This is how Hartlepool will pay tribute to victims of First World War Bombardment

Full details have been announced for this year's ceremony to remember the most devastating day in Hartlepool's modern history.

Wednesday, 12th December 2018, 05:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 12th December 2018, 06:50 am
Hartlepool will remember the Bombardment of the Hartlepools on Sunday, December 16, 2018.

At least 127 people died and more than 400 others were injured during the Bombardment of the Hartlepools on December 16, 1914, shortly after the start of the First World War.

The exact number of fatalities is still uncertain because casualties were still dying from their wounds years later.

The aftermath of the 1914 attack by the German Navy.

Hartlepool remembers the attack with a ceremony on the Headland, which was targeted during the German Navy attack, every December 16.

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The public is invited to assemble at the Heugh Battery Museum, in Moor Terrace, at 7.55am this Sunday before a slow march to the nearby Redheugh Gardens at 8.05am.

The ceremony starts at 8.10am with a gun salute to mark the exact moment three battleships began shelling both the Headland and West Hartlepool.

A series of speeches follows before the names of the 37 children who lost their lives are read out by museum director Ralph Keeton.

Wreaths are laid at the war memorial at 8.25am before prayers and blessings are offered by Stuart Burton, of St Hilda’s Church.

The Last Post is then played at 8.30am before a return march to the Heugh Battery Museum.

Also read: Why Hartlepool must never forget the BombardmentMembers of the museum, which organises the ceremony, will wear military uniforms during the event.

Among the speakers will be Hartlepool MP Mike Hill and town mayor Coun Allan Barclay.

Relatives of the child victims are also invited to take part in the ceremony.

Museum manager Diane Stephens explained: “We will be planting small wooden crosses with the name and age of each child killed during the Bombardment as the names are read out as part of the service.

“We would like to invite members of the public attending the ceremony to plant the crosses.

“If anyone has a family member on the list of children that they would like to plant the cross for, could they please come to the museum at least 15 minutes before the start of the parade to collect the cross.”

The museum will be free to enter until 1pm - donations appreciated - with events including a talk at 10.30am by Dr Gillian Hunt about the “lost” account of Bombardment survivor Mary Lister, from the Headland, who later died from the 1918 flu epidemic.