Sunday, 14 August 2022
Up-to-the-minute perspectives on defence, security and peace
issues from and for policy makers and opinion leaders.

     |      View our Twitter page at     |     


Irish unnamedTyneside Irish and Tyneside Scottish bear the burden of the highest brigade casualties in the British Army during the Great War. Every year on St Andrew's Day and St Patrick's Day they are remembered at the cenotaph in Old Eldon Square in the centre of Newcastle.

Officially numbered the 103rd (Tyneside Irish) Brigade, it contained four Pals Battalions from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, largely made up of men of Irish extraction. The 102nd (Tyneside Scottish) contained Tynesiders with Scottish connections. The men were all volunteers draw from communities all over the North East.

The first notice giving indication of the raising of a Battalion from the Tyneside Irish Community came in a letter to the Editor of the Newcastle Evening Chronicle on Saturday 12th September 1914 informing of a meeting on Sunday 13th September in the Collingwood Hall, Irish National Club, Clayton St, Newcastle upon Tyne, and every representative Irishman on Tyneside regardless of politics or religion was asked to consider it his duty to attend.
Early recruits were given a piece of green cloth to wear as an armband, to denote that they had volunteered for the Irish Battalion. In the same way, the Newcastle Commercials wore a red lanyard and the Tyneside Scottish a Royal Stewart armband.

The Brigade's four Battalions were known as the 1st to 4th Tyneside Irish. When taken over by the British Army, these became Battalions of the Northumberland Fusiliers:

24th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers (1st Tyneside Irish)
25th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers (2nd Tyneside Irish)
26th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers (3rd Tyneside Irish)
27th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers (4th Tyneside Irish)
The reserve battalions were the 30th and 34th (Reserve) Battalions, Northumberland Fusiliers (Tyneside Irish).

102nd (Tyneside Scottish) comprised

1st Tyneside Scottish (20th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers)
2nd Tyneside Scottish (21st Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers)
3rd Tyneside Scottish (22nd Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers)
4th Tyneside Scottish (23rd Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers)

Along with the 101st and 102nd Brigades, the Tyneside Irish made up the 34th Division which arrived in France in January 1916 and first saw action in the Battle of the Somme on 1st July  that year.

The 1st Tyneside Irish suffered 620 casualties on that day (18 officers and 602 other ranks), its commander, Lieutenant Colonel L.M. Howard, was among the dead. The 4th Battalion suffered 539 casualties (20 officers and 519 other ranks). While the commanders of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions were both wounded, as was the Brigade commander, Brigadier General N.J.G. Cameron.

The 4th Tyneside Scottish battalion lost 629 men (19 officers and 610 other ranks), the third worst battalion loss of the day. The 1st Tyneside Scottish lost 584 men and the 3rd Tyneside Scottish lost 537 men. All four battalion commanders were killed (the 2nd Tyneside Scottish's commander had been killed shortly before the battle).


Prayers for the Tyneside Irish Brigade 17th March 2022 - delivered by Rev Kate Watson 17th March 2022

If you hold faith be held to it now, if you do not I simply ask that you share in this moment of reverence and solidarity...

In the heat of memory we recall
that for every victory
there is a loss;
that for every ceasefire
there is a sniper;
that for every liberation
there is a prison;
that for every peace agreement
there is a continued conflict;
if not above our skies,
if not in our waters,
if not in these islands,
if not on our doorstep,
then in some forgotten field.
We will remember them.

Goodness is stronger than evil.

Love bears, believes and hopes all things.

Light sees through the deepest darkness.
Truth lives where the freedom sings.
Power is made perfect in the weakness.
Justice will open the doors of fear.
Courage roots in true compassion,
Gives to hope the power to spear.



Latest from

British military casualties - Editorial policy

In the service of our country.

Eulogies for all personnel killed on UK operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere are posted as soon as they have been released by the UK Ministry of Defence. Each eulogy we publish for men down in operations brings a lump to the throat. We are losing the best of the best. Politicians must ensure that, when the newspaper cuttings have faded, their sacrifice has had some meaning, has helped bring about a good result. Anything else would be a waste for which they will be eternally condemned.

There is invariably at least a 24 hour gap between the official release of news of an event and the naming of the dead. This is to allow families to be informed and proper eulogoies to be produced. Occasionally families request no euologies or comment. We abide by guidance we receive on such sensitive matters. We regret that information on those who sacrifice almost as much through grave injury is seldom released by the MoD for operational reasons, and so we are unable to pay tribute.


We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Defence Viewpoints website. However, if you would like to, you can modify your browser so that it notifies you when cookies are sent to it or you can refuse cookies altogether. You can also delete cookies that have already been set. You may wish to visit which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of desktop browsers. Please note that you will lose some features and functionality on this website if you choose to disable cookies. For example, you may not be able to link into our Twitter feed, which gives up to the minute perspectives on defence and security matters.