Memorial Details

NEWMP Memorial Image
Photo: James Pasby


Monument 1st Shell 1914 Promenade





Map ref

NZ 532338

Original Location

Promenade. Set into a carved stone on low wall leading to the promenade near High Battery.

Which war


Dedication, Creation or Publication date

Unveiled 17th December 1921 by Col. Robson, C.M.G., D.S.O.

Memorial Description

Plaque 16 inches high x 30 inches wide x ¾ inch thick (406mm x 762mm x 19mm). The lettering is incised and gilded using Roman capitals.
Above is it a small metal plaque 4 inches high x 9 inches wide (102mm x 228mm) which tells the story of the previous memorial.

Materials used

Marble plaque, metal plate.


On upper plaque:
This memorial replaces
an earlier memorial presented by
John Anderson Esq.
a native of Hartlepool
Refurbished by Carl Paylor 27.10.2006

On marble plaque:
This tablet marks the place
where the first shell from the
leading German battle cruiser
struck at 8.10 am on the
16th of December 1914
and also records the place where
(during the bombardment)
the first soldier was killed
on British soil by enemy action
in the Great War 1914-1918



Who commissioned

John Sanderson, Esq., a native of this Borough.

Ownership and maintenance

Accepted at the unveiling by His Worship the Mayor, Ald. J.T. Turner, on behalf of the Corporation.


1. During the bombardment, 1150 shells fell in 42 minutes, during which 112 people died and 200 were injured.

2. This was unveiled immediately after the ceremony of unveiling the “Triumphant Youth” column when the position was known as 'Lighthouse Slope'.

3. The plaque is situated close to the Heugh Gun Battery, which played a significant role in defending Hartlepool during the bombardment. The link below leads to one of two websites covering the work in respect of this site.

4. Col. Robson, who unveiled the original plaque, was in charge of the garrison at the time of the bombardment.

5. The first shell fired from the German cruiser killed Private Theophilus Jones, serving with the Durham Light Infantry, who died on the 16/12/1914. See his Every Name a Story entry.

Newspaper cuttings, photos or archival material

Photos: C. Sanders; James Pasby

Newcastle Daily Chronicle 19/12/1921 reports unveiling.

Northern Echo 19/12/1921 reports unveiling.

Newcastle Weekly Chronicle 24/12/1921 reports unveiling.

Illustrated memorial of the east coast raids by the German Navy and airships, including authentic list of persons killed. Middlesbrough, 1915. Hood, Harold (copy in Newcastle Local Studies Library)

At the Going Down of the Sun Derek Boorman; 1988; Ebor Press, York; ISBN 1 85072041X page 111 has photo.

The Guns of the North East; Coastal Defences from the Tyne to the Humber Joe Foster; 2004. Pen & Sword Books. ISBN 1 84415 088 7

External web link

Links to Source Material :

Additional Notes

Notes on Names

1. Hilda Horsley, aged 17 years, was the first civilian killed.

2. Thomas Minks (Private 18th DLI 18/328, Born Medomsley, Enlisted Newcastle, Rowlands Gill, died of wounds) is recorded on the High Spen memorial.

3. Leslie Dobson Turner (Private 18th DLI 18/398 Born Heaton Enlisted Newcastle Rowlands Gill) is recorded on the High Spen memorial.

4. Charles Stephen Clarke, Private 18th DLI 18/707 Born and enlisted West Hartlepool is also remembered on W111.54

5. A Teacher Theophilus Jones Private 18th DLI 18/295 Enlisted at West Hartlepool. He is reputed to be the first soldier killed on British soil since the commencement of the Great War. See above links for photos and memorials.

6. Alex Oliffe Liddle, Acting Corporal 18/107, 18th DLI, Born and enlisted Darlington. Interred Darlington Crematorium.

7. Walter Rogers Private 18th DLI 18/369 Born Bishop Auckland enlisted Spennymoor (Cockton Hill)

Research acknowledgements

C. Sanders; Errol Broomfield; Ron Carson; John and Mavis Dixon; Dorothy Hall; Fitzhugh Collection, Middleton in Teesdale; Tony Harding; James Pasby

Research In Progress

If you are researching this memorial please contact

Monument 1st Shell 1914 Promenade (H115.21)

You are looking at all the information and the best images we have so far on this memorial. If you can supply more information or better images please get in touch by sending an email to

Parish Notes

Every Name A Story