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New book charts history of South Tyneside’s Territorial Army

UPDATED VOLUME ... the history of 3rd Durham Volunteer Artillery has been brought up to date. From left, Warrant Officer and author Nigel Hogg, South Tyneside library's Catrin Gait, Chairman of 3rd Durham Volunteer Artillery Association James Stobbs.
UPDATED VOLUME ... the history of 3rd Durham Volunteer Artillery has been brought up to date. From left, Warrant Officer and author Nigel Hogg, South Tyneside library's Catrin Gait, Chairman of 3rd Durham Volunteer Artillery Association James Stobbs.

The history of South Tyneside’s Territorial Army has been brought up to date with the help of a new book.

For more than 150 years, 205 Battery (3rd Durham Volunteer Artillery) has had a presence in South Shields at its base in Northfield Gardens.

However, a book detailing how the army reservists started back in 1860 only ever took readers up to 1960.

Now, thanks to serving Warrant Officer (RQMS) Nigel Hogg, the unit’s history has been brought up to date.

During a special presentation held at the battery, copies of the book were presented to Catrin Gait, Community Librarian, Family History and Heritage, to be placed within the Central Library in Prince Georg Square, South Shields, and to the chairman of 3rd Durham Artillery Association James Stobbs.

Mr Stobbs said: “I had been studying the 3rd Durham Volunteer Artillery at the library when I came across a book on its history.

“I then started talking to a young lady who suggested about bringing the book up to date.

“I had been thinking about it, then a year later, Nigel came forward and said he was going to write a book on the 3rd Durham.

“Nigel carried on the book and after giving some for us to sell to raise a bit of money, we asked if any were left over would we be able to donate them to the library, which is what has been done.”

The 205 (3rd DVA) Battery was formed in 1860 and was based initially at the offices of the Shields Gazette. The battery manned coastal defence guns overlooking Frenchman’s Bay until 1908.

During the First World War its personnel served on the Western Front from 1915 until the Armistice. The Second World War saw them evacuated from Dunkirk before fighting in North Africa, Sicily and Normandy.

Soldiers have also served in Afghanistan and both Gulf Wars in Iraq alongside full-time service personnel.

Catrin Gait said: “I know the history of 3rd Durham Volunteers needed to be brought up to date with all the things that have been happening since 1960.

“I know people will be very interested in it as there is a strong interest here in South Tyneside with the military.”

A copy of the book will be placed within the Central Library’s history section, while copies will be available within the public library.

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