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Friday, 12 December 2014

Hartlepool Remembered: Legacies of the Bombardment

Hartlepool Remembered

On 11 December the Durham at War project attended the ‘Hartlepool Remembered: Legacies of the Bombardment’ event at Hartlepool College of Further Education.  It was organised by the partnership between the University of Leeds Legacies of War project and community groups in Hartlepool led by Friends of Stranton Cemetery. 

The day was an excellent example of a community coming together to commemorate what was one of the first significant events of the First World War for the county.

A series of lectures was taking place through the day and as well as ourselves and the North East War Memorials Project, there were all sorts of groups and organisations in attendance:

Hartlepool Museums had brought the West Hartlepool Bombardment Memorial Scrapbook.  Whilst I was looking, there was a gentleman who collected postcards and there were images he had never seen before.

West Hartlepool Bombardment Memorial Scrapbook
West Hartlepool Bombardment Memorial Scrapbook
Community and youth groups displayed the work they have been doing including the Friends of Stranton Cemetery, Friends of Ward Jackson Park, and the Hartlepool Headland Local History Group. 

Work produced by youth groups
Work produced by youth groups
Co-operative Funeralcare had brought a specially made environmentally friendly coffin.  Made from cardboard, it features newspaper reports and photographs of the bombardment as well as the list of names of those killed.
Bombardment coffin and bicycle hearse
Bombardment coffin and bicycle hearse
Folk singer Lol Moran has written an album of songs, ‘Bombarded’, some of which he performed on the day.  There was also a short performance, including a song about Theophilus Jones, by The Young’uns who have been working with local schools. 
Lol Moran performing songs from 'Bombarded'
Lol Moran performing songs from 'Bombarded'
Artworks by Dieter Löchle of Tubingen, twinned with County Durham since 1969, represented the modern friendship of historical enemies.  Theresa Easton worked with Throston Youth Centre and High Tunstall School to produce mail art inspired by trench art.

Dieter Löchle
Dieter Löchle

Theresa Easton
Theresa Easton
Students from the University of Leeds presented Voices of the Bombardment, a selection of extracts from interviews conducted in the 1970s by Dr Peter Liddle with people who lived through the bombardment.  There were also unedited interviews playing in one of the conference rooms.  It was part of the larger Legacies of the War project being carried out by the university.  The students are wishing to find family of the people interviewed in the 1970s listed below, if you can help, please contact hv13aet@leeds.ac.uk or 07449986155:

Matthew William Brown
Born in January 1898 and living in Grasmere Street at the time of the bombardment; at the time of the interview he was living in Kimberley Street.

Frank Forthergill
Born in September 1896 and living in Middleton Road at the time of the bombardment and working in the Blacksmiths at Gray’s  Shipyard; at the time of the interview he was living in Coatham Drive.

Samuel Winkcup
Living in Lister Street at the time of the bombardment and Benson Street at the time of the interview.

Hilda Laverick
At the time of the interview living in York Place

Reverend C. Leslie Craig
Formerly of Chilton, Ferryhill; living in Epsom Downs, Surrey at the time of the interview.

MM Cummings
No information

All the visitors seemed very interested and many had their own stories to tell.  The event carried on into the evening with musical performances including the Hartlepool Male Voice Choir and the Hartlepool Ladies Choir. 

Further events will take place on the 100th anniversary of the bombardment on 16 December with daytime events centred on the Heugh BatteryMuseum and a theatre performance, ‘Homecoming’, performed on the Headland in the evening.

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