Gun battery praised for its ‘greatest importance’ to Hartlepool

From left, Heugh Battery Museum Volunteers Garry Carden and Andrew Abson and Museum Manager Diane Stephens with Councillor Paul Beck after the presentation.
From left, Heugh Battery Museum Volunteers Garry Carden and Andrew Abson and Museum Manager Diane Stephens with Councillor Paul Beck after the presentation.

Hartlepool’s Mayor has recognised the contribution made to the town by the Heugh Battery Museum with a special presentation.

The battery, on Hartlepool’s Headland, entered the history books on the morning of December 16, 1914, when German warships off the coast fired more than a thousand shells on the Hartlepools, killing a total of 130 people and wounding more than 500 others.

It returned fire in what was the only battle to be fought on British soil during the First World War, and one of the Battery’s soldiers, Theo Jones of the Durham Light Infantry, became the first British soldier to be killed by enemy action on home ground in the war.

The Mayor, Coun Paul Beck praised the work of the museum when he welcomed Museum Manager Diane Stephens and Museum Volunteers Garry Carden and Andrew Abson to the Mayor’s Parlour, presenting them with civic keepsakes including a plaque.

He was also delighted to hand over an Anglo-German book about the 1914 bombardment of Scarborough – a gift for the museum sent by the German Consul-General in Edinburgh Peter Voss who visited it earlier in the summer.

Coun Beck said: “The Heugh Battery played a historic role in the First World War and is of the greatest importance to our town and its story.

“The volunteers are doing a marvellous job and a visit to the museum is a fascinating day out for people of all ages.”

Diane Stephens added: “We really appreciate all the encouragement and support we are receiving from the council.

“We are passionate about preserving the battery. “