Kolberg lays a minefield off Scarborough

Many people in Scarborough know a great deal of the German bombardment upon the town in 1914. A lot less is known about the problem of mines which beset the town for weeks afterwards. There were three ships which left Hayburn Wyke on 16th December,1914. Two were the battlecruisers the "Von Derrtann" and the "Derrflinger".The third ship, was the Kolberg. This was a lot smaller and this separated from the other two and headed towards Flamborough Head where she laid a minefield.

The first victims were minesweepers. On Sunday night a minesweeper was hit and liped into Scarborough Harbour. The Garmoyle was sent to aid another minesweeper that had been hit on Sunday. This too was hit by a mine. It was an armoured trawler. One man was killed on board - 62 years old Thomas Gilbert, of Cleethorpes. The sea was flat and Mr Sheader, caretaker of the St Sepulchre St Primitive Methodist Church, put out with a small coble. The Lifeboat was called out as well. John Owston was at sea so Johnson Crawford was coxswain. They watched the boat sink and they picked up survivors. The survivors were taken by a motorised car to the Sea Bathing Infirmary and the Hospital.

It was the skipper who died. He was buried in Scarborough. The funeral was an "impressive affair". The coffin was draped with a Union Jack and taken by horse drawn carriage. There were 50 naval reservists amongst the mourners. Several well known Scarborough fishermen also attended.

Then the "Boston", a Norwegian cargo vessel(1,168 tons), was hit by a mine just three miles off Scarborough. All 18 crew were saved and were taken on board a minesweeper. This abandoned vessel was not sunk but drifted onto Filey Brig. Nine of the men were landed at Scarborough and 7 men plus the Captain were landed at Filey. All the men were looked after by the Shipwrecked Mariners Society. In Scarborough they were placed at Mrs S Christians at 21 Sandside. In Filey they were accommodated at Foords Hotel.

Sources
- The Mercurey,1914.- The Pictorial,1914.

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