Watch as Hartlepool remembers the victims of First World War Bombardment

Hartlepool residents fell silent to remember those who lost their lives in the town bombardment.

Saturday, 16th December 2017, 11:54 am
Updated Saturday, 16th December 2017, 12:05 pm
Hartlepool remembers.

A total of 130 people lost their lives in one of the town’s darkest days 103 years ago.

At 8.10am on Saturday, the exact date and time the German bomb hit the Headland, a cannon fired from the Heugh Battery Museum and after the parade marched to the Redheugh

Hartlepool remembers.

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Gardens everyone gathered there fell silent for two minutes as a mark of respect.

Wreaths were laid, including ones from town MP Mike Hill and the Mayor of Hartlepool, Coun Paul Beck, and a small wooden cross was placed in the grass for each of the 37 children killed, as their names and ages were read out in the emotional service.

The Bombardment of the Hartlepools commemoration has been held in the town for 17 years and organisers thanked everyone who braved the freezing conditions to go along and pay their respects.

On the morning of December 16, 1914, at the beginning of the First World War, German bombs rained down on the town causing huge devastation and the loss of life.

Heads bowed at Saturday's service.

German warships off the coast fired more than a thousand shells, killing 130 people and injuring another 500.

Ralph Keeton, director of the Heugh Gun Battery Museum, which defended the town from the German onslaught, said he was pleased so many people joined the ceremony.

He said: “It was lovely to see so many members of the public come along in such cold conditions to pay their respects.”

He said it was similar conditions on the morning of the actual bombing, very cold, but clear and bight.

Members of the Heugh Battery take part in Saturday's ceremony.

Ralph said they are hoping to make the commemoration a bigger event next year to mark the centenary of the end of the war.

He said: “Next year we are going to do something a bit bigger, hopefully we will have a military band.”

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.”

Hartlepool remembers.

To close the ceremony the Rev Verity Brown gave a blessing and the parade marched back to the museum.

Heads bowed at Saturday's service.
Members of the Heugh Battery take part in Saturday's ceremony.