Clock from bombardment of Hartlepools

Contributed by Museum of Hartlepool

Alarm clock damaged during the bombardment of the Hartlepools by German warships, 16th December 1914

The bombardment of the Hartlepools saw the first military and civilian deaths on British soil of the First World WarThis simple metal alarm clock was damaged during the bombardment by three German warships of the twin towns of Hartlepool and West Hartlepool on 16th December, 1914. During the 40 minute attack, 1150 shells were fired, destroying large areas of the towns, killing 112 people and wounding 400 more. The shelling began at 8.10am, catching many of the victims by surprise as they were getting ready to start their day.

Amongst the dead were the first military and civilian deaths on British soil of the First World War: Private Theo Jones of the 18th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry was killed by the first shell whilst 17 year old dressmaker Hilda Horsley was killed as she made her way to work.

A piece of German naval shell is embedded in the face of the clock which also shows the place of manufacture - Germany.

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  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 09:46 on 28 March 2010, susanguthrie wrote:

    My father died in Australia last year, aged 88. He was born in Hartlepool. There is a family story that his mother, Ellen Guthrie, was standing in the doorway of her home in West Hartlepool, holding her first-born son, Adam, in her arms and watching the bombardment, when the four-month old infant was hit by a stray piece of shrapnel, killing him instantly. Ellen was not hurt and went on to have several more children, including my father born seven years later. Some of her descendents still live in the area.

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Damaged in 1914


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