People pay respects at bombardment service

The scene at the Headland War Memorial during the 98th anniversary of the bombardment of Hartlepool

The scene at the Headland War Memorial during the 98th anniversary of the bombardment of Hartlepool

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SCORES of people attended a poignant service to mark the 98th anniversary of the Bombardment of Hartlepool.

Schoolchildren released 40 balloons in tribute to the children who died during the First World War attack on December 16, 1914.

Residents and town dignitaries including Hartlepool MP Iain Wright paid their respects to the 150 people who died in the bombardment or later as a result of injuries suffered during the attack.

Organisers say around 150 people attended the service, which saw volunteers from the 18th Battalion dressed in First World War uniform.

The service, which started in the Memorial Gardens, on the Headland, got underway at 8.10am today to mark the exact time when the Imperial German Navy ships started firing 1,150 shells at the town.

John Southcott, chairman of the Heugh Battery Museum, said: “As always it was an emotional service and very well attended.

“The bombardment is a significant part of the town’s history.”

The Reverend Chris Collison, of St Hilda’s Church, on the Headland, conducted the service.