Information sought on historic replica

The iron cross
The iron cross

A PIECE of history linked to the bombardment of Hartlepool has found its way home after being tracked down 12,000 miles away in New Zealand.

The tiny replica of an iron cross medal stamped with the words “Hartlepools Bombardment” was found for sale on the website ebay.

The memento was spotted by Charlotte Southcott, daughter of John Southcott, who is chairman of the Heugh Gun Battery on the Headland.

The battery defended the town when German gunships opened fire on the town on December 16, 1914.

They paid £15 to bring it back to Hartlepool and are now appealing for information on its background.

Mr Southcott said: “We have no story to it at all, that’s the unfortunate thing.

“This type of thing was made in abundance to raise money for the First World War.

“There were various designs but this is the only one like an iron cross I’ve ever seen.

“It’s quite amazing that 12,000 miles away a little bit piece of Hartlepool history has returned and at the appropriate time.”

People of all ages remembered the 118 people, including 37 children, who died as a result of the bombardment in a poignant service on the Headland yesterday.

School children released balloons in memory of the children who lost their lives and the gun battery fired a cannon at 8.10am to mark the time the attack started.

Mr Southcott added: “I like to think it might have been made out of a piece of shell shrapnel which would be absolutely marvellous if it was.

“We are going to try and get in touch with the seller to find out a little bit more.

“I think it’s an important piece of history.”

If you have any information on the cross please contact the Heugh Gun Battery via email at enquiries@heughbattery.com or call (01429) 270746.