Family proud of ‘remarkable’ grandmother who told BBC’s Jeremy Paxman about war coming to Hartlepool

106 year old Violet Muers.
106 year old Violet Muers.

THE proud family of a “remarkable” Hartlepool great-great grandmother have paid tribute to her – hours before she appears on national television.

Violet Muers, who passed away last November aged 106, gave an interview to the BBC in the year before her death.

Jeremy Paxman holding a clock which was hit in the bombardment of Hartlepool

Jeremy Paxman holding a clock which was hit in the bombardment of Hartlepool

She shared her memories of the bombardment of Hartlepool which happened when she was just five years old.

Violet’s recollections are among the highlights in the first episode of the new Britain’s Great War series, to be broadcast on BBC1 at 9pm on Monday.

The four-part documentary series explores how Britain and the lives of British people were changed by the First World War.

Violet gives her memories to the presenter Jeremy Paxman. Her daughter Mary Bishop, 79, told the Hartlepool Mail: “She had a remarkable memory and she was a wonderful person.”

Violet told of a Hartlepool population who feared that the Germans had already landed, and of an attacking force whose guns could be seen flashing fire out at sea.

Just two years ago, she told the Hartlepool Mail: “All I remember all day long is bang, bang, bang and parents running around pushing their prams panicking and screaming that they need to get away.

“We were living in Dundas Street at the time and one day a bomb was dropped two streets away. It smashed all of our windows. That was a frightening time.” Mrs Bishop said: “She was a good-humoured woman who used to tell us stories. I think she did really well in her interview.”

Jeremy Paxman said Violet saw and remembered the shelling of Hartlepool when she was just five years old.

She said that when she heard the bangs her mother said that somebody must be beating their carpets but then she saw flashes and people running down the road carrying children and suitcases.

He added: “I think that the First World War is the most amazing story. Three quarters of a million men never came back.”

The programme includes a clip where Mr Paxman describes one Hartlepool household which had a reason to remember the bombardment, forever.

Shrapnel from a German shell smashed into their house and into the family alarm clock, stopping it forever at 8.03am.