Town to commemorate attack that shocked nation

Amanda Smith, chairman of Whitby In Bloom, Steve Smith and Roger Burnett and Sheila Johnson from the borough council's Community Environment Services team at Whitby's bombardment memorial at the Sunken Gardens
Amanda Smith, chairman of Whitby In Bloom, Steve Smith and Roger Burnett and Sheila Johnson from the borough council's Community Environment Services team at Whitby's bombardment memorial at the Sunken Gardens

A century on from the German bombardment of Whitby, the town is set to commemorate the events of December 16, 1914 in a number of different ways.

Whitby in Bloom will unveil a memorial garden on the West Cliff, just after 9am on Tuesday, the time that the first shells landed on Whitby exactly 100 years earlier.

The feature at the Sunken Gardens will include the bombed-out remains of a house and one of the artillery shells that landed on the town.

Amanda Smith, chairman of Whitby in Bloom, said: “This project has been four years in the making and will hopefully serve as a fitting memorial to the bombardment.”

Members of HM Coastguard will be in attendance to remember Whitby coastguard Fred Randall, the first person killed during the German attack on the town.

A candlelit service commemorating the bombardment is set to take place at Whitby’s war memorial at Dock End from 6.30pm on Tuesday.

This will be followed by a service at St Hilda’s Church on the West Cliff at 7.30pm.

Both of the events have been organised by Whitby Town Council’s Armed Forces Committee.

Deputy Mayor Sean Rixham-Smith, who is chairman of the committee, said: “It is really important that as a town we remember the bombardment. It’s one of the biggest events in Whitby’s history.

“The idea of the candlelit service is that it will be a very relaxed and informal event that anybody can come along to and pay their respects.

“Absolutely everyone is welcome.”

An exhibition that focuses on the bombardment of Whitby is currently being held at Whitby Museum.

Entitled ‘1914’, it tells the tale of how World War One impacted on the town. The exhibition runs until Easter 2015.