Scarborough Remembers

Centenary Commemorations of World War 1 in the Borough of Scarborough

On December 16th 1914, German warships fired hundreds of shells on Scarborough, Whitby and Hartlepool; an offensive which became known as 'The Bombardment'. Hundreds died, many were injured, and buildings and homes were destroyed. This attack caused great public outcry and 'Remember Scarborough' became the slogan for an impassioned recruitment drive. A hundred years on, organisations in Scarborough and across the region are holding a series of projects and events to commemorate the centenary of 'The Bombardment'. 

The aim of this webpage is to signpost both visitors and residents to the events that took place across the Borough of Scarborough as part of the 'Scarborough Remembers' programme.

Scarborough Remembers

World War 1 Scarborough Bombardment Exhibition at Scarborough Art Gallery

26th July 2014 - January 2015


Scarborough Museums Trust will be holding a temporary exhibition in 2014 at the Scarborough Art Gallery, commemorating the bombardment of Scarborough in 1914 and the impact of the First World War.


The exhibition tells the story of the Bombardment of Scarborough and its aftermath. Events and activities, including family fun days, conferences and town trails will accompany the exhibition which will run until January 2015.


SMT are also supporting and working with a range of other community and education groups across the region and are encouraging the public to get involved by sharing their stories and memorabilia.


For anyone interested in getting involved, please contact the 'Remember Scarborough' project officer, Esther Graham.


Tel: 01723 384 515



Discover more about the World War 1 Exhibition at Scarborough Art Gallery



'1914' Exhibition at Whitby Museum

1st July - Christmas 2014

An exhibition about Whitby in the Great War including the bombardment of Whitby by German warships in December 1914. 


The exhibition includes the Bombardment of Whitby. There will also be sections on the loss of 'HMS Hogue', 'HMHS Rohilla', and the enthusiasm with which the town answered Kitchener's call to enlist. The exhibition draws heavily on the Whitby Gazette's reporting at the time and will include many items lent by Whitby people today.


Discover more about Whitby Museum's '1914' Exhibition



'Remember Scarborough' Exhibition at Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre

Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre present their 'Remember Scarborough' exhibition, depicting the story of the bombardment through a six panel pop-up exhibition which has toured Leeds, Satlburn, Filey and Scarborough.


The display will continue to be available throughout the year, free of charge, to community groups, schools and charities. Please call 01723 369361 or email Alternatively, visit the website at:


The Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre is a volunteer run heritage centre and a registered charity that works closely with the community in Scarborough to educate the public about the town's history.


Many of the older residents and fishermen remember their grandparents talking about the bombardment and quite a few have mementos, shell fragments, postcards etc commemorating the event.


During 2013, Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre embarked on creating a special centenary section for their website with videos, text and photographs to remember this crucial period of our history.


View Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre's special centenary website




'Bombardment of Scarborough' at Woodend Creative, Scarborough

10th November - 18th December

Bombardment of Scarborough is a collaborative project between Woodend and local artist Tim Knight. Woodend Creative will be displaying a series of stunning new paintings that chronicle that fateful day. Tim has undertaken some extensive research and has meticulously re-established that fateful timeline. This is documented through paintings, artefacts and a community project. The large canvases that Tim has created are filled with drama and included images of the menacing German cruisers, the peaceful Italian Gardens prior to the onslaught also the dramatic flight as local residents try and flee the town. The exhibition will also be accompanied by a compelling narrative and will also try and stimulate memories and recollection from relatives of those who witnessed this tragic event.


Discover more about the 'Bombardment of Scarborough' at



Scarborough Archaeological and Historical Society Evening Lecture

15th December


Keith Johnston will speak on Scarborough in 1914 and the bombardment on the eve of the 100th anniversary at Scarborough Library (from 7:30pm)


View the NYCC Libraries events website



Commemorative Service in Scarborough

16th December


Scarborough Borough Council are delivering a Civic Commemoration of the Centenary of the Bombardment of Scarborough on Tuesday 16 December 2014 at 07:45am - 08:30am. The timing coincides with the actual time of the bombardment by three German battleships that shelled the town for 30mins resulting in the deaths of 18 residents. As the town was undefended this attack shocked the Nation and resulted in a famous WW1 enrolment poster – “Remember Scarborough” (the original painting is on display at Scarborough Art Gallery)




07:55 - Town Crier to open event.

08:02 - Reading of the story of the Bombardment attack.

08:10 - In Memoriam the 18 Scarborough residents. Simulation of the 1914 attack from Scarborough Castle and South Bay.

08:15 - Remembrance speech by the Mayor of Borough of Scarborough.

08.20 - Exhortation, last post, 2 minute silence, Reveille, Epitaph.

08:25 - Lord Lieutenant's response.

08:30 - Town Crier to close event.


For further details see



'Thunder in the Morning' at Scarborough Library

16th December


Local author Lynne Reed talks about her book 'Thunder in the Morning', inspired by the Scarborough bombardment. Talk starts at 2pm. Free of charge.


View the NYCC Libraries events website



Bombardment Remembrance at Scarborough Castle

16th December


In commemoration of the centenary of the Bombardment, Scarborough Castle are opening the gates for everyone, free of charge.


From 10am there will be hourly guided World War One Tours and at 3pm - 6pm,


Castle, shop, exhibition rooms and the tea room are all open for you to enjoy and from 3pm to 6pm, the castle's keep will be lit up by a variety of coloured lights and imagery to mark the anniversary, alongside musical accompaniment from local choirs singing by candlelight.


For further details see



Whitby Coastguard Commemoration

16th December


Whitby Coastguard will lay a wreath in commemoration of the Whitby bombardment at 9:05am at the new bombardment garden on the West Cliff, near to Clara's Café.



Candlelight Vigil at St. Hilda's Church, Whitby

16th December


Organised by Whitby Air Cadets, there will be an early evening candlelight vigil followed by a music night at St. Hilda's Church, West Cliff. From 6:20pm.


June 2014
World War 1 Local Heritage Events at various North Yorkshire Libraries

North Yorkshire Libraries presented a series of travelling displays commemorating with a collection of materials, including photos, journals, books and documents relating to the bombardment of Whitby and Scarborough by German warships in Dec 1914.


The libraries are also held a number marking the commemoration throughout the year with ‘Trace your First World war ancestors’  taster sessions, a series of talks on various aspects of the war, an extensive booklist, themed displays on many related subjects from pre-wars days to conscientious objection; walls of remembrance, memory gathering events; knit and natter sessions and a pop-up museum or two.


For further information regarding the local heritage events taking place at libraried across North Yorkshire, visit


Scarborough Spa Orchestra World War 1 Concert

As part of the town's commemorative events, Scarborough Spa Orchestra staged a special concert on Thursday 26 June with a programme made up of music written between 1914 and 1918 along with readings of some of the more famous WW1 poems complete with supporting imagery projected onto a large screen behind the Orchestra. The orchestra were also joined on stage with international soprano Maria Bovino and well known local baritone John Mitchell, with the evening concluding with a Ceremony of Remembrance and poppy drop.


Scarborough Armed Forces Day

Another spectacular tribute to those who serve and have served in Her Majesty's Armed Forces took place on Saturday 28 June with Scarborough's annual Scarborough Armed Forces Day event. This year the crowds were treated to an aerial display from the XH558 Vulcan Bomber and the RAF Tucano, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, an RNLI and RAF Sea King helicopter demonstration, along with a Yorkshire Regiment Freedom Parade and lots of displays, exhibitions and activities for all the family to enjoy. Find out more about last year's Scarborough Armed Forces Day and the preparations underway for the 2015 event here.


Last Night of the Proms Concert (Scarborough Armed Forces Day)

In conjunction with Scarborough Armed Forces Day 2014, Scarborough Borough Council in association with National Holidays presented the Best of British in a spectacular Armed Forces Day Last Night of the Proms concert live at the Scarborough Open Air Theatre. Arrangements were made so that everyone who purchased tickets for the concert were able to make a voluntary donation to the national Armed Forces charity SSAFA.


July 2014
Hope in the Great War: Pannett Art Gallery

The long awaited exhibition of all 6 towns' depictions of daring and heroic Lifeboat rescues came to Whitby between 23 July and 31 August at Whitby's Pannett Art Gallery. An exhibition from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution featuring tales of rescue during the Great War.


100 years of GCHQ in Scarborough

As part of the Scarborough Remembers project, GCHQ Scarborough curator Kevin Makepeace co-ordinated a talk in the Grand Hall at the Scarborough Spa Complex on Saturday 26 July.


World War 1 Scarborough Bombardment Exhibition at Scarborough Art Gallery

Scarborough Museums Trust held a temporary exhibition in 2014 at the Scarborough Art Gallery, commemorating the bombardment of Scarborough in 1914 and the impact of the First World War. Through a series of events and activities, including family fun days, conferences and town trails accompany the exhibition which tells the story of the Bombardment of Scarborough and it's aftermath.

Please note this event is running until January 2015. Find out more at


August 2014
'Remember Scarborough' Exhibition at Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre

Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre opened their centenary exhibition in August, depicting the story of the bombardment through a six panel pop-up exhibition which has toured Leeds, Satlburn, Filey and Scarborough.


Please note: the display will continue to be available throughout the year, free of charge, to community groups, schools and charities. Please call 01723 369361 or email Alternatively, visit the website at:


WW1 Anniversary Service of Remembrance & White Torchlight Parade

The Filey Branch of the Royal British Legion held a WW1 Anniversary Service of Remembrance and White Torchlight Parade on 4 August 2014 as part of the borough's commemorations.


World War 1 Weekend at Scarborough Castle

Across the weekend of 9-10 August 2014, English Heritage presented 'Heroes on Horseback - War and the Horse' an event which took place at Scarborough Castle. For further information, visit


WW1 Ambulance Trains

Alison Kay, Associate Archivist at the National Railway Museum, revealed what it would have been like for patients, doctors and nurses to travel on ambulance trains during wartime. The WW1 Ambulance Trains talk took place on Friday 29 August as part of the Remember Scarborough! Exhibition at Scarborough Art Gallery.


September 2014
‘Not about Heroes’ at Scarborough Library Concert Hall

Not about Heroes’ a play by Feelgood Theatre Company featured 4 performances at Scarborough Library Concert Hall between 18th - 20th September. On this unique occasion of the anniversary of World War 1, Stephen MacDonald’s play is far more than a historical glimpse of events. It is an exploration of courage, of humanity and a moving celebration of an intense friendship forged through poetry and the power of words overshadowed by a terrible and all-consuming war. This play inspires all who see it, especially young people.


Discover more about Feelgood Theatre Productions' ‘Not about Heroes’


‘Hartlepool Bombardment' - Lunchtime Talk at Scarborough Art

The chair of Hartlepool’s Heugh Battery Museum Trust, John Southcott, presented a series of lunchtime talks at Scarborough Art Gallery. The talk focused on the Bombardment of Hartlepool, the same day as Scarborough and Whitby – 16 December 1914. Though Heugh Battery returned fire – becoming the only coastal battery in England to fire its guns in anger during the First World War – the Bombardment resulted in extensive damage and severe loss of life. The Bombardment of Hartlepool took place at Scarborough Art Gallery on Friday 26 September.


Steve R Dunn Author Talk at Scarborough & Filey Libraries

On 25th September, Steve R Dunn talked about his book 'The Scapegoat: The life and tragedy of a fighting admiral and Churchill’s role in his death' at both Scarborough and Filey libraries.


'Remember Scarborough' Weekend

Remember Scarborough WeekendA weekend of free arts events in Scarborough took place 27 - 28 September in commemoration of the 1914 Bombardment of the town, including a powerful theatrical production, 'Remember Scarborough!' produced and composed by John Pattison and the Beach Hut Theatre Company.


Staged by six local actors and musicians in the St Nicholas Gardens, behind the Town Hall, the 45-minute production told the story of the bombardment, giving an insight into life in Scarborough 100 years ago.


In addition to Pattison's 'Remember Scarborough!' production, Scarborough Museums Trust and Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre presented historical displays and exhibitions. There was also a series of pierrot show presentations by Yorkshire Coast College Performing Arts students, whilst visitors were also invited to follow a Remembrance Route through the gardens.


At the top of the gardens, by the statue of Queen Victoria, there was also a theatre tent, where rehearsed readings of six World War One plays by writers from the Stephen Joseph Theatre Outreach programme were presented by YCC HNC Acting students directed by Alison Watt. These plays were previously presented as part of the Plays and Pinot season at the Stephen Joseph Theatre.


Furthermore, in the Sunken Gardens opposite the Royal Hotel, which had 160 windows smashed in the shelling, students from YCC’s Fine Art and Art Foundation degrees spent the day creating a giant artwork depicting the bombardment on large canvases.


October 2014
Taylor Downing Talk & Book Signing at Scarborough Art Gallery

Best-selling author and award-winning TV producer Taylor Downing tackled the secret history of the Bombardment of Scarborough in 1914 in an evening talk at Scarborough Art Gallery on Friday 10 October. As a best-selling author and the producer of more than 200 TV documentaries, many of which have won awards, Taylor is also a guest blogger for the Imperial War Museum.

Stormbound: The Story of the Rohilla


Taylor’s Winston Churchill, code breaking and the blunder that led to the shelling of Scarborough told the story of the establishment of the first ever British wireless listening service and code-breaking centre at the Admiralty by Winston Churchill in the first months of the First World War.


Bombardment of Queen Margaret's School Talk at Scarborough Art Gallery

31st October

Cynthia Batten from Queen Margaret's School reminisced about the shelling of the school and its most famous pupil, Winifred Holtby. The talk will begin at 12:30pm.


Discover more about the 'The Bombardment of Queen Margaret's School alk' at


October 2014
Stormbound: The Story of the Rohilla Disaster at St. Hilda's Church, Whitby

1st November

As part of the Rohilla Centenary Commemorations Weekend, a production by Richard Grainger, featuring Chris Parkinson, Monkeys Fist plus young musicians and actors from Caedmon College and Eskdale School, presented 'Stormbound: The Story of the Rohilla Disaster' at St. Hilda's Church, West Cliff, Whitby on Saturday 1st November from 7pm, with all proceeds going to the RNLI.


Aligori Productions present 'Lest we Forget' at Woodend Creative

6th November

To commemorate the centenary of the First World War, Woodend Creative will be showcasing a selection of poetry, prose and personal memories of conflicts from across the world. Nostalgic, ironic, humorous and tragic memories of how real people, as well as established poets, dealt with and recorded human conflict.


Admission to this event is £5 with all proceeds going to Help for Heroes. The event will take place at Woodend Creative from 8pm, Thursday 6th November.


Discover more about 'Lest we Forget' at


'The Songs Our Soldiers Sang' at Scarborough Art Gallery

14th November

A memorable evening musical revue of songs and poetry the serving soldiers sang in the trenches of World War One took place from 7:30pm at Scarborough Art Gallery.


Discover more about the 'The Songs Our Soldiers Sang' at


History Wardrobe at Scarborough Art Gallery

26th November

Another in a series of evening talks at Scarborough Art Gallery, author and costume historian Lucy Adlington gave an inspiring insight into the lives of and aspirations of women in the First World War, as revealed through their clothes.


Dean Road Cemetery & World War One - Luncthime Talk at Scarborough Art Gallery

28th November

Jan Cleary revealed the stories behind the war graves and the work at Dean Road Cemetery.Remember Scarborough at The Gallery, Woodend - 20th November 2014


Remember Scarborough - The 1914 Bombardment of Scarborough

20th November

Beach Hut Theatre Company commemorated the 1914 Bombardment of Scarborough with a new production. Written by composer John Pattison, the performance told the story of the bombardment and gave an insight into what was going on in Scarborough 100 years ago.


The music was performed live by the composer using a specially created orchestral keyboard rig alongside more conventional instruments and some stunning visuals created for the event by video artist Liam Watt Pattison. Beach Hut Theatre Company Artistic Director Alison Watt is dramaturg.


A talented cast of four, Will Duffield, Georgie Samuels, Harry Bullen and Maisie Atkinson used a combination of song, characterisation and narration to tell this remarkable story.


Audiences also had the opportunity to see the exhibition by artist Tim Knight, exploring the impact of the Bombardment on the town.


'Rohilla' by Graham Sanderson - Multiple Venues

8th November - James Cook Theatre, Whitby Coliseum Centre, Whitby

16th November - The McCarthy, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

21st & 22nd November - Friargate Theatre, York


With specially commissioned music and innovative direction, designed to create a web of interaction between fact and fiction, York Settlement Community Players presented the world premiere of Graham Sanderson’s play, Rohilla, inspired by the true events of one of the greatest rescue attempts in the history of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).


Discover more about Graham Sanderson's 'Rohilla' at


World War One Poets at Scarborough Art Gallery

12th December

University lecturer, Charles Mundye, held a lunchtime talk at Scarborough Art Gallery discussing the WW1 poets and their work.


Remember Scarborough! - Western Front Association Conference

13th December

Remember Scarborough ConferenceThe Western Front Association in collaboration with Scarborough Museums Trust held a day conference at the Stephen Joseph Theatre on Saturday 13th December exploring important Great War themes around the bombardment of the East Coast towns of Scarborough, Whitby and Hartlepool on December 16th 1914.


The conference featured five great talks, including:


Dr Scott Lingren MA PhD

Hounds to the Hunters: the East Coast Raid and the naval war, 1914


Keith Johnston BA PGCE

The Bombardment of Scarborough


Trevor Boag BA PGCE

The Great War on our Doorstep: reaction on the home front


Mia Jones BA

Propaganda and Memorialisation of the Great War


Professor Peter Doyle BSc PhD Cgeol FGS

The Home Front: the forgotten war

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