Day of events to remember lethal attack

Shell damage to Prospect Road shop; the building is now Nishat Spice.
Shell damage to Prospect Road shop; the building is now Nishat Spice.

Scarborough is set to come under the national spotlight tomorrow (Tuesday, December 16) as it remembers the devastating World War One assault which left 18 people dead and around 200 injured.

A civic ceremony will take place in the Town Hall gardens at 7.55am.

Invited guests and the general public will hear the story of the Bombardment read out as part of the ceremony, which will also include a remembrance poem by the Mayor of Scarborough, Cllr Pat Marsburg. The Formal Act of Remembrance will include the Royal British Legion Exhortation, Last Post, two-minute silence, Reveille and the Epitaph.

School children from Gladstone Road Primary School, which suffered significant damage during the raid, will attach 18 handmade poppies, one to mark each loss of life, to a new commemorative bench.

A further act of remembrance will be carried out towards the end of the ceremony, which the council is keen to keep under wraps to allow for an element of surprise for those attending on the day.

A maroon will be fired from Scarborough Castle after the name of each of the victims is read out and a flotilla of boats, organised by the RNLI and Scarborough Yacht Club, will be stationed outside the harbour.

Another service will be held at St Mary’s Church at 11am, where wreaths will be laid by two special guests from Germany: Dr Jann M Witt, from Deutscher Marinebund, the German Naval Association, and Commander Jan Hackstein, German Attache, on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany. Wreaths will also be laid by the Mayor, the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Mr Barry Dodd CBE, and Mark Vesey, chairman of the Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre in memory of the 100 civilian mariners who lost their lives as a result of mines laid during the Bombardment.

At 1.30pm the Friends of Dean Road and Manor Road Cemetery and guests, which will include 18 schoolchildren, will lay a wreath on a newly constructed commemorative cairn at the cemetery where 17 of the victims of the Bombardment are buried, many in unmarked graves. The Friends group found all the graves, using recording work done previously, and several of them have been restored. The cairn will be located close to the entrance of the cemetery’s secret garden.

Scarborough Castle will open out of winter opening hours, offer free admission and hold a series of events.

There will be an opportunity to explore the castle’s connections with the Bombardment, when it was hit by shells whilst operating as a barracks.From 10am to 4pm there will be guided World War One tours every hour, a World War One video showing in the exhibition rooms, and the tea room will be open. A large Union Jack will be draped over the curtain wall all day.

From 3.30pm the keep will be illuminated with a large poppy and a choir has been invited to sing by candlelight. At 5pm a beacon of light will be lit at the castle.