Mary Trevelyan: From Child to Mother on Page Turners

The second instalment of digitized Trevelyan family albums is now available on Page Turners. A brief introduction to this resource and the Trevelyan albums was given in our launch post last month. We’re happy to say that a further three albums have now gone live, along with contextual information which allows you to search for individuals, places, or learn more about the images.

This group includes the first (although not the earliest) volume in the collection – Volume One. Begun in 1894, when Mary Katharine Trevelyan [Molly] was 13 or 14 years old, it gives a valuable insight into her life before her marriage to Charles Philips Trevelyan. Born into the Bell family, wealthy industrialists in Middlesbrough, Molly’s father Sir Hugh Bell had joined the family firm, becoming director of the Bell Brothers’ steelworks in the town. Her mother, Florence Bell nee Olliffe was an author and playwright. Her family’s is perhaps most famously known for her half-sister Gertrude Bell, the archaeologist and diplomat.

Picture of Molly by Lilian Bell, 1894 (CPT/PA/1)

Picture of Molly by Lilian Bell, 1894 (CPT/PA/1)

In the seven years covered by the album we see Molly and her extended family relaxing at properties in Red Car, Mount Grace and Sloane Street, London. There are also souvenirs from time spent in Germany in 1900, including concert programmes from Weimar and Berlin. The final few pages give an inkling of the following volumes’ content, as pictures from a visit to Wallington feature, with photographs of the impressive great hall and the exterior, as well as picnics with her future husband Charles on the estate which they would eventually manage together.

Great Hall at Wallington, 1903 (CPT/PA/1)

Great Hall at Wallington, 1903 (CPT/PA/1)

Volume three, which also appears in this group, shows the early years of Molly and Charles’ married life together (1904-1906). At this point, their lives were split between Cambo House on the Wallington Estate, and Great College Street, Westminster, this album begins with many photographs of the couples’ friends, visits to family at Stocks House (the childhood home of Charles’ sister in law Janet Trevelyan nee Ward), Welcombe (a second home of Charles’ parents George Otto and Lady Caroline Trevelyan) and Rounton Grange (the Bell family home, recently inherited by Molly’s parents). Their love of animals is evident in the frequent photographs of cats and dogs, which appear alongside newspaper cuttings discussing Charles’ career as Liberal Member of Parliament for the Elland constituency in Yorkshire. The album ends with the birth of their eldest child (and first of seven), Pauline Trevelyan (later, Pauline Dower).

Sir Hugh Bell and Pauline Trevelyan, 1905, CPT/PA/3

Volume five continues on from volume three (handwritten notes added later by Pauline state that ‘there never was a vol. 4 a mistake in the binding!’). This album includes the arrival of their next two children, George Lowthian [Geordie] and Katharine [Kitty]. This album includes many photographs of their three eldest children playing together when young, as well as photographs and souvenirs of Charles and Molly’s trip to Italy. Marriage is very much a key feature of this album, and many invitations to weddings of their friends and family are included, as well as photographs and souvenirs from the wedding of Molly’s sister Elsa to Admiral Sir Herbert William Richmond (the parents of Lady Bridget Plowden].

Molly with Pauline and George Trevelyan, 1907, CPT/PA/4

The content of these albums shows the shifting focus of Molly’s world as she transitions from a teenager in an industrialist family to being the wife of a politician and heir to a landed estate and the mother of three young children. Consistent to all the albums though, is the importance of family. The scrapbook style combination of private photographs, souvenirs and publications, gives an intriguing insight into both the private and public worlds of the Trevelyan and Bell families. One which will hopefully be further understood once the ongoing cataloguing of the family correspondence is complete.

Universities at War Guest Blog #4

Over the next few weeks Jake Wall, one of our Universities at War project volunteers, will be blogging about his experience of researching the stories of the WWI fallen using the university archives available in the Philip Robinson University Library.


Hello and welcome to another instalment of the Universities at War Blog. In the last few entries school magazines were used to try and recreate the life history of some of our 12 soldiers, specifically their time at Armstrong college. However now the focus will move to a more broad snapshot of their lives.  This week I have looked at the North East War Memorials Project website.

William Stanley Wylie

William Wylie - Image from the Shields Gazette, 1st July 1915

William Wylie – Image from the Shields Gazette, 1st July 1915

William was born in 1891 in South Shields. He was the only son of marine engineer, Edward Wylie, and his wife, Amy. He was educated at Westoe Secondary School, Harton, South Shields from the age of 12, and left in December, 1906, only to return the following September for a further two years, leaving in 1909 at the age of 18 to attend Armstrong College. He went back to Westoe Secondary School to work as a teacher, as well as Dean Road Boys’ School, again in South Shields.

William was gazetted as Second Lieutenant to the York and Lancaster Regiment, 3rd Battalion on 27th October 1914. He was promoted to Lieutenant in March 1915. While attached to the 1st Battalion in Belgium in May 1915, William went missing near the town of Hooge. He was later reported as killed, having died of his wounds on 10th May 1915 aged 24.

The North East War Memorial Project aims to record every War Memorial located between the River Tweed and the River Tees.  As they say on their site, “Our local War Memorials remind us of what happened and the consequences of these conflicts for many people in the region.  They tell the story of those who fought, those who died, and those left behind to cope with the confusion which followed”

The site records four local memorials to Wylie:

  • A stained glass window on St Mark’s church in South Shields
  • A Plaque in Dean Road Boy’s School
  • A plaque in South Shields Boy’s High school
  • A plaque from Westoe Secondary School (now installed in Harton Technology College)

Of these only the plaque now installed in Harton Technology College remains.

Wylie’s full details, including some pictures of local memorials bearing his name, can be seen on his NEWMP profile page.

Universities at War Guest Blog #3

Over the next few weeks Jake Wall, one of our Universities at War project volunteers, will be blogging about his experience of researching the stories of the WWI fallen using the university archives available in the Philip Robinson University Library.


Picking up from where things were left last week here are some new stories as reported by school magazines.

Joseph Benjamin Wright

Sadly, details of Joseph’s college exploits seem to be limited, he was a member of the Officer Training Core and achieved the first of two qualification certificates, certificate A in March 1911. He was tragically killed in 1916.

It is a strange coincidence that Joseph and William Stanley Wylie were both awarded the same certificate at the same presentation ceremony. Thus, it is probable that two of our soldiers knew one another and were possibly even friends.

Taken from Newcastle University Library Archive: nua-3-2-northerner-dec1917-pg5

Taken from Newcastle University Library Archive: nua-3-2-northerner-dec1917-pg5

Samuel Walton White

Samuel studied in the Arts Department in Newcastle in 1915 where he met Lieutenant J.H Feggetter, a very close friend. He joined the he 26th N.F Irish and went to serve in France in July 1916. Following this he joined the 13th N.F as a second lieutenant and died shortly after.

Feggetter later went on to write an obituary for White when he was killed on June 16th 1917. The end of any life is an occasion for sadness but the sense of melancholy was made far more profound in this case upon the realisation that White died close to his birthday and lived to be just 20. It is reported that he met this sad fate with a company of six other men who were machine gunned down while penetrating German barbed wire.

William Gladstone Wylie

Wylie was awarded a bar to the military cross in 1918 for his bravery on the battlefield when he transported ammunition to the frontline in a 27 and ½ hour operation while under heavy artillery fire which killed many of the other men in his company. Wylie’s courage was noted in two separate dispatches. However, he sadly died in 1918 and is described as giving his life for his country.


More information on the Universities at War project, as well as the stories uncovered by our researchers so far, can be seen at www.universitiesatwar.org.uk.

Universities at War Guest Blog #2

Image

Over the next few weeks Jake Wall, one of our Universities at War project volunteers, will be blogging about his experience of researching the stories of the WWI fallen using the university archives available in the Philip Robinson University Library.


For the first two weeks of this project I spent time sifting through The Northerner, the student magazine of Armstrong College. The years 1908 to 1919 were my chosen sample as I noted that many of the previously listed soldiers were likely to have either studied or taught at the University during this time. While this source was somewhat time consuming to use effectively it was really rewarding.

George Trevor William’s story

nua-13-2-northerner-nov1908-p22

Image from Newcastle University archives Ref: nua-13-2-northerner-nov1908-p22

George Trevor Williams was made president of the student’s Representative Council in 1908.  In addition to this George was also a member of both the hockey team and committee. There are two match reports in which George is mentioned. He played as a forward in a match against Garrison at the barracks and scored, Armstrong College won 2-1 as a result of his efforts.  He also played against Durham West End however Durham won 4-0. Clearly George was a keen sportsman and heavily involved in life at Armstrong college.

Image taken from Newcastle University Archives Ref:nua-13-2-northerner-nov1908-p28

Image from Newcastle University archives Ref: nua-13-2-northerner-nov1908-p28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image from Newcastle University archives Ref: nua-13-2-northerner-nov1909-p7-fellowship

Image from Newcastle University archives Ref: nua-13-2-northerner-nov1909-p7-fellowship

In November 1909 George was given a fellowship and was described as ‘a well-known student of the college’.

 

 

George was honoured for giving his life in the service of his country. The more research is done into George’s story the more tragic his death in 1918 seems, an energetic young man and pillar of Armstrong College whose life was sadly cut short.

Image from Newcastle University archives, Ref: nua-13-2-northerner-dec1918-p5

Image from Newcastle University archives Ref: nua-13-2-northerner-dec1918-p5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Edward White’s story

Image from Newcastle University archives Ref: nua-13-2-northerner-may1910-p124-artdeptnotes

Image from Newcastle University archives Ref: nua-13-2-northerner-may1910-p124-artdeptnotes

Robert Edward White studied Art at Armstrong College in 1910. During his time at Newcastle Robert made valuable contributions to Armstrong college’s exhibitions specifically in embroidery and poster sections. There is an Art Departmental note from 1910 in which his composition is singled out for praise, the piece in question was called ‘Spring’ and ‘attracted attention’ as the ‘disposition of drapery and general arrangement was good’. The loss of such a skilled artist must have been sorely felt following his death 1915.

 

 


More information on the Universities at War project, as well as the stories uncovered by our researchers so far, can be seen at www.universitiesatwar.org.uk.

Universities at War Guest Blog #1

Over the next few weeks Jake Wall, one of our Universities at War project volunteers, will be blogging about his experience of researching the stories of the WWI fallen using the university archives available in the Philip Robinson University Library.


Hello, this will be the first in a series of posts surrounding the Universities at War project, a HLF funded volunteer project hosted by the Special Collections Department in the Philip Robinson University Library. The aim of the project is to research and document aspects of the life history of former students and staff at Newcastle University who fought and died in the First World War. In the coming weeks, I hope to bring you a series of interesting stories around 12 individuals (see below for names) who have been lost in the pages of history and rediscover their forgotten pasts.

  • E. White
  • Samuel S. White
  • Robert Edward White
  • Samuel Walton White
  • George Trevor Williams
  • Charles James Wright
  • Joseph Benjamin Wright
  • William Gladstone Wylie
  • William Stanley Wylie
  • Arthur Cecil Young
  • Cyril Rutherford Moffat Young
  • John Young

More information on the Universities at War project, as well as the stories uncovered by our researchers so far, can be seen at www.universitiesatwar.org.uk.

Page Turners

Special Collections are pleased to announce the launch of their new online resource Page Turners. Using Turning the Pages software, Page Turners allows us to make some of the highlights of the bound volumes within our collections available within your browser. We’ve also added some information about the items to help with their interpretation. This post is to give you a brief overview of the first items we’ve made available, and consider how we might continue to make use of it to share our collections with you.

Petre’s Gradual is a 14th Century manuscript book containing ecclesiastical chants for services throughout the year. Very few graduals survive in Britain, with many having been destroyed during the Reformation. Early copies of this book had existed in the British Library, however the volume itself had been thought lost. It had in fact been held securely within Special Collections since the 1990s as part of a bequest from antiquarian book sellers Marjorie and Philip Robinson (after whom two of our library buildings are named). The volume then caught the eye of Dr Magnus Williamson during a teaching session in 2014. Since its rediscovery, the 500 year old polyphonic music it contains has been brought back to life with public performances. By featuring the Gradual on Page Turners, it can be appreciated, studied and used by scholars, musicians and any other interested parties, not just in Newcastle, but throughout the world.

Page from Petre's Gradual (ROB 405) 1

Page from Petre’s Gradual (ROB 405) 1

The second item now available leaps forward in time to the twentieth century. In 1914, Newcastle University’s Armstrong College was requisitioned for use as the 1st Northern General Hospital. During its lifetime, the hospital treated over 40,000 wounded servicemen. One of the individuals tasked with requisitioning the building, and contributing to its operation was Professor of Surgery Frederick Charles Pybus. The University holds Pybus’ archive of personal papers, and these include a volume listing the operations he performed while working at the 1st Northern. Based in Ward C, which is now the Hatton Gallery, the book lists over 1000 operations performed by Pybus. Now available on Page Turners, this resource will not only aid historians studying the war, the hospital or the University, but may also provide valuable information for family history researchers, tracing the movements of individual soldiers during the conflict.

Ward C Surgical Team (FP/1/3/9) 1

Ward C Surgical Team (FP/1/3/9) 1

The final item selected to launch Page Turners is actually the first instalment of an ongoing project. The University has held the personal papers of four generations of the Trevelyan family of Wallington since the 1960s. One of the most prominent members of the family was Sir Charles Philips Trevelyan (1870-1958). A Liberal then later Labour M.P., Sir Charles was the last of the Trevelyan Baronets to live on the family estate at Wallington and his Socialist beliefs led him to donate the estate to the National Trust in the 1930s. One of the most engaging areas of the Trevelyan archives is a collection of 39 photograph albums and scrapbooks created by Charles and his wife Lady Mary Katharine Trevelyan nee Bell [Molly] (daughter of industrialist Sir Hugh Bell and half-sister of Gertrude Bell). The albums reveal an intimate picture of Charles and Molly’s family life at Wallington and feature the couple’s six children, Pauline, George, Kitty, Marjorie, Patricia and Geoffrey. The albums have previously inspired an exhibition at the library, and in this first instalment, three volumes are being made available – Volume 8 (1917-1918), Volume 9 (1919-1921) and Volume 12 (1925). The family albums provide a captivating insight into the life of a landed, if somewhat unconventional family, from the late Victorian and Edwardian periods, through both World Wars, to the early 1960s.

Page from Volume 12 (CPT/PA/11) 1

Page from Volume 12 (CPT/PA/11) 1

Page Turners gives us a fantastic opportunity to share unique items such as these from within our collections in a new way. We hope that you’ll enjoy browsing the materials available. If you have any comments about Page Turners and the items featured, or any suggestions of what you’d like to see next, do please get in touch.

Exhibition: “People don’t know about them…”

Exhibition Open! “People don’t know about them…”

Ground Floor – Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms

28th October 2016 – 15th January 2017


And then 1914, obviously the First World War is declared and she came back to England, and she’d been working as a surgeon. She offered her services to the War Office and the War Office accepted her and said yes and then she got her kit together and turned up at Victoria Station in London to join her group to go out to France to the military hospital out in France and the doctor in charge said I’m not having a woman. I’m not taking her.

Rosemary Nicholson


The Universities at War project is a volunteer project based in the Special Collections Department at the Philip Robinson Library.  Its aim is to tell the stories of the staff and students of Newcastle University who fought in the First World War.

In 2015 Sam Wagner, an archaeology student in her final year of study at Newcastle University, joined the Universities at War project as part of her Career Development Module.  For her final project, Sam chose to conduct an oral history interview, and that is where our story starts …

Ruth Nicholson, Rosemary Nicholson and Sam Wagner

Ruth Nicholson, Rosemary Nicholson and Sam Wagner

Rosemary Nicholson had previously contacted the Universities at War project to tell us about her husband’s aunt, Ruth Nicholson. Ruth was a Newcastle University medical graduate who worked under the direction of the French Red Cross throughout the First World War, as a surgeon in a military hospital in France.

A female medical graduate?

A military hospital staffed entirely by women?

And why the French Red Cross?

Sam’s exhibition is the result of her own historical research and interviews with Rosemary –  capturing her memories of family stories about Ruth, as told through Ruth’s sister, Alison, who was still alive when Rosemary married into the family.

Panel on the Royaumont women in the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry, stitched by Andrea Cooley.

Panel on the Royaumont women in the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry, stitched by Andrea Cooley.

 It is the fascinating story of an amazing woman, passed on by the women in her family who wanted her story to be told.


“ I felt she never got the credit she should have had, or the recognition she should have had, or Alison.  People don’t know about them, I mean I write to everybody. I heard the programme on Women’s Hour about the women’s hospital in London and I rang right in to them saying, you know, What about Royaumont?! It was a matter of pride! ”

Rosemary Nicholson


Royaumont Hospital, image kindly provided by the Imperial War Museum.

Royaumont Hospital, image kindly provided by the Imperial War Museum.

 

All images in the exhibition have been kindly provided by the Nicholson family or other priviate owners, for the purposes of exhibition only.

The exhibition can be seen in the Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms, Newcastle University, 28th October 2016 – 15th January 2017

The Beauty of the Illustrated Book: Open Day at the Hancock Library

Date: Friday 9 September

Time: Between 11.00 a.m. and 3.30 p.m. (Tours at 11.00,  2.00 and 3.00)

Where: 2nd floor of the Great North Museum: Hancock

Cost: FREE!

Image courtesy of the NHSN

Image courtesy of the NHSN

The Great North Museum: Hancock Library and the Natural History Society of Northumbria are holding a free  joint Heritage Open Day Event on the 2nd floor of the Great North Museum: Hancock on Friday 9 September.

The Great North Museum: Hancock  Library is hosting a unique opportunity titled “The Beauty of the Illustrated Book”. On display will be a range of rare and fascinating  volumes containing lavish illustrations of the natural world and historical local scenes. Tours take place at 11.00,  2.00 and 3.00.   To book a place on any of these sessions please email Ian.Bower@newcastle.ac.uk.

The NHSN are opening the doors to its prestigious Council Room allowing visitors to view the historic paintings and furnishings. You will also be able to see some of the Society’s fascinating archive material , including manuscripts and artworks relating to its Great Auk collections. As a rare one-off the specimens of the Society’s two Great Auks will also be on display. The Archivist of the Society will be on hand to talk to you. The event will take place between 11.00 and 15.30.  No booking is required.

Newcastle University Open Day: Welcome from the Special Collections Team!

A big welcome from Special Collections at the Philip Robinson Library, archives and rare books in the heart of the Newcastle University campus.

What will you be looking at in three years time?!

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The Fallen Fusiliers of the 1st July 1916

The first day of one of the most well-known battles of the Great War, the Battle of the Somme, saw tremendous losses for the allied forces. The 1st July, 1916 is documented as the day when the highest number of casualties in Britain’s military history took place. This day gravely affected the Tyneside Irish and the Tyneside Scottish battalions of the Northumberland Fusiliers, who suffered some of the highest casualties, amounting to around 8,000 in total.

During my second year of my History and Archaeology course at Newcastle University, I applied for a research scheme that the university runs which takes place over the summer vacation before the final year of daunting dissertations. Students have to come up with their own project idea in which they are to research independently over a period of either 6 or 8 weeks.

Due to the centenary of the First World War, in which commemorations began in 2014, I wanted to make my own contribution to the fallen that Britain will be remembering over the next three years. Therefore, my supervisor Dr. Jane Webster and I, came up with the idea of contributing to the ‘University’s at War’ project which looks into the soldiers that are commemorated on the Armstrong War Memorial. On the memorial there are 222 names. This in itself is a mammoth task to complete detailed research on each individual in 7 weeks; therefore I have narrowed my work down to focus on those who fought for the Northumberland Fusiliers, amounting to 67 men.

The day I began my research, my second supervisor, Ian Johnson (an archivist in Newcastle University’s Special Collections and one of the founders of the ‘Universities at War’ project) showed me which materials I would be using to complete my research. These included archives such as the Durham University Journals, Roll of Service and the vast scope of the census records, military records and medal rolls which the Ancestry website provides.

Probably the most exciting archive material I looked at was the Durham University Journal. It wasn’t so much the articles in the journal that was interesting, but the advertisements for things such as medical equipment (with Durham University having its own medical school). The adverts were for shops and stores on well-known streets in Newcastle, such as Northumberland Street and Blackett Street. It made me go back in time and imagine what our bustling Geordie city centre would have looked like 100 years ago, with the vast array of marvellous merchandise for sale; a world away from what we see today.

William William - (136) - Image 1 - Source Durham University Gazette, Vol II, 1912-1929

William Nixon – (136) – Image 1 – Source Durham University Gazette, Vol II, 1912-1929

When it came to exploring the individuals of the Northumberland Fusiliers from Durham and our very own University (formerly part of Durham University and known as Armstrong College) I found that there were a total of five men who all died on the same day, the 1st July, 1916. These individuals were John Macfarlan Charlton (whose only sibling died only six days before he did), Henry Sibbit, Arthur Cecil Young, Patrick Austin Murray and William Nixon. When I searched the date of the 1st July 1916, I found that it was the very first day of one of the most famous battles of the War, the Battle of the Somme. Further reading highlighted to me that this was one of, if not the most devastating days in Britain’s history, in terms of the casualties sustained in battle.

Percival William Murray

Percival William Murray

Regarding the stories of our University’s fallen comrades, John Macfarlan Charlton is the only man where there are specific details about his death. On his 25th birthday, John was killed by a bullet through the head while leading his company near La Boiselle, France. We also know that William Nixon was killed during the first wave of the attacks on the 1st, but unfortunately all we know for the remaining three men is they were killed in action on this disastrous day.

Thank you to our ‘Universities at War’ Volunteer Rosie Setford for this piece of reseasrch.

Universities at War – The Newcastle University Digital Memory Book