This year marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War One known simply at the time as The Great War or The World War. The war raged on for four years resulting in more than 16 million deaths. I really want to write something about the conflict but I’m struggling to find a topic I feel comfortable covering. So much has already been written about The Great War, every child is taught about the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the Triple Entente, The Somme, Ypres, mud, bullets, trenches and the armistice. Writing about any of this would simple repeat what most people already know!
There is one event which is perhaps not talked about too much but is very significant and very personal to me. I’m referring to the German bombardment of my childhood town of Hartlepool on 16th December 1914 known at the time as “The Bombardment of The Hartlepools (Old Hartlepool and West Hartlepool amalgamated in 1967)”.