In the Naval Battle: Tramway empoyees presentation at South Shields
Transcript of Shields Daily Gazette article
An interesting social gathering took place at the Car Sheds, South Shields, last night, in the honour of one of the employees of the tramways, Motorman Wm Middleton, who was serving as an AB on one of the warships engaged in the recent great naval battle. The employees and their wives and friends were present in considerable numbers, and Mr W Bunting, who presided, was supported by Ald Wylie (chairman), Ald Henderson (vice-chairman), and the rest of the members of the Tramways Committee, Mr J C Whiteley, tramways manager, etc. A letter was read from the Mayor, who was unavoidably absent. Mr Bunting explained that they were following out a custom that night of giving a hearty welcome to one who had returned to them for a little from active service, and of giving to him a slight token of their high regard and admiration. Hitherto it had always been a member of the land forces whom they had honoured. As far as they were aware AB Middleton was the only one of their men who took part in the recent and the greatest naval fight the world has ever seen. (Applause.) Therefore they had made a special occasion of it.
Ald Wylie, on behalf of the employees, then presented to AB Middleton a silver cigarette case and a silver watch. They are indeed glad to see the guest of that evening among them, for they knew something, not all, of the terrible and heroic part which his ship and her crew played in the Jutland fight. They were proud of him as one of their own, and when this war was over they hoped he would be spared to take up his former position among them.
The recipient, who was enthusiastically cheered, spoke a few words of thanks in reply.
The rest of the evening was spent in harmony, and in an interval in the programme tea and coffee were handed round. Among the entertainers were Mr and Mrs Whiteley, Madam Thompson, Miss Benjamin, the Misses Lawrenson, Miss Nye, Mr Grant, Mr E Bailey, Ald Henderson, Coun R Kaye, Mr Corneilinsen, Mr Musgrave, Mr W Henderson, Mr A Sawyer, and others, Mr T G Short presiding at the piano.
Date: 14 June 1916
Where to find this: Durham County Record Office
Contributed by Durham County Record Office