Bombardment

At 8.00 am on the16th December 1914, German ships emerged from the mist and bombarded Scarborough with shells, causing extensive damage to buildings throughout the town. Many people were injured and eighteen men, women and children died during that day. In the weeks, months and years following, many more people were killed as fishing boats and other vessels hit mines laid by the German ships. Seventeen of the eighteen victims of the bombardment are buried in Dean Road and Manor Road Cemetery.

In 2014 the Friends of the Cemetery were successful in an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund First World War: then and now programme, and this guide to the Bombardment graves is part of our World War 1 in Dean Road and Manor Road Cemetery project. The Friends used the grave recordings collated by East Yorkshire Family History Society to locate all the graves. They are scattered through the cemetery, and many of them are unmarked. In order to make it easier for people to find the graves, the Friends, working with Scarborough Borough Council, have placed a plaque and planted miniature red tulip bulbs on each of the graves.

A memorial cairn (pictured right) has been commissioned by the Friends and built by Adrian Blant in Manor Road cemetery.

A self directed tour of the graves is available as a leaflet and phone app.

Click here to download the tour leaflet in PDF format.

Click on the names below to expand further information

Mrs Johanna Bennett aged 58 wife of Christopher Bennett a luggage porter died at her home 2 Wykeham St with 3 other members of her family. Her son Albert aged 22 a soldier with the Territorial Army, her grandson John Ward aged 10 and another young boy George Barnes aged 5 who had been a ‘boarder’ since 1911 were all killed and buried in two family plots with no gravestones.

The first civilian death of WW1 on British soil. Leonard, 47 was killed outside Clare and Hunt chemists shop on South St where he worked as a porter. Born in Scarborough to parents John and Charlotte, Leonard married Isabella Kidd in 1894 and they had 3 children Hilda M and Charles L. Baby Margaret died at the same time as her mother in 1901 and they are buried together with Leonard. He was a drummer in the Salvation Army.

Aged 45, Harry was another victim killed on South St where he worked as a driver for Land and Co (grocers). Born in London in 1869 he married Eliza Ann Foreman in Scarborough in 1892 and lived at Bedford Street in 1901c and 1911c. Their only son Ernest Harold who was 15 when his father died joined up but he was killed in action at Poziers France in 1918 aged 19.

Born in Sheffield in 1871 to parents Daniel and Elizabeth is shown on the 1891c as a music teacher, Bertha appears in Scarborough in 1911c at 22 Westbourne Park as a lady’s helper with a widow Ellen Thornton also from Sheffield. When Ellen died in 1911 Bertha must have stayed in the house with the man who inherited it, Jasper Shields Ryalls to look after his baby son John Shields Ryalls born 1913. This baby aged 14 months along with Bertha aged 43 were both killed upstairs when a shell hit the back of the house in the early morning. Their grave in Manor Rd Ravine has been restored.

Born in York in 1851 to parents William and Ann. By the 1881c aged 31 he was an architect and surveyor living at 102 Westborough with his wife Mary Elizabeth (nee Hill) and 4 children. By 1891c they had moved to “Grove Bank” 28 Westbourne Park plus another daughter. The family were still living at this address at the time of the Bombardment. A shell had hit No. 22 when another hit the back of 28 through the dining room window and opened up the floor above where John Hall was getting dressed. He was severely injured and was taken to the Hospital where he died aged 65. His grave is in the Oval in Manor Rd.

Another stone to be restored lay under brambles broken in pieces. Ada was born in 1886 in Sheffield the daughter of William and Mercy Crow. By the 1911c the family had moved to Scarborough and Ada then aged 24 was working for Miss Mary Beatrice Morehouse at 124 Falsgrave Rd where she was a general domestic servant. Listening to the loud noise of the Bombardment her employer was shocked to find Ada had been injured by a shell and she died shortly afterward aged 28. Her fiancé Sgt Sturdy had been serving in the army in India and after over 8 years he returned to Scarborough too late on the same day (16th) to marry her. He paid to have Ada’s stone erected. The image on the right is Ada Crow’s sister.

Born in Scarborough in 1884 Harry was the son of George and Jane (nee Fowler) of 74 Trafalgar St East. By 1911c he was married to Selina and lived at 8a Belle Vue st. He was 26 and a boot repairer. They had two sons. On the 16th Dec Harry was at home where he was fatally wounded he died 10 days later on Boxing Day, he was 30. There is no memorial stone.

Not included in the recognised list of victims but was killed on the 20th December just after the Bombardment. He was a fisherman from Grimsby and his trawler HMT Garno was commandeered by the Royal Navy to clear the mines laid by the German cruiser on December 16th.His boat hit a mine off Scarborough Castle and although he was rescued he died in hospital of his wounds aged 61. His body lies in Section K and he should be remembered at this time for his bravery.

Emily born 1884, daughter of Thomas a cab proprietor and Charlotte Mason of 2 Somerset Terrace. By the 1911c her widowed mother has moved to 141 Prospect Rd and Emily aged 26 was a grocers assistant. In 1912 she married George H Merryweather whose parents had a grocers shop and post office. Less than 2 years later on Dec16th she went outside the shop to help people to shelter when she was killed aged 30.

Alice (nee Bramfitt) was born in 1858 in Farsley Leeds daughter of Joseph (a woollen spinner) and Maria. In 1881 she married John Duffield a steam engine fitter. By 1901c Alice was running a boarding house at Albion Villa, with 2 of her sisters. In 1911c they had moved to 38 Esplanade where Alice was described as an Apartment housekeeper. Following the first wave of shelling on the 16th her husband John had gone outside to find a phone box and she followed him only to be killed at the bottom of the steps of the Granville Hotel next door. She was 56.

Born in 1873, son of John and Annie who lived at 30 Cambridge St. By 1891c aged 18 Alfred was a telegraph boy at the Post Office. He married Emily Cooper in 1888 and in the 1901c lived at 50 Raleigh St aged 28 and was recorded as a Postman. He still lived there in1911c and on the morning of the 16th while on his post round he approached the front door of Dunollie on Filey Rd where he was killed aged 41.

Born in 1849 in Barton le Street she lived with her husband William Prew a shoeblack from Warwickshire at 17a Belle Vue St. They had no children but are recorded in the Census returns having a lodger and boarders. William died in 1913. On 16th Dec a witness said she was standing outside his shop at 1 Belle Vue St when a shell burst and she was killed aged 65. She is not buried with her husband but is in a grave with two others buried in 1876 and 1937, which may be a paupers grave.

George was born 1899/1900 son of John (innkeeper) & Harriet nee Harland of 45 North St (The Staffordshire Arms). George was a 15 year old schoolboy and active Boy Scout whose achievements had been recorded in the local newspaper. He was anxious to get this paper and to show his friends in Albion St when he was hit by a piece of shell. He was taken into a house where he died before he could get medical treatment.

Born in 1878 at Burythorpe nr Malton. Daughter of William and Emma. The family were living in Brompton in 1888c but by 1891c Edith was a lodger with Sarah Medd at 17 Sherwood St. Edith is buried in the same grave as a Mary Clark (in section P) who dies in 1890. Perhaps she was Edith’s employer. By 1901c she was employed as a domestic cook living with Louisa and Selina Tindall who lived at 1 Belvedere Rd. A shell exploded in that road on the 16th which is believed to be when Edith was killed aged 39.

This final named victim was also killed at Dunollie on Filey Rd where she worked as a housemaid for John Turner, solicitor. She was born in Lindley Huddersfield, 1884 and daughter of Samuel and Margaret Briggs who all moved to Barsley. By 1901c Margaret was employed as a general servant in Stalybridge but by 1911c she had moved to Scarborough. On the 16th she was going to the front door to take the letters from the postman (Alfred Beal) when she was seriously injured by the same shell and died aged 30. Her brother identified her and took her back to Barnsley where she is buried. Her grave records that she was killed by a German air raid!

You can watch a clip about the restoration of the graves on the BBC website here