Parish Notes

Aunt Mary's Autograph Book: Introduction
An Introduction to Mary Young’s Autograph Book

On the 8th of April 1915 my Grandfather, John Young, presented his eldest daughter Mary with an autograph book. The family lived in Alnwick, Northumberland, and it was Mary’s 12th birthday. Although Alnwick was far from the WW1 trenches the book rapidly filled with entries from serving soldiers convalescing from wounds received in the front lines in France.
John William Young was a truly remarkable man. He spent his life working for the good of others. His main focus was on sport and he was instrumental in developing the game of football in the local area. Over the years he acted as secretary for several local football clubs, including Alnwick Town and Percy Rovers. He was secretary of the North Northumberland football league. He wrote a football column in the Alnwick Gazette. He was secretary of the Alnwick Cricket Club and a founder member of the Alnwick Swimming Club. In his lifetime he raised over £20,000 for the Alnwick Infirmary and he was an elder of the Bondgate Methodist Church. With this record of dedication to others and his connections with the Infirmary it is not surprising that troops from the Convalescent Hospital in Alnwick were invited to the family home at 4 Queen Street.
It was during these visits that scores of soldiers from many regiments wrote an entry in Mary’s autograph book. Mary was a very sensitive young girl and meeting all of these hearty young men, who had been through so much, made a great impression on her. Many of Mary’s beliefs were formed during these interactions and for the rest of her life she was passionately against war. My Aunt never married but she had a close bond with my Grandfather and looked after him until his death in 1961. For many years she ran a successful millinery business in Alnwick.
The book rapidly filled up with entries during the remainder of 1915 and 1916 and for me it is a touching reminder of all those valiant men who sacrificed so much.
J A Winlow MBE
December 2009

1. Only the pages bearing the entries by soldiers have been included in this selection.
2. "N.C.B." are the initials of the "Northern Cyclist Battalion".
3. No effort has been made to alter any spelling.
4. Mary's younger sister Nancy Young has added her own contribution to some of the pages.
Dedication page

To Mary Young
From her Daddy
On her birthday
April 8th 1915

01 John W. Young
Do all the good you can
By all the means you can
In all the ways you can
In all the places you can
To all the people you can
As long as ever you can

John W. Young

02 Uncle Eddie

Health and happiness to all in
this house and a safe return of

your uncle
April 10th 1915

03 Sgt. James Conway, 6 Connaught Rangers

As Friends we met
As Friends we part
I to cross the Sea
My stay in Alnwick
I'll remember
Acushla Ma Chree
(Queen of my Heart)
Sgt. Jas Conway
6/Connaught Rangers

The CWGC entry for Private Conway
04 Joseph Allen, 1st Tyneside Irish

Joseph Allan
1 Marley Terrace
1st Tyneside Irish June 1915

05 J.B., 6 HS.

Mary had a little lamb
Its feet were black with soot.
And into Mary's can of milk
Its sooty foot it put.
6th S.H.

06 C. Birkett, NCB

Man's happiness lies in persuing,
not in posessing!


07 Pte. A. Summerscales, 9 RMF

Lives of great men oft remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And departing leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.

Pte. A. Summerscales
9th R.M.F.

08 Geo. Robson, 16 NF

Two in a hammock
Attempting to kiss.
Before very long
They were something like this
(This last line is written upside down)

Geo. Robson
16th N.F.

09 A Tyneside Scottie

Some men never know what happiness is
Till they get married
But 'tis then too late to repent

A Tyneside Scottie
June 1915

10 Billy Robson, 1st T.S.

Here's a health to all those that I love
And a health to all those that love me
A health to all those that love those that I love
And a health to all those that love those that love me.

Billy Robson
1st T.S.

11 Chas. J. Robson, NCB

Sunday 7.5.16

As I ascend the hill of life,
May I never meet a friend.

Chas. J. Robson
bye. (2118)


12 Billy Robson, 1st TS

There's no place like home so people say
Which is true without a doubt.
But I never felt I'd been away
Since Mr. Young found me out.
You'll agree with me I shouldn't "grouse"
For many a good time I've spent at his house.

Billy Robson
1st T.S.

13 Pte. Leon Kerr, 8 HLI

Highland Light Infantry

Pte. Leon Kerr
8th H.L.I.
10/3/1916 Alnwick

14 ?D. Prentice, 1/8 HLI

Spots Lovers Like

?D. Prentice
1/8 H.L.I.

15 Gilbert J. Liddell, NCB

Love is but a thing in man's way
it is a woman's whole existence

Gilbert J. Liddell
1st Line N.C.B.
A Coy
14th May 1916

16 Cpl. J. Reid, NCB

Jan.16th 1916

Mary had a little lamb
Its fleece was (as) black as coal
And every time it wagged its tail
Newcastle scored a goal.

J. Reid Corpl.
1st Line N.C.B.

17 Sgt. S.M. Dean, R.F.A.

You never hear the Bee be-moan
Nor hear it weep or wail
But it can if it chooses
Unfold a very painful tale (tail)

?S.M. Dean Sgt.

18 James W. Spark, NCB

I truly hope that everyone
Will fill a page as I have done
And take the Trouble
And the time to write their
thoughts in prose or
So that you may whate'er
The names of all your
Friends recall

James W. Spark
E Coy, 1st Line N.C.B.

19 Billy Robson, 1 TS

This page is just to remind you
of the Tyneside Scottish visit to

Billy Robson
1st T.S.

20 Dr. J. Carey, R.F.A.

July 9/1916
Last night, I sat with pen in
I Thought & Thought & Thought
At last I thought, I would
Write my name.

Dr. J. Carey
Quo fars et gloria ducunt
Where Faith and Glorey leads

21 Peter & Jack, NCB
Berwick 16/1/16
A ship set sail from Aberdeen
On Board it was no grub
It sprang a leek in Bridges Street
And sank in Stirlings pub

Peter and Jack 1st Line
A. Coy
22 Pte. H. York, 5 Cameron Highlanders

Mary had a little Lamp
Well trimmed and trained
no dought
For every time her sweet-heart
That little Lamp went out.

Pte. H. York
5th Cameron Hr.

23 Cyclist T. Minnikin, NCB

We love them not

Cyclist T. Minnikin
N.C.B. Jan 17th/14

24 Pte. G. Penketh, 11 South Lancs.

Paddy was an Irishman
He is pleased to own it too.
But he does not like the place of Dublin
Because they want home Rule

Pte. G. Penketh
11th S. Lancs Regt.
Alnwick Convalescent Co.

25 Wm. Nicholson, N.F., T.S.

Example is better than precept.

Wm. Nicholson
29th Rsve Battn. N.F.T.S.

26 Pte. A. Fisher, 1/23 London Regt.

"Oh" its nice to get up in the morn
Standing to arms at Dawn
In the wind and pouring rain
Wishing you'd never been born.
And when the Huns are shelling
And the Bullets fly o'er overhead
"Oh" its nice to get up in the morn
But it's better to lie in Bed.

Pte. A. Fisher
1/23 London Regt.
June 21st 16

27 Pte. E.H. Taylor, 6 Sherwood Foresters

My first week at Alnwick was dull I admit
For all day long in the hut I would sit
But after visiting Mr. Young at
No. 4 Queens Street
My happiness then was made complete.

Pte. E.H. Taylor
6th Sherwood Foresters
June 21, 1916
28 Pte. J. Farmer, R.A.M.C.

Oh the sadness of her sadness
When she's sad
And the gladness of her gladness
When she's glad.
But the sadness of her sadness
And the gladness of her gladness
Are as nothing to her madness
When she's mad.

Pte. J. Farmer

29 Pte. Patrick McClarence, 3 R.Scots R.

Pte. Patrick McClarence
19721 3rd Batt. Royal Scots R.
C. Camp
Convalesant Hospital
Feb. 6th 1916

30 Pte. Howan Hughes 6 Yorks.

Pte. Howan Hughes 15714 6th Batt. Yorkshire
Wounded from the
Dardanells on 15th August
6th Feb. 1916

31 Pte. Owan Hughes

Here lies the remains
of 10 Shillings Smith
Age 25 Pounds
Pte. Owan Hughes
6th Feb. 1916

32 Cpl.J. Smith, 1 R.S.F.

Cpl. J. Smith 7289
1st Royal Scots Fusiliers
Alnwick Convalescent Camp
Feb 6th
La Bassee

33 J. Smith, R.S.F.

Many a ship was lost at sea
For want of tar and timber
Many a fellow has lost his girl
by flirting with another

J. Smith
R.S. Fus.

34 A Muir, 1st Gordons

Some hae meat and canna eat
Some wad eat that want it
But we hae meat
and we will eat
So let the Lord be thankit.

A. Muir
1st Gordons

35 Cpl. Harry Hutchinson E.Lancs., R.E.

Definition of "Friend"
A friend is one, who, knowing
all about you still loves

Corp. Harry Hutchinson
East Lancs, Royal Engineers

36 J. Bagworth, 6 S.H.

Derbyshire born, and Derbyshire bred
Strong in the arm, and thick in the head.

6th S.H.

(J. Bagworth)

37 Pte. E.W. Starr, 1 Lincs.

Just a few lines
--------- ------------ -----------------
--------- --------------- --------------

From Pte. Starr E.W.
1 Batt. Lincoln's Regt
Wounded at St. Jean, Ypres
August 11th 1915

38 L.Cpl. H. Wiles, 2 Duke of Wellington's

I may I may not
Ring a Bell
Lanc. Corp. H. Wiles
2 Batt. Duke of Wellington's
wounded at St.Eloi
July 4th 19/15

39 F.G. 6 Batt S.F.

The words on a soldier's cross in France

Pause here dear friend
As you pass by
As you are now, so once was I
As I am now so you will be
So be prepared to follow me
13/5/16 6th Batt S.F.

40 Dr. St. Edwards, R.H.A.

Fall from the top of a tree,
Fall from the realms above,
Fall from your bike and
break your neck,
But never fall in love

Dr. St. Edwards

41 Sig. F. Hall, 9 Duke of Wellington's

Excuse the writing
Blame the Pen
think of the writer
Now & then

Sig. F. Hall 12107
9th D. of W.

42 R.Gibson, Benwell, & L/Cpl. Wiles, 2 DofW

19 & never been kissed R.Gibson
33 Clare St.
The rock is high the sea is deep
For thinking of you I cannot sleep
If you love me as I love you
Nothing but death will part us two

To yours truly
L/Cp. Wiles
2nd Duke of Wellington

43 Pte.H. Doherty 11th Inniskilling Fus.

Pte. F. Doherty
11th Inniskilling Fus.
A Camp

44 Sgt. F.J. Sharpley 1/6 Black Watch

To Mary Young.

Mary dear I wish you joy
Health and happiness and a boy.
May you be happy as a dove
May all your life be filled with love.

Sergt. F.J. Sharpley
1/6 Black Watch
March 1916

45 R. Summerbell 10th N.F., 32 M.G.C.

Their is good in the worst of us
And bad in the best of us
but it behoves any of us
to talk about the rest of us

R. Summerbell
June 8th 1916 10th North'ld Fus.
32 Batt. M.G.C.
Oct 30 1918

46 Cpl. W. McKenzie 1 Loyal N. Lancs.

Corp. ?W. McKenzie
1st Loyal N. Lancashire


47 Bdr. W.J. Norman 125 Bty. R.F.A.

Bombr. W.J. Norman 42736 125 Bty R.F.A.
plagued, harassed and tormented
by the "Porridge Merchant" 2. Muir
(Hector McFritharinatrectetrampston

R.I.P. "rise if possible"

48 Pte. A.P. Jones, 16 Royal Welsh Fus.

I never knew what parting meant
Until I went away
But on leaving dear old England for a place they call France
I will never forget to my
dying day

Pte. A.P. Jones
16 Royal Welsh Fus.
21st June 1916
Wounded at Givenchy

49 Pte. J. Broderick, 3 Royal Scots Fus.
When the Golden Sun is setting
And from care your mind set free
When of others you are thinking
Will you sometimes think of me
Think of me when you are lonely
Keep for me one little spot
In the depths of your affections
Plant me one forget-me-not
Pte. J. Broderick
3rd Royal Scots Fusiliers
The Camps 8 March 1916
50 Pte. E. Robinson 20th Canadians

Pte. E. Robinson
20th Canadians
2nd C.E.F.

51 Sig.Sgt. Jos. P. Robson, N.C.B.

A smiling face is a
valuable asset.

Sig. Sergt. Jos. P. Robson
1st Line Northern
Cyclist Battn.
(Ex R.E.)

52 Pte. Harold Kay 2 Yorks. Green Howards

France Feb. 11.15
Wounded at Loos
Oct. 1st 15

Pte. Harold Kay
2nd Yorkshire
Green Howards

53 Sgt. Wooton, Yorkshire Regt.

Landed at Zee Brudgee 6th Oct 1914
Wounded at Ypres
Returned to the front Oct 7th
Wounded at Armitiers

Wooton Sergt.
Yorkshire Regt.

(This page has been drawn on by Nancy Young, Mary's sister)
54 Sniper Hayes, 6th Yorkshire Regt.

Landed at Suvla Bay on
the 6th Aug. 1914

Sniper Hayes
6th Yorkshire Regt.

55 Gnr. W. Tissington, R.F.A.

Little puffs of powder
Little tints of paint
Make a lady's complexion
Just like what it aint.

Gnr. Tissington W.

56 James Derby, 40 R.F.A.

Here am I in Hospital today
But tomorrow where I cannot say.
Maybe in the Trenches for all I know
Praise God for whom all blessings flow
Aboon sweet Rothesay

James Derby
40 R.F.A.

57 Jas. Scott, N.C.B.

Just a Reminder of the N.C.B.
For Auld Lang Syne

Cyc. Artificer Jas. Scott 1051
1st Line Northern Cyc. Battn.
July 18 1916

58 Pte. J. Sherwood, 1/7 Sherwood Foresters

Sing me to Sleep

Sing me to sleep
Where bullets fall
Let me forget
The war and all
Damp is my dugout
Cold my feet
Nothing but bully
And biscuits to eat.

Pte. J. Poole
1/7 Sherwood

59 Pte. J. Poole 1/7 Sherwood Foresters
Far far from Ypres
I'd love to be
Lights of old London
I'd rather see
So think of me crouching
Where the worms creep
Waiting for someone
To sing me to sleep.

Pte. J. Poole
1/7 Sherwood

60 L.Cpl. J. Hemstock, 8 Sherwood Foresters

In the Chimney of Remembrance
Consider me a

Lce.Cpl. J. Hemstock 1503
8 Sherwood Foresters
Alnwick Mar 20/16

61 Anon.

7th 5 : 15

In the hour of danger, God
protect thee
All the way thou goest, God
protect thee
So that when all time be past,
Eternal joy be thine at last
A little souvenir of . . . .

62 L.Cpl. W. Cookson, 1/6 Sherwood Foresters

1/6? Sherwood Foresters
L/Cpl. ?W. Cookson
Wounded on the
12 of June
now having a fine
time at Alnwick

Hut 32
A Camp

63 Pte. Wallace, 4 Seaforth Highlanders

By Gum it's stuck

Pte. Wallace
4th Seaforth Highrs.

64 J. Liddell, N.C.B.

Here's to them that love me.
And them that do not love me
May they never turn their heart

G. Cyclist J. Liddell
1st Line N.C.B.
14th May 1916

(This page has been drawn on by Nancy Young)

65 A. Burden, R.F.C.
A Bird in the hand
Is worth two in the bush
A friend of mine once wrote in a letter
What he says may be true
But between me and you
A Bird in the Stomach
is better

A Burden
66 L/Cpl. A.B. Black, 2/5 Gordon Highlanders

L/Cpl. A.B. Black
2/5 Gordon Hlds

I wish I saw my wife's wringer

67 Pte. G.H.Field, 1/5 Beds. regt.
Dearly beloved brethren, is it not a sin,
When you peel potatoes, to throw away the skin,
The skin feeds the pigs, the pigs feed you
Dearly beloved brethren, is this not true

Pte. G.H. Field
1/5 Beds Regt.
Convalescent Camp
68 Pte. D.L. Watson, 1 K.O.S.B.

The happiest hours that ever I spent
were spent in the arms of another man's
wife. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . My Mother.

Private D.L. Watson
1st K.O.S.Brdrs 16200
at Alnwick

69 Pte. Simmons, Queen's Royal West Surreys
Read up and down

Down and you and find you you will
And you love you I love for be
Up will I love if me love for
Read see that me but not my got

Pte. Simmonds
Queens Royal West Surreys
Wounded at Hulloch
70 M. Carson, N.C.B.


A.Flapper. M.Carson
Cyc. ?TM
Mar 5th 1916

(Presumably the "MY" is Mary Young)

71 Pte. A. Johnson, R.A.M.C.

"I dipped my pen into the ink"
"and sat me down to think and think"
"I thought and thought and thought again"
"and then I thought I would sign my name"

Pte. A. Johnson

72 Pte. T. Almond, 1 N.F.

Pte. T. Almond 8531
1st N.F.
Wound at Centuary wood
Ypres July 19th 19/15

73 Pte. W. Beard 6 K.O.Y.L.I.
Let them go Unhurt Lord
By the sight that they have seen
Guard their dreams from Shell and Sword
Lead them by the Pastures green
(2) Oh, if the Sonless Mother's weeping
And Widow Girls could look inside
Of the Faith of them in keeping
Who went to the Great War and Died.
Pte. W. Beard 3120
23 High St.
Nr. Sheffield
6th K.O.Y.L.I.
74 G. Dutton, R.F.A.

Find the nigger

G. Dutton

75 J.W. Spark, N.C.B.
A very

J.W. Spark
"E." Coy

76 Pte. J. Hoggatt, 10 Yorkshire Regt.

Churchs one (?foun)dation

When Twilight falls on the
And the call "stand to" comes down
Don't growl and look disappointed
Or meet it with a frown
Remember till the morning
You may fire five rounds
a man
Tho you see those hordes of
Coming on as fast as they
Remember Belgium, bonny
And perhaps you will buck
Tho German guns play havoc boys
don't curse your wretched
Pte. J. Hoggatt. Wounded at Loos
10 Yorkshire Regt. Sept 26/15
77 W. Brown, 8 N.F.

April 8 1915

Not so soon

By hook or by crook
I'll be last in this

W. Brown
18th N.F.s.

78 L.Cpl. E. Craig, 1/7 W.Y.R.

Don't talk quite so fast
Or you will find that I am
L/Cpl. E. Craig
1/7 W.Y.R.
Leeds Rifles

W.D. Brown

79 Photo of S.M.S. Konigsberg 1918

Inserted into the book is a photograph of:

S.M.S. Konigsberg with Peace Delegates, Rosyth, 16th Nov. 1918

Your Auntie Fanny

East or West Hames Best

Your Auntie Fanny
April 11th 1915