Film ID:
NEFA 22331

THE ATTACK ON THE HARTLEPOOLS

1914

Visitor Tabs

Description

This newsreel documents the aftermath of the German bombardment by the Imperial German Navy of Scarborough, Hartlepool, West Hartlepool and Whitby on 16 December 1914 during World War One.

Title: The Attack on the Hartlepools. Considerable damage was done and many killed – chiefly women and children.

A crowd of people including children stand in Cleveland Street near severely damaged houses. The roof and upper storey have collapsed at nos. 20 and 21. One of the boys at the far left standing facing camera on the street holds a hoop and stick toy. Two bowler-hatted men move in front of the camera. A soldier now stands on guard in front of the houses, carrying a long Lee Enfield rifle. [He is probably a member of the 18th Battallion Durham light infantry, posted to deter looters and onlookers.]

A closer view shows much of the debris in front of the house, including an iron bedstead, and the damage to the upper floors.

Title: In This House the Misses Kays Were Killed.

[Note that the next view is not of the Kays' house at "Rockside", No. 19 Cliff Terrace. The house stood immediately adjacent to the Heugh and lighthouse gun batteries, highly sensitive military installations within the controlled military coastal zone.]

The next shot documents the severe damage to No. 10 Carlton Terrace, Hartlepool. An upper floor main window and a smaller one above have been demolished. A view through the remains of the window shows furnishings still in situ and even some pictures hanging on the wall, seemingly untouched by the blast.

Group portrait shot of women and children gathered outside another house on Carlton Terrace. A young girl in the centre of the group displays to camera a bomb shell splinter (shrapnel) she has found. A boy next to her holds a toy cap gun. A woman speaks to the girl and they both smile. 

Title: Scarborough.  The South Bay and Castle Photographed Since the Outbreak of War.  Scarborough Is An Undefended Town.

A view follows of people strolling on the beach at Scarborough. Small sailing boats are pulled up on the beach, and Scarborough Castle can be seen on cliff tops in the background.

People stroll up to Scarborough Castle. 

The next view shows shell damage to an upper floors at the Prince of Wales Hotel, Scarborough.

An ambulance crew enters a damaged building, two of the crew carrying a folded stretcher. The upper floor windows are damaged and there's a missing section of an ornate railing which runs along a veranda. Another larger hole appears just under the roofline on an upper floor.

A St John's Ambulance crew rescue a casualty, Mrs Florence Blanch Keble (1863-1925), who lived at No. 6 Belvoir Terrace.] A woman, probably a Voulntary Aid Detachment (VAD) nurse as her white uniform is glimpsed beneath her overcoat, directs the crew carrying out the stretcher, one a civilian volunteer wearing a St. John's armband. Mrs Keble's maid, in white pinafore, and her housekeeper, in a shawl, also appear in the shot. 

Onlookers look through the fence as workmen assess and clear up damage to a house in the same terrace.

The film moves on to show shattered and damaged windows at the Grand Picture House, a cinema located on the ground floor of the Grand Hotel, Scarborough. A soldier peers down into a trench in the pavement in front of the hotel dug to repair a broken utlity pipe.

General view of the damage to Belvedere, the Esplanade. A man climbs a ladder to inspect damaged windows.

General view of 14 Lonsdale Road, home of Mrs Kathleen Walker. An upper floor window and corner wall have been severely damaged, the upper storey ceiling and attic floor has gone leaving an unsupported section of roof. [Despite a direct hit on the upper floor, nobody was hurt as the house was unoccupied at the time.]

Title: Whitby and its famous Abbey.

A photographer sets up his tripod and camera in front of Whitby Abbey. The film shows a closer view of the abbey

Title: At Whitby 30 houses were damaged and a few people killed and wounded.

General view of bomb damage to the back yards of the Coastguard Cottages on the East Cliff, Whitby. The abbey ruins appear in the background.

A soldier from the Devon (Cyclists) Regiment patrols in front of the Coastguard Signal Station on the East Cliff, Whitby. Two Royal Navy reservists stand in the half ruin. One waves at camera. 

General view of damage to the wall of the West Entrance at St Hilda's Abbey. 

[The attack caused public outrage towards the German Navy for the attack, and against the Royal Navy for its failure to prevent the raid. This was the first time British civilians were in the line of enemy fire during a World War. Carlton Terrace, Hartlepool, no longer exists but was near to Friar Street on the Headland.]