December 16th 1914 will always remain the day that every true Hartlepudlian will remember. It lives on in infamy, as the day the German Fleet Bombarded Hartlepool, Scarborough and then Whitby. It was a misty morning, just after 8am, People were having breakfast, begining the daily round of their lives. When from out of no where, a rain of lethal metal, transformed the peaceful morning into a a fight to survive. The local battery manned by the men of the DLI,as they realised what was happening, began firing back. One of their number lieing dead…the first soldier to die on home soil during the war Theopholis Jones had been feld by shrapnel. When it had finally ended,lasting less than an hour, mainly due to damage sustained to the german ships from the battery. 112 civilians, 9 soldiers, and six sailors had been killed….and many more had been injured. The town lay in ruins, and people were left to pick up the threads of their lives as best they could. And England had risen up in outrage at the slaughter of innocent women and children. Churchill was to later make a speech, branding the imperial german fleet, baby killers…Hartlepool was to be always in the front line, because of its ship building and engine works. Indeed, they were to have visits from Zeppalins in WW1, and Bombers in WW2…but nothing could compare to the horror and destruction of that day in 1914. When civilians became legitimate targets.
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