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  1. ITV Report

Children remember victims of Hartlepool Bombardment

We will remember them - children in Hartlepool today Photo: ITV News

A poignant and moving ceremony has been held today to remember the victims of the Hartlepool Bombardment, one day before the tragedy's 100th anniversary.

On the morning of 16 December 1914 Hartlepool was bombed by the German Navy.

A total of 119 civilians and 11 military personnel were killed and more than 500 were wounded when German warships fired more than a thousand shells on Hartlepool just after 8am on 16th December 1914.

It was the first major attack on mainland Britain of World War One.

The Headland’s Heugh Gun Battery returned fire in what was the only battle to be fought on British soil during World War One, and one of the Battery’s soldiers, Theo Jones of the Durham Light Infantry, became the first British soldier to be killed by enemy action on home ground in the war.

Pte Theo Jones of the Durham Light Infantry Credit: Hartlepool Council
The Lighthouse Cafe was hit during the bombardment Credit: Hartlepool Council
Hartlepool'd Baptist Church was badly damaged Credit: Hartlepool Council

Today children gathered at the town's Gun Battery.

Each carried a lit candle. Then, as each name of a victim was read out, the children blew out a candle one-by-one.

Here are pictures of today's moving ceremony.

Children of Hartlepool hold candles to remember the dead Credit: ITV News
Each candle was blown out as a name was read out Credit: ITV News
The ceremony has been described as 'moving and poignant' Credit: ITV News