Hartlepool remembers devastating First World War Bombardment

This weekend marks the anniversary of the most devastating day in the modern history of Hartlepool.

Monday, 10th December 2018, 3:13 pm
Updated Friday, 14th December 2018, 9:58 am
The aftermath of the Bombardment.

Sunday, December 16, marks 104 years since the Bombardment of the Hartlepools. Here's what happened and how it will be remembered this weekend. Further details of this weekend's tribute are available here.

The Bombardment of the Hartlepools, so known because the town was divided in two a century ago, took place on December 16, 1914, at 8.10am.
More than 127 people died and 400-plus were injured after three German battle cruisers used morning fog as a cover to fire on both West Hartlepool and the Headland.

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The exact number of fatalities is still unclear because many of those injured would later die after failing to recover from their wounds.
Teacher Private Theo Jones, 29, of Ashgrove Avenue, West Hartlepool, became the first casualty to be killed on the British mainland during the First World War during the shelling of the Heugh Battery.
The North-East and Yorkshire coast as a whole - Scarborough and Whitby were also shelled on December 16 - were considered an important target because of their shipyards and engineering works.
Nine German sailors died from battery fire as their vessels sailed away. Hartlepools residents sheltered as far inland as possible in Ward Jackson Park, Elwick and Hart.
Around 1,100 shells were fired in around 40 minutes with the Headland, Central and town centre areas among the worst to be hit. The Northern Dail Mail, forerunner today's Mail, announced later: "The situation is now secure."
Mayor JR Fryer told the town via the Mail: "Any unexploded shell must not be touched, but information as to the position thereof given to the nearest policeman to to the police station."
Now united as one town, Hartlepool holds a service to remember the casualties at the Redheugh Gardens, on the Headland, organised by the Heugh Battery Musesum.
The ceremony begins at 8.10am on Sunday, December 16, after a slow march from the nearby museum at 8.05am. It includes a gun salute, a reading of the names of the 37 child casualties and a laying of wreaths.