NEWCASTLE BATTALIONS IN ACTION ON THE SOMME, by Neil Storey and Fiona Kay. Published by Newcastle Libraries, Tyne Bridge Publishing ( £7.99. Softback.

NEWCASTLE raised more battalions of volunteer soldiers which saw active service than any other British provincial city during the First World War. The first full battalion of Kitchener’s Army, the Tyneside Scottish and the Tyneside Irish Brigades and pre-war Territorial Battalions of The Northumberland Fusiliers were all raised here, and all of them served at some point during the Battles of the Somme between July 1 and November 1916.
On the first day of the Somme their bravery and conduct on the field were remarked upon by all who witnessed it, from the gallant pipers who led the companies over the top to the parade-like lines of the Tyneside Irish as they strode towards the hail of machine gun fire.
The losses suffered by these brave battalions were also the worst suffered by any regiment on that fateful day.
Based on newspaper accounts, war diaries, letters home and access to both public and private collections of local military photographs and memorabilia, this book is a tribute to the lads of Newcastle and Northumberland who answered their country’s call and went through the hell that was the Battle of the Somme.