First details of Great War events announced

TRAGIC DAY: Hartlepool's Mary Street was shelled by the German Navy
TRAGIC DAY: Hartlepool's Mary Street was shelled by the German Navy

FIRST details have been revealed about a host of local events to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War.

Hartlepool will commemorate the 1914-18 conflict by co-ordinating a Tees Valley-wide project throughout the next year.

Events will include exhibitions, film screenings and theatre performances.

A replica trench will also tour the town to illustrate the conditions soldiers endured while fighting on mainland Europe.

The Hartlepool Mail will pay its own tribute to the local soldiers and civilians who lost their lives by publishing a number of supplements.

The five eight-page publications will chart the history of the war with the paper also making a donation to support the ongoing work of the Royal British Legion.

Our coverage will culminate with the centenary of the Bombardment of Hartlepool on December 16, 1914, in which 182 people died when the town was shelled by the German Navy.

Hartlepool Borough Council is co-ordinating the £400,000 project on behalf of the five local councils in the Tees Valley after securing a £394,775 Arts Council England grant.

The town’s Heugh Gun Battery, which defended Hartlepool during the German attack and is now a museum, is also heavily involved.

Called Remembering Our War, the project will outline the horror, heroism and human spirit evoked by the war.

Events in Hartlepool begin on Thursday, February 27, at 6.30pm at the Vue Cinema with a screening of Oscar-winning Great War movie War Horse.

During International Women’s Day on Saturday, March 8, there will be a suffragette-themed arts, craft and performance workshop for 13-19-year-olds at the town’s Grand Hotel.

It will be followed at noon by a re-enactment of a suffragette march from the hotel to Victory Square.

The trench, recreated by historical group Time Bandits, will also tour the town on March 8.

A large-scale theatrical performance will take place in Hartlepool on December 16 to mark the centenary of the German attack.

Coun Stephen Akers-Belcher, the Mayor of Hartlepool, said: “On this 100th anniversay we wanted to engage with today’s community to truly understand the legacy of the Great War in the Tees Valley.”

Full details and times of all the events will be confirmed shortly.

Do you have Great War memorabilia or stories to share with our readers? Contact our newsdesk on (01429) 239380.