Long-lost Churchill letter about 1914 bombardment is unearthed

The Northern Echo: HISTORIC PAPERS: Debbie Seymour, chief executive of Scarborough Museums Trust , with the Winston Churchill letter Picture: Tony Bartholomew

2:16pm Sunday 20th July 2014

A LONG-LOST First World War letter in which Winston Churchill brands the German Navy "the baby-killers of Scarborough" has been unearthed.

North-East suffers some of first casualties of Great War

The Northern Echo: Dene Street, Hartlepool

12:14pm Tuesday 10th March 2009

Mention the Great War of 1914-1919 and the first image that will probably come to mind for most people is of young men fighting in the trenches of France and Flanders, surviving appalling and inhuman conditions, only to be mown down by machine guns, blown to pieces by shells or die through sickness and wounds.

Through the eyes of a child

The Northern Echo: Rothbury Street, Scarborough

12:16pm Tuesday 10th March 2009

This account was related by Robert Llewelyn Hughes (known to his family as Roy) who was five at the time of the bombardment and lived with his family at 36 Ramsey Street.

An Innocent Victim

The Northern Echo: All Saints Church, Scarborough

12:19pm Tuesday 10th March 2009

A moving piece written by Edythe Barker of 129 Queen’s Parade, Scarborough. 1914

'I shouted out to Mabel - It's the Germans!'

The Northern Echo: 'I shouted out to Mabel - It's the Germans!'

12:24pm Tuesday 10th March 2009

This letter was dated 30th December 1914 and was hand-written by the then twenty-seven-year-old Gertrude Harrison to her cousin living in Toronto, Canada. Miss Harrison was born in 1887 and lived with her family at Calthorpe House on Victoria Road. Her father, Albert Prince Harrison was the owner of the mill on Mill Street (just off Victoria Road). 1914.

Hartlepool only 'defended' town of three attacked

The Northern Echo: The Lighthouse, Scarborough

12:30pm Tuesday 10th March 2009

Units of the 5th Green Howards (the Yorkshire Regiment), fresh recruits, were used as stretcher bearers and tended to the injured on the Scarborough railway station platform. The Yorkshire Hussars, without artillery, were expected to defend the town with only two machine guns, rifles and bayonets.

“This is a bloody alarm! Get out! Get out!”

The Northern Echo: Baptist Church, Hartlepool

12:35pm Tuesday 10th March 2009

The following edited account was related by Private William Henry Lunn. Born in Middlesbrough on 15th December 1896, William joined the 3rd Battalion Green Howards on 17th March 1914, aged 18.

A family decimated

The Northern Echo: Rugby Terrace, Hartlepool

1:44pm Tuesday 10th March 2009

The account below was related by Joseph Dixon. Born in 1902 he was 12 at the time of the bombardment.

'Keep on running son, I’m done for'

The Northern Echo: Railway Station, Hartlepool

2:17pm Tuesday 10th March 2009

The account below was related by H. Bell. He and his family lived at 31 Belk Street at the time of the bombardment, and were greatly affected by the German attack. The following account was related by Mrs E. M. Murray, the daughter of Barney Hodgson, in reply to the above account.

Hero killed while standing sentry for town's children

The Northern Echo: Moor Terrace, Hartlepool

2:33pm Tuesday 10th March 2009

The following account was related by Mrs E. M. Murray, the daughter of Barney Hodgson, in reply to the previous account, which can be read here.


The Northern Echo: Inspection of dud shells, Hartlepool

2:39pm Tuesday 10th March 2009

Poem by George Weddell of Seaton Carew who witnessed the Hartlepool bombardment from his window that December morning, 1914.

The 'Dead House'

The Northern Echo: Victoria Place, Hartlepool

2:54pm Tuesday 10th March 2009

The following account was related by Robert Wood a well-known West Hartlepool historian.

Whitby attack not in original plan

3:04pm Tuesday 10th March 2009

The town was devastated, and by the time the ships had turned about ready to steam home over a hundred men, women and children had been killed - including the first soldiers killed on British soil in the Great War. The death toll finally rose to 135.

'I was very frightened and clung to my mother'

The Northern Echo: Abbey Lodge, Whitby

3:35pm Tuesday 10th March 2009

This account was related by Edith M. Palmer (later Rochester). She was born in 1907 and was just seven years old at the time of the raid. Her mother was Margaret Palmer and they lived at 41 Cliff Street. The Cliff Street Girls’ and Infants’ School was opened in 1894.

'After ten minutes the shelling stopped'

The Northern Echo: Falcon Terrace, Whitby

3:38pm Tuesday 10th March 2009

This account was related by Harold Parkin. He was born in 1904 and was 10 years old at the time of the Whitby raid. The St Hilda’s Roman Catholic School was a mixed school on Spring Hill and was opened in 1874 under the administration of the Sisters of Mercy (whose convent was on Chubb Hill Road). They also administered St Patrick’s Roman Catholic School on Church Street.

'Shattering noise like thunder seemed to rock the school'

The Northern Echo: Coastguard Cottages, Whitby

3:41pm Tuesday 10th March 2009

It was a cold hazy morning. We were singing our morning hymn in Cholmley School on Church Street when there was a shattering noise like the loudest thunder. It seemed to rock the school.

Why did the Germans attack these particular towns?

The Northern Echo: The Bennett Family Funeral Cortege, Scarborough

3:43pm Tuesday 10th March 2009

Whitby had been lightly defended by a single company of the Devonshire Cyclists who had been ordered to be on alert early that morning, but with no artillery they were unable to do anything to prevent the attack or to retaliate.

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