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The Guyzance Tragedy, 17th January 1945


Guyzance, historically Guizance, is a small village or hamlet in Northumberland, England. It is located on the River Coquet, roughly 6 miles south of Alnwick and around 3 miles west of Amble. Guyzance is one of only two places in Great Britain with a -zance ending; the other is Penzance in Cornwall. The similar names are a coincidence, however.

Guyzance Tragedy 2

Guyzance Tragedy 5

Ten soldiers serving with the 10th Battalion, The Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment), were tragically swept to their deaths during a river crossing exercise on the river Coquet at Guyzance in Northumberland.  Despite warnings from locals about the risks of entering the river when in flood, the exercise went ahead, with the soldiers entering the river one mile upstream of the old Guyzance Ironworks weir.

Losing control of their craft they were rapidly swept downstream, overturning at the weir. Sadly due to the weight of their equipment and the force of the river the men were unable to save themselves. All were aged 18.

The memorial is a copper plaque mounted on a block of sandstone.

Guyzance Tragedy 3The 10th Battalion, The Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment), was not destined to serve overseas but became a training battalion. A very large number of officers and men received their training in the 10th before going overseas to join various battalions on active service.

Guyzance Tragedy 4

This is such a beautiful location, so sad that such a tragedy took place here.


For a list of Ian Cook's photography and TravelGumbo contributions, please click on this link


Images (5)
  • Guyzance Tragedy 1
  • Guyzance Tragedy 2
  • Guyzance Tragedy 3
  • Guyzance Tragedy 4
  • Guyzance Tragedy 5

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