20th Battalion (1st Tyneside Scottish) Northumberland Fusiliers
1914 - The Beginning.
Officially authorised by the War Office on the 14th October recruiting was brisk around the Northumberland and Durham areas.
Early physical conditions were put in place with a minimum height requirement of 5'5" and an age limit of 19 to 45.
In these early days it was agreed that men would be allowed to enrol but would not be attested into the battalion until at least 5-600 men had expressed their interest.
The initial recruiting office and later central recruiting office was at 17 Grainger Street, Newcastle City. Later offices would open in Durham City, Jarrow, South Shields, Wallsend and Blaydon.
Members of the recruiting committee would give speeches along with guest speakers and the local Caledonian Pipe Band would play to stir up enthusiasm. The battalion was complete by the 25th October with 1150 men enrolled. An application to the War Office was immediately made to raise a second battalion.
Tilley's restaurant on New Market Street, Newcastle was identified as the first billet for the first 500 men, the remainder would be housed in Simpson's Hotel, Wallsend until more permanent accommodation could be located.
Local contracts would be offered for uniforms, bedding and equipment.