Article from the Scarborouh Mercury describing a recuitment meeting for the army in Guisborough. The bombardment of Scarborough provided a great boost to recruitment. The article was entitled "KAISER'S "ASSASSIN CRUSIERS". Another scrap of paper violated. Yorkshire resentment but no fear". Scarborough Mercury, 24th December, 1914
Mr Herbert Samuel, President of the Local Government Board, speaking at a Guisborough recruiting meeting on Friday night, remarked that few people of that district had within the past few days had an opportunity of realising something of the full meaning of war, and war was not as it had hitherto been waged among civilised peoples, but war as it was now waged by Germany. Seven years ago the German representatives at the Hague Conference signed a treaty declaring that the bombardment of undefended ports, towns, dwellings and buildings was forbidden.
Scarborough and Whitby were undefended, yet the Kaisers Government sent their cruisers to bombard these places. Another, "scrap of paper," totally and flagrantly violated, another instance of breach of the accustomed methods of warfare. "Not battle cruisers do these ships deserve to be called," he said, "but assassin cruisers is a better name for them." Not by these means can a new and young navy establish great traditions, or win a glorious place in history.
To come out of darkness, and shell women and children, and then slip away in hope of escaping in the fog - this is the way for a navy not to in glory, but rather the DISDAIN OF THE WHOLE OF THE CIVILISED WORLD (applause)
Perhaps the German Government thought we would be frightened if they attacked undefended seaside resorts, and would be willing in the course of time to accept terms of peace favourable to Germany. Indignant we are, resentful we are, angry perhaps, but frightened, not the very least in the world" (loud cheering.) If there was any set of men and women who were unlikely to turn one hair's breadth from their path by threats and outrages such as these, they were the men and women of Yorkshire.
The policy of the British Empire and the British people was not likely influenced in the smallest degree by such incidents, neither was it likely that we would alter our naval tactics by stretching a line of great battleships across the North Sea so that they might become targets for German submarines or torpedoes, which was the whole purpose of German naval strategy. It was bad fortune, and not bad policy, which prevented the naval authorities from catching these cruisers on their way back.
Had not fog limited visibility to a distance of two miles, the probability was that these cruisers would have deeply regretted their visit to the British coast, and would have been seen no more off this part of Yorkshire.