Details announced for this year’s Hartlepool Bombardment commemoration

Members of the Durham Pals standing by the war memorial in Redheugh Gardens during last years service.
Members of the Durham Pals standing by the war memorial in Redheugh Gardens during last years service.

Hartlepool will fall silent this weekend as people gather once more to remember one of the town’s darkest days.

The Bombardment of the Hartlepools commemoration will take place on Saturday on the Headland – exactly 103 years since German bombs rained down on the town during the First World War.

The annual Bombardment Remembrance Ceremony at Hartlepool Headland. Picture: TOM BANKS

The annual Bombardment Remembrance Ceremony at Hartlepool Headland. Picture: TOM BANKS

People are invited to gather at Redheugh Gardens where the Headand’s war memorial is situated for 8am.

At the same time, a parade will muster at the Heugh Gun Battery Museum nearby which defended the town from the German onslaught on the morning of December 16 in 1914.

A total of 130 people, including 37 children, were killed when German warships off the coast fired more than a thousand shells just after 8am,

More than 500 others were injured.

The annual ceremony is organised by the gun battery with support from the wider community.

Diane Stephens, manager of the Heugh Battery Museum, said: “There are so many families who still live in Hartlepool who were affected by the bombardment who either suffered injuries or they lost people.

“I think it is really important for those families to still have a focus annually to remember that.

“We are hoping that more of the local people will come along to the ceremony this year with it falling on a Saturday.”

The ceremony will feature a two-minute silence at 8.10am signalled by a 25 pounder gun salute from the gun battery.

The names of each of the 37 children who lost their lives will also be read out.

Members of the public will be invited to plant small wooden crosses bearing the names of the children.

Afterwards, everyone is invited to the museum for refreshments.

The service’s timetable is as follows:

08.00 Parade to muster at the Heugh Battery Museum;

08.05 Parade to Redheugh Memorial Gardens;

08.10 Gun Salute from the Heugh Battery Museum followed by two minutes silence;

08.12 Welcome address by Ralph Keeton, Director Heugh Battery Museum;

08.15 Address by Mike Hill MP;

08.20 Reading of names of the children who lost their lives during the Bombardment of the Hartlepools;

08.25 Wreath laying;

08.35 Prayers led by Reverend Verity Brown;

08.40 Close.