Hartlepool author publishes book to mark anniversary of the Bombardment of the Hartlepools
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Dennis Lendrem, who was born and raised in Wensleydale Street, Hartlepool, has written a book titled 1914: The Hartlepools Bombardment, which documents the stories of those who died during the Bombardment of the Hartlepools, on December 16, 1914.
At least 137 people died – the true figure is unknown as victims were dying from their injuries years later – and hundreds more were injured following the attack by the Germany Navy.
Dennis, who is now retired and lives in Northumberland, said: “The new book tells the stories of a much more diverse group and gives a much broader insight into the social history of Hartlepool.
"It tells the stories of the labourers and shipyard riveters, the maids and the dressmakers, the mothers and their children.”
Dennis came up with the idea after being given an eye witness account on behalf of Ellen Kaiser, a 10-year-old girl at the time, who fled the town on foot to escape the bombing.
Speaking about what readers can expect, he said: “The stories of those killed that day. Not just the famous names but the little people. The tragic stories and the lucky escapes. Heroic stories and mysteries.
"West Hartlepool at the time was a boom town and thriving port.
"Those killed came from a broad cross-section of society. People drawn to West Hartlepool by work in the new shipyards and those from the older fishing community.
"The wealthy and the poor.”
People can read about the lives of hundreds of bombardment victims, including 29-year-old Theo Jones – who is remembered for being the first soldier to be killed on English soil in the First World War - Annie and Florence Kay, who were the first civilians to die during the bombardment, and Margaret Hunter, 47, who was collecting sea coal on the beach when she was hit by a bomb.
Dennis said: “All the living witnesses have now died but I hope to collect more stories from the families to include in the book.”
The book can be purchased online at Amazon and can be pre-ordered before its December 16 release.