for staff at war 53/2/322-325
  • Scheme of Education in the Army 1918; Evening classes for officers at Brighton grove Hospital, 1918 486 Box 10605

South Tyneside

  • East Boldon School, log book, death of old boy and aid to refugees 1915 -16 T118/53
  • Whitburn Church of England Mixed School, log book contains extensive references to local and national events 1914-18 T118/75

Sunderland

  • F. Painter, Redby School, Fulwell, certificates in lieu of book prizes during Great War, 1916-1919 653

Foreign Nationals

Newcastle

  • Martin Luther German Church, volume of photographs to celebrate reign of Kaiser William II 1913 C/NC64/3 (See other German community churches C/SU68 and C/SS28)

Gateshead

  1. Belgian Refugee community, Birtley, transcripts of parish records; plans of temporary housing scheme C/ BI3/23-2 & 1603/1-2

North Tyneside

  • Wallsend Slipway, papers re employment of aliens 1914-18 DS/WS/22; internment of aliens T15/264

South Tyneside

  • R.W. Hawthorn-Leslie, personnel file re employment of German worker 1914-1918 962/816
  • South Shields CBC Riot Damages Act, claims including anti-German riots T95/172

Medical and Charitable Care

Newcastle

  • Newcastle City Council: Correspondence re the use of the Richardson Wing of the Home for Incurables as reception unit for wounded soldiers 376/19
  • War Relief Fund, Committee on Food Supplies Minutes 1914 CHX37
  • Dunston Hill Hospital (formerly Newcastle War Pensioner Hospital) Admission and Discharge Book, Great War, including name, rank, age, unit, disability etc HO/DH/7-8
  • Gosforth UDC War Relief Fund, August-December 1914 UD/GO/23
  • St John's Ambulance Brigade Auxiliary Hospital, Newcastle 1916-1919 HO/SJ
  • Naval Hostel Committee Minutes 1916-1925 CHX14/1/1-2
  • Poor Law Union: Papers re. military occupation and admission of sick and wounded; Orders for deliveries to Military Hospital 1916-7 359/520-6 & 529
  • Royal Victoria Infirmary: Military Orthopaedic Centre Committee, minutes 1917-1929 HO/RVI/35
  • Staff of the 1st Northern general Hospital RAMC, photo, October 1916 HO/RVI/104/13
  • What the Royal Victoria Infirmary has done and is doing in war time c.1916 HO/RVI/189
  • Disabled soldiers and sailors - signed reports 1917-1919 486/10637

Sunderland

  • Sunderland CBC, Military Hospitals 1914-1918 209/118
  • Sunderland RDC Soldiers and Sailors Family Relief Committee T12/495

South Tyneside

  • South Shields CBC: File re War Charities Act (1916) T95/116
  • National Relief Fund 1914-1919 T179/470

Military

Gateshead

  • Gateshead Borough Constabulary, records of recruits 1906-1968, includes particulars of military service T144/4
  • Gateshead Methodist Circuit, Badges of the British Army: Twelve Months of War, June 1 1915 2095/71

Newcastle

  • BBC Radio Newcastle, audio tapes of local history broadcasts e.g. 'The Eve of World War I', 'The DLI and the Great War' 2482 (Book at least one week in advance in writing)
  • HMS Calliope, records of the Tyne Division RNR, various operational papers and memorabilia 1577/11-13, 32-86
  • Newcastle City Council, Certificate of Service in the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces of Sgt. Alexander Tait d. 12 Dec. 1915 Gallipoli T132/76
  • Christmas greeting cards from soldiers in France 486 Box 10605
  • Poor Law Union: Transfer of institution inmates due to military occupation, papers; Bell family papers re. death of Pte. W.M. Bell, Sherwood Foresters c1918 359/527/1-9 & 612
  • Richardsons Leather Works: Sgt T. Sawyer, photograph, Ypres April 1915; Sgt Johnson, photograph c 1918 161/76 & 78
  • Tyne Pilotage Commission, loss of cutter Protector to mine 1916 and poster re Tyne defences 1060/919, 977 & 1076
  • United Methodist Hall, Grantham Road, reports re damage during military occupation C/NC/36/10

Personal Papers

  • Joseph Dugdale of the Special Reservists, soldiers small book 1914 2215/1/3
  • Lt W.B. Ellis (Army Service Corps): Royal Flying Corps Officers Certificate, 8 January 1916; RFC badge; letter from POW camp, Holzinden 10 October 1917 48/1-3
  • Ernest W Greenwood, memoirs 4-9 October 1917, photographs, nd (1914-18) DX668
  • William Falcus, Canadian Expeditionary Force, diary and papers 1915-1919 DX228 (See also An Infantryman's Diary)
  • Liddle family, Benwell, postcards and photographs re. sons in the army 517
  • R.E. Lumsden, nurse in Egypt and Salonika, diaries etc 1915-1918 DX101
  • Captain Peacock, medical papers, cartoons, especially re problem of lice, 1915-1918 812

North Tyneside

  • North Tyneside CBC file re King Edward School: use by military T15/329
  • Rhodes family, North Shields, souvenir silk handkerchiefs from the Western Front 516/15-19
  • E. Sherlock and Tyne Electrical Engineers, photographs DX16/16/1-5

South Tyneside

  • St Bede RC Church, unidentified photos of servicemen C/SS29/31/96-98

Sunderland

  • Barracks, plans 1870-1919 202/13-54

Personal Papers

  • Typescript copy of letter from Lt Mawson describing campaigns in Italy & Turkish attack, 20 May 1915 1129/99

Miscellaneous

  • French picture of the Battle of Yser 1914 DX/704
  • William Wightman, 5th Batt, Northumberland Fusiliers, discharge certificate 1917 2294/8

Peace Celebrations and Commemorations

Gateshead

  • The Illustrated Chronicle, showing portraits of Swalwell men in armed forces 1916 DX97/1

Newcastle

  • American military visit to Newcastle, photographs 1918 DX763/3
  • Easton family papers including victory garden party and 'Welcome Home' dinner 1919 DX843/3-4
  • Hawthorn Leslie, details of Forth Banks employees awarded war decorations 962/811
  • Newcastle City Council: Children's Memento of the Signing of the Peace 53/3/149 (also 1692)
  • City War Museum, Eldon Square, details 1923 604/814-5
  • Edith Cavell Memorial Fund for the Northern Counties of England 1916-1925 Peace celebrations, circulars and brochures 362
  • Peace celebrations, correspondence and minutes of the Victory festival Joint Sub-Committee 376/8
  • RAF aircraft exhibition 1919, souvenir programme 604/90
  • Visit of King George to War Memorial, Barras Bridge 1917 604/811-2
  • Peace celebrations 1919, photo's 2790
  • Correspondence, 1919-25, re presentation of freedom of City of Newcastle to Marechal Foch MF 215

North Tyneside

  • Tynemouth CBC: Mayors proposed tour of the battlefields T15/721

South Tyneside

  • Peace Celebrations Official Programme 19 July, 1919 Education Room 324

Sunderland

  • Ford war memorial and 'Welcome Home' fund 1921-25 852

Post War Planning

North Tyneside

  • Tynemouth CBC, works after the war T15/614

Miscellaneous

  • After the War, Harold Kerr 1916 604/1087
  • Final report of the Committee on Commercial and Industrial Policy after the War 1918 359/530
  • Ministry of Reconstruction reports on forestry and agriculture 1918 780/1650-5
  • Lecture notes re the past and future development of electricity and its bearing on world peace 1101/1217

Ex-Servicemen

Newcastle

  • Associated Lead manufactures Ltd, list of male employees receiving war service disablement pensions 1914-37 1512/11729-11754
  • City Council file re Disabled soldiers and sailors, correspondence with Board of Education 1918-1920 486 Box 10690
  • Newcastle contingent of Jewish ex-servicemen at London parade, photo 1930 S/JS1/16/1
  • Newcastle Tramways Department, investment of funds on behalf of William Webb, son of Septimus Webb, motorman, killed in action 1916 T202/31
  • Poor Law Union: Ex-servicemen in receipt of poor relief 1924; Papers re outdoor relief and disabled ex-servicemen 359/328 & 313

North Tyneside

  • Tynemouth CBC files: Naval and Military Pensions Committee (includes Wallsend district) ; Land settlements of ex soldiers and sailors; Employment of disabled ex-servicemen (Kings roll); Disabled Ex-servicemen's Association T15/619, 626-626A, 655 & 843,726

Miscellaneous

  • Northern Counties Joint Disablement Committee, minutes 1917-1919 G/NCD/1

War memorials and Rolls of Honour

Newcastle

  • Commercial Exchange Co Ltd, roll of members who served 1914-1918 DT/NCE/12
  • Constabulary Roll of Honour of members of police and fire brigade serving in Great War PA/NC/5/56
  • DLI, 9th Battalion, plans of memorial 1921 DX 730/1/1-4
  • Education Committee Employees Roll of Honour 1918 486 Box 10601
  • Gosforth Urban District Council volume re. war memorial 1918-27 UD/GO/22
  • Jesmond United Reformed Church links to 4 Batt. Tyneside Scottish including keeping colours, war memorials, photos of men killed 1931/92-6
  • Newcastle City Council, roll of honour (list of members of the council, chief officials, their sons & grandsons, sons-in-law who joined the forces in WWI) 1918 T237/1
  • Newcastle City Council, Museums Dept, Eldon Square War Memorial - correspondence and cuttings re design & fund 1920-21 T132/52,53
  • Ralph Hedley Ltd, artistic and memorial carvers, various memorials and rolls of honour e.g. Tynemouth High School DT/RH
  • War Memorial for Gainford St. Peter's School 1920-3 359/409

North Tyneside

  • Churches: Our Lady and St Columba's RC. Wallsend, War Memorial Committee Minutes, 1920 C/WA9/1/17
  • Whitley Bay Congregational, order of service at unveiling of war memorial 1933/10
  • Preston Colliery War Memorial, file 1934 T15/ 950
  • Unveiling of St Bartholomew's, Longbenton War Memorial, with roll of honour 1803/1/5
  • Unveiling of Tynemouth War Memorial, photo 28 March 1925 1630

South Tyneside

  • Jarrow and Monkton Joint Burial Board Correspondence with the War Graves Commission, including list of graves and details of headstones BB/HMJ/8/1-12
  • South Shields War Memorial Committee, papers re proposed endowment of a children's hospital as an adjunct to Ingham Infirmary, including plans of war memorial cross 1919-26 HO.ING/41

Sunderland

  • Churches: Clockwell St. Methodist Church, Southwick, Sunderland Souvenir of the Great War listing church members served and fallen C/SU51/19
  • St Michael's RC Church , Houghton-le-Spring, list of those who died from the congregation 1914-1945 C/HS2/42
  • Silksworth and Tunstall Joint War Memorial Committee, photographs 1930's CP/SI/8/1-3
  • River Wear Commissioners, programme for the unveiling of the War Memorial by Colonel Vaux 1921 202/3745
  • Hetton-le-Hole UDC, files re War Graves Commission 220/273 and 286
  • Sunderland Borough Council, Imperial War Graves Commission 270/File 214
  • Newall's Insulation Co Ltd, roll of honour 1919 1759/73

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