Seeking tales of Hartlepool’s World War One heroes

SS Taplow - lost at sea in 1917.
SS Taplow - lost at sea in 1917.

Hartlepudlians with relatives who served at sea in the Great War are invited to take part in a unique project documenting the bravery and sacrifice of sailors.

A Heroism and Heartbreak Roadshow is to be held at Headland Branch Library this Friday, from 10am until 1pm. Anyone with a story to share is urged to pop along.

“We are creating histories on all the town’s wartime mariners, and would like to talk to people whose ancestors were seafarers,” said project manager Gary Green.

“Almost 300 local men, including Royal Navy, merchant navy and fishermen, lost their lives at sea during the conflict. Our aim is to document their stories.”

Several ‘talking histories’ have already been created through the Heritage Lottery-funded project, which can be viewed at: www.hhtandn.org/venues/2915/heroism-and-heartbreak-talking-histories

But Gary is hoping Mail readers will come forward with details on other mariners. Photos of wartime ships, as well as letters and memorabilia, are also needed.

“We want to rediscover and retell the stories of the sailors who died. But, as time goes by, so memories fade - which makes this information very rare,” he said.

“Although we have already received information from as far away as Australia, we could really do with some more local people coming forward with their stories.

“Anyone with information to share, whether it is a full family history or just a name, will be welcomed at Friday’s Roadshow.”