Golf club remembers its First World War fallen

NOT FORGOTTEN ... the roll of honour at South Shields Golf Club, with Lieutenant Commander Wallace Annand, right.
NOT FORGOTTEN ... the roll of honour at South Shields Golf Club, with Lieutenant Commander Wallace Annand, right.

IT was her own ‘crimson field’ under the Egyptian sun, the hot camps and hospital centres of Alexandria in the dying months of the First World War.

Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse Marion Dorothy Chapman was far from the summer cool of her home in leafy Westoe Village.

She was never to return. On August 10, 1918, she died of pneumonia. She was only 27.

A year before, almost to the day, her 25-year-old brother, Major Charles Chapman MC, had died of wounds while serving with the Royal Field Artillery on the Western Front.

What sorrow there must have been in that house.

Their brother, by the way, was Lieutenant-Colonel (later Sir) Robert Chapman.

Today, Dorothy Chapman’s name is commemorated on the reredos of St Michael’s Church in Shields, close by the old family home.

She is also remembered on the roll of honour of South Shields Golf Club.

For while the Great War cut a swathe through streets and homes, within associations of friends brought together by shared interests there was also great loss.

Eight members of the golf club would never return to its grassy courses once the war was over, among them the father of South Shields’ Second World War Victoria Cross holder Richard Annand.

Lieutenant Commander Wallace Annand – a director of the old Northern Press, publishers of the Shields Gazette – was the first to fall, serving with the Royal Naval Division at Gallipoli in 1915.

Peter Hoy, from Jarrow, who is compiling a searchable database of South Tyneside men and women who served in the First World War, has recently completed a transcription of the club’s beautifully-designed roll of honour, which you see here.

He has also furnished the club with photographs of some of those lost, taken from contemporary reports in The Shields Gazette, and whom he has closely researched.

They include the picture here of Alan Darling, who was 27 when he was killed in action during the attack on Contalmaison, during the Battle of the Somme, in July 1916.

He was the son of Henry Darling, of Westoe, and lived with his wife, Elizabeth, in Linden Gardens at Harton.

Like Wallace Annand, he was a former pupil of the Boys’ High School and was employed as a sub-manager at the Bull Ring department of Smith’s Dock, North Shields.

He was serving with the 8th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment, when he was killed in what was a harrowing assault under heavy machine-gun and rifle fire.

It was the Somme which, just two months later, claimed another member of the Golf Club. He was William Scott, a second lieutenant with the 1st/9th (Territorial) Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, who was killed at Eaucourt L’Abbaye on September 29.

He was the elder son of solicitor William Scott and his wife Mary, of Belle Vue, Harton, and another former pupil of the Boys’ High School. He had been a lawyer before the war, during which he served as the regimental bombing officer.

Another High School old boy, and golf club member, Major Forster Moore Armstrong, was to fall in 1917, while serving with the Royal Field Artillery.

Aged 41, his parents, Dr Joseph Armstrong and his wife, Sarah, lived in Westoe House. He was a graduate of Cambridge University and was a solicitor.

He is commemorated on the St Hilda’s Church memorial cross in Shields and on the roll of honour at St Michael’s Church.

Lieutenant Charles Jarah, a Boys’ High School scholar between 1900 and 1901, was killed in action in June 1917, aged 30, while serving with the 22nd Battalion, Durham Light Infantry.

His widowed father, Charles Jarah Snr, a storekeeper, lived in Winchester Street.

The younger Charles had formerly been a private in the Northumberland Fusiliers before being commissioned from the ranks. He is commemorated on the South Shields YMCA Memorial Plaque.

Lieutenant David Markwell Chapman, of the 3rd Battalion, the Rifle Brigade, was born in Sunderland, but at the time of his death was living with his wife, Laura, in Blagdon Avenue, South Shields.

He was a former pupil of Westoe Boys’ Secondary School in the town, to which he later returned to teach after graduating from Durham University’s Armstrong College.

He had been in France only three months when he was killed in action on March 25, 1918, aged 42. His name appears on the Poziere’s Memorial.

The year’s penultimate loss was that of Harold Newton Macdonald, killed in action on March 28, 1918, while serving with the 18th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry (the Durham Pals). His name is on the Arras Memorial.

His parents, Charles and Eliza Macdonald, lived in Julian Avenue on the Lawe, near to where, today, his name appears on the St Aidan’s Church roll of honour, now in St Stephen’s.Church.