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Heugh Battery - Britain's WW1 Battlefield - April 20th

It was a lovely cross country drive down to Hartlepool, to visit Heugh Battery, not too far from the Historic Quay and HMS Trincomalee. The battery is now a museum, but was first opened in 1860 to protect the port of Hartlepool. The guns were gradually upgraded over the years and by World War 1, was equipped with 6 inch guns.

The battery, manned by the Territorial Force gunners of the Durham Royal Garrison Artillery, were to see action in the Bombardment of Hartlepool on 16 December 1914 against a German Naval Fleet. During the bombardment, the leading German battle cruiser fired a shell which struck aground less than 100 metres from the battery. This marked the first death in action of a soldier on British soil in World War I. A plaque commemorating the event is found on the coastal walkway just outside the battery.

The battery has been fund raising and the military vehicle event was just one of a number of new events to bring more people to visit. At the end of the day, they announced on their Facebook page that they had raised 1,500 across the day. There were around two dozen visiting vehicles ranging from armour to Jeeps. Having missed the Yorkshire MVT Crank Up due to illness, the Heugh Battery event was my first of the 2019 season and a great way to catch up with friends and start the season.

Some details of the December raid.