Miners will be remembered

Miners who travelled around the world looking for work are among those being remembered in the First World War commemorations.

Dozens of residents from Blyth and the surrounding areas headed to Australia looking for work in the 1910s.

But within a year of arriving, they joined the Australian army and were among the millions of men who sacrificed their lives during the Great War.

Now calls have been made for those men to be remembered by the current Blyth community as part of the services marking the centenary since the outbreak of the First World War.

Kevin Wilde, who grew up in Ashington, has taken on the project after coming across a photograph of Arthur Tanney, a cousin if his grandmother’s who had emigrated as a miner from Blyth just before the war.

He said: “The picture I have is of Arthur and mother and sister taken in Blyth when he came up from Plymouth on leave after they had arrived from Sydney in 1916. I understand his own father may have been killed in one of the collieries in Blyth in 1912.”

After further research Kevin found that Arthur was not the only man to leave Blyth for Australia.

“There was a number of names on the war memorial of men from the Blyth area all of whom had joined the 35 Battalion,” he said.

“Mostly miners they were referred to as “Newcastle’s own” in memorials.

“I cannot help but imagine that perhaps they all came over to Australia together as pals with the same intention of working in the mines there.

“They all seemed to be single men who would not have been remembered in Australia as local lads.”