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The First World War

The Natural History Society of Northumbria has researched its history during the period of the First World War. Many of our members served at the front throughout the conflict, and we have compiled some of their remarkable and often poignant stories.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.

 

 

The years 2014-2018 mark the centenary of the First World War.  To commemorate the contribution our members made to the war effort the Natural History Society of Northumbria has researched and recorded the stories of some of the men and women who were involved in the conflict. 

This page commemorates individuals lost during the war, and others who, with great stoicism, carried on to contribute to the study of natural history in the North East. 

The impact of the First World War on the Hancock Museum and the Natural History Society was particularly significant, overshadowing the pursuit of natural history and financially destabilising the museum. However, despite the challenges presented by the World War I, and later World War II, both the museum, now called the Great North Museum: Hancock and the Natural History Society, have recovered and are successful in their own rights.

The Hancock Museum and the impact of the First World War

The First World War had a dramatic impact on the Hancock Museum and the Natural History Society.

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Captain Reginald Eyre Bryant (1878-1917)

Bryant was a member of the Natural History Society of Northumberland, Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne killed in action during the First World War.

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Dr Edwin Leonard Gill and the First World War

Edwin Leonard Gill (1877-1956) was the Curator of the Hancock Museum from 1901 until 1922. During his time at the museum he was called upon to serve his country and he volunteered for the Friends Ambulance Unit in 1915

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The 8th Duke of Northumberland and the First World War

Alan Ian Percy, the 8th Duke of Northumberland (1880-1930), served as a war correspondent to the Intelligence Department of the War Office. He was a Vice President of the Natural History Society of Northumberland, Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne from 1918 until his death.

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The Charlton Brothers and the First World War

Hugh and John Charlton were promising young naturalists associated with the Natural History Society of Northumberland, Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne.

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The Battle of the Somme: Major James Leadbitter Knott

James Leadbitter Knott, son of Sir James Knott the Newcastle shipping magnate, was a member of the Natural History Society of Northumberland, Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne (NHSN) who was sadly killed during WW1 on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916

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George William Temperley during the First World War

George W Temperley was an ornithologist and key member of the Natural History Society of Northumbria, Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne (NHSN) until his death in 1967. He witnessed the 1914 raid on Scarborough during WW1.

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The Hancock Sisters and the First World War

Kitty and Faye Hancock were the great-nieces of John and Albany Hancock, the founders of the Hancock Museum. The two sisters found themselves caught up in the war after volunteering as ambulances drivers at the Somme.

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First World War – Viscount Grey and the Natural History Society of Northumbria

The fascinating link between the Natural History Society of Northumbria and a key figure in the First World War, Viscount Grey.

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