This film is part of Free

Opening of New Drill Hall at Haltwhistle

Northumberland army reserve's new home reveals Tardis-like tendencies as the town of Haltwhistle pours inside.

Non-Fiction 1913 8 mins Silent


Was there anyone from Haltwhistle and its surroundings not present on the 24 May 1913 for this ceremony? The 4th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers appear to be at the heart of their community - the children vying for a spot before the camera are clearly at ease with such a military presence in the town. As the hoards crowd into the new building, it's hard to dismiss the suspicion that a trick is being played and they're nipping out the back door...

Following the Second Boer War the importance of a reserve army force of volunteers had been ratified in the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act of 1907. Lieutenant General Sir Edward Cecil Bethune, seen inspecting the troops, young and old, was the Director General of the Territorial Force between 1912 and 1917. The vast majority of the men filmed here reported for duty at the outbreak of WWI and after training in Newcastle saw their first conflict at Ypres in April 1915. By the end of May 1918, the battalion was effectively written off due to the numbers lost to injury, imprisonment or death.