Community to remember devastating bombardment of Hartlepool on 105th anniversary

One of the darkest days in Hartlepool’s history will be marked once again on the anniversary of the bombardment of the town.

Saturday, 14th December 2019, 8:00 am
The scene at York Road in Hartlepool in the aftermath of the Bombardment in 1914. Photograph courtesy of Hartlepool Borough Council.

Every year, the community comes together on the Headland on the exact hour that it and West Hartlepool was pounded with German shells on December 16, 1914 to pay their respects.

This year’s ceremony falls on Monday and everyone is welcome to attend and take part.

Once again, it is being organised by the Heugh Battery Museum and will include the laying of wreaths at the war memorial in the nearby Redheugh Hardens.

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A scene of sheer destruction as Hartlepool surveys the damage of the Bombardment.

The names of each of the 37 children as well as servicemen killed in the attack will be read out and small wooden crosses planted at the memorial.

The full timetable for Monday’s service is:

8am Parade from Heugh Battery Museum to Redheugh Gardens

8.10am Gun fires to mark beginning of 2 minutes silence

8.12am Gun fires. Welcome by Heugh Battery volunteer

8.15am Wreath laying

8.20am Names of the children and servicemen who lost their lives in the Bombardment read aloud and crosses planted

8.30am Blessing by Rev Verity Brown of St Hilda’s Church

8.35am Close

At least 127 people died on that fateful morning and more than 400 others were injured when three German battleships began shelling the town from just off the coast.

The Heugh gun battery fired back in anger and remains the only First World War battlefied in the UK.

Local civic dignitaries also support the annual event. Last year, Hartlepool MP Mike Hill and town mayor Councillor Allan Barclay spoke during the ceremony.

On Sunday, December 15, people are also invited to a talk about the bombardment at the Heugh Battery Museum by historian Dr Michael Reeve.

It takes pace at 2pm in the museum’s Poppy Cafe and will focus on the experiences of the Hartlepools during and after the attack

Tickets are £2. Please contact (01429) 270746 or email: [email protected]

The battery museum, in Moor Terrace, will also be open for refreshments on Monday from 7.30am until 12 noon.