The military heritage of Northumberland is without doubt one of the richest in all the British Isles. By nature of it being England's most northern county, its borders have seen many bloody clashes and battles since the earliest times. Hadrian's Wall stretches along the south of the county and is dotted with forts, garrisons and fortified settlements along its length. The first Viking raid was carried out upon Lindisfarne in 793. There were clashes with the Scots for centuries and from the thirteenth century and for 400 years afterwards there were border raids by reivers. The Battle of Newburn in 1640 was one of the flashpoints that led to the English Civil War, and many a noble Northumberland family was ruined in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745.
It is hardly surprising that within the boundaries of the county there can be found more castles than anywhere else in Britain and, as a breed of fighting men, the steel of the Northumbrians is like no other. The men of the North were the backbone of the British Army; a number of regiments have recruited here, including the Coldstream Guards, King's Own Scottish Borderers and, of course, our very own Northumberland Fusiliers, `The Fighting Fifth'. They all served with distinction wherever they fought - from the Peninsular War to South Africa, through two world wars, and beyond.
Award-winning military historian Neil R. Storey knows and loves Northumberland and this book will interest anyone keen to know more about its remarkable military history.
Neil R. Storey is an award-winning social historian specialising in the study of the impact of war on British society in the first half of the 20th century. He has been writing since the late 1980s on topographical, military and crime history themes. He has written features for local and national magazines and journals as well as several books on the First and Second World Wars.