1914 bombardment brooch found at London boot sale

The small shell fragment brooch with the words Scarboro Bombardment Dec 16 1914 engraved on the bar was discovered in Wimbledon.

The small shell fragment brooch with the words Scarboro Bombardment Dec 16 1914 engraved on the bar was discovered in Wimbledon.

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A small but significant piece of Scarborough’s history has found its way back to the town thanks to the power of social media.

A special brooch commemorating the bombardment of Scarborough in 1914 by German warships was discovered at a car boot sale in London.

Thanks to local historians it was advertised on Twitter and has now returned to the town.

Lesley Newton has been researching the men on Newby and Scalby’s war memorial since she retired three years ago.

She said: “I was surprised and delighted to be contacted via Twitter by my friend Steve Bramley.

“He’s researched the 1/5th Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment during the First World War and has written an excellent book about them.

“Because of his interest in WW1 he follows a researcher called Geoff Simmons on Twitter. Geoff’s friend Tony had discovered an unusual brooch at the regular car boot sale at Wimbledon Stadium.

“Geoff put a photo of the brooch onto Twitter in the hope that someone from the town would want to buy it from Tony and return it to what he described as ‘Its rightful home’.”

When Steve saw the tweet and alerted Lesley she was happy to purchase the memento.

Lesley said: “The brooch is very well made.

“The tiny piece of shell fragment is securely attached by wires to a little chain which hangs from the clasp and the wording is clearly engraved.

“I would love to know if there is a significant story behind its creation, or if other similar souvenirs were made at the time. I am extremely grateful to Geoff for all the trouble he took to ensure the brooch was returned to Scarborough.”

Lesley intends to donate the brooch to the Friends of Dean Road and Manor Road Cemetery when the museum that they hope to create in the former chapel as part of their Heritage Hub project is ready.