Dominion Geordies

Dominion Geordies is a Living Legacies-funded project with the Tynemouth World War One commemoration project as the principal community partner along with Northumbria University.  As an introduction to the project, Alan Fidler will talk about the role of the Dominion armies in WW1 and their willing participation in the war.

Marie Caffrey will cover the issues of how men with local connections to the North East serving in the Dominion forces of Australia, Canada and New Zealand (we did not cover South Africa) were traced, usually through Dominion war archives. Over 7200 individual records of men and women who served were added automatically to the database.  Volunteers in the UK and across the world came forward to assist with researching individual names following a press release by the University in the Dominion countries and local press stories here in the north east.

Marie will also comment on the issues of variable skill levels of volunteers working remotely from the project across multiple time zones. The concept of this research was ‘crowd sourcing’ of volunteers to work on a major project which is well beyond the capacity of a small group.  There may be useful lessons for us to learn from this project.

We know that several Teesdale men served in the Dominion forces, and hopefully we’ll learn more about them.

For information on cost and booking for this talk, please click here.

Elizabeth A Waine

By June Parkin, Volunteer



WW1 saw women taking over many activities formerly the responsibility of men. Here 20 year-old Miss Elizabeth Annie Waine white-lines the rinks at Barnard Castle Bowling Green in 1914.

Elizabeth Waine was the daughter of prominent townsman Walker Waine. In the 1911 Census the family are at 52, The Bank and Walker is a Stonemason while his daughter works in a laundry. Walker, his brother Watson and many family members were mentioned frequently in the ‘Teesdale Mecury’ , taking part in musical activities in the town. Both Walker and Watson played the organ and their daughters sang and acted in various entertainments. Walker Waine was also on the board of the Teesdale Guardians and was Vice-President of the Barnard Castle Co-operative Society.

When Elizabeth’s grandmother Phillis Waine died at the age of 80 in 1915, her obituary in the ‘Mercury’ mentioned her pride in the enlistment of her son Watson, four of her grandsons and one great-grandson. Perhaps it is fortunate that she did not live to hear the news of the deaths in action of two of her grandsons, George Graham Waine in 1916 and William Watson Waine in 1917.

Elizabeth too, in this picture, was not aware of the fates of her brothers and cousins, but saw the need for women to contribute where they could. She married John W Robinson in 1915 and they had four children John, Annie, Ernest and Grace.

Bowling still thrives on the same site in the Bowes Museum, although the ladies section is no longer expected to prepare the green and the rinks are not marked out with white lines.