An article entitled "A day to remember" by Bryan Berryman about the German bombardment of Scarborough in 1914
When it happened, Lily Bain was in the back room of her home at 51 St John's Road, lacing up her winter boots ready for another day at school. Lily was fourteen, soon she would leave books and homework to find a job, but not just yet.
Around the corner at 2 Wykeham Street, nine year old Jack Ward was in the gas lit kitchen of his grandparents' house. It faced across the Whitby railway to Gladstone Road School where one or two children had arrived early. On a grey morning in 1914 their thoughts were of Christmas and the holidays - only three more days to go.
At Westlands School in Westbourne Grove, at Queen Margaret's School in Filey Road, and at other school dormitories emptied as breakfast bells rang.
Shopworker's took down shutters as postmen and milkmen went from house to house. Cream and maroon trams from Hampton Road (now Harley Close) clanked through the streets and travellers heading to the railway station for trains to York, Hull, Whitby or Pickering, looked at the clock tower to check their watches. It was eight o'clock on Wednesday 16th December and daylight was just breaking.
In St Martins Church, a small congregation gathered for Holy Communion, and near the Spa a few early morning bathers swam in the cold waters of the North Sea unaware of the three enemy warships which in the darkness had steamed into the bay from Hayburn Wyke with their guns trained on the Castle and the town.
Without warning, the storm broke - not thunder and lightning as many had first thought, but a barrage of cannon fire and a rain of exploding shells. As homes and shops, hotels, churches and schools were hit, bricks, glass, chimney pots, slates, timber, and shrapnel flew in all directions along the South Cliff, St Nicholas Cliff, the Foreshore and Castle Hill - and for about half an hour the attack continued.
Lily Bain, with her mother and young brother, had an amazing escape. A shell wrecked the room they were in, shattering furniture and piercing her satchel packed with books, but the family were not hurt at all.The house still shows a plaque to remind us of this wartime raid.
Most Falsgrave houses are old enough to have stood through the attack, some badly damaged, others hardly touched. There was a radio station near Spring Hill Lane which the enemy were trying to hit, and shells thudded into Falsgrave Park and the fields were Sandybed, Stepney Road, Whin Bank and Box Hill now stand.
The Bennetts house in Wykeham Street was destroyed by a direct hit, and Jack Ward died with his grandmother, his Uncle Albert and a baby. Christopher Bennett fell from a bedroom to the ground floor but survived, as did his father. Elsewhere in the town 14 other lives were lost and many people were hurt.
At last, soon after 8-30 a.m., the noise of the guns stopped. For many, the one thought now was to get away from the town quickly in case the enemy were about to invade. Like refugees, crowds hurried along the country towards Scalby, Seamer and Ayton, some wearing coats over their nightclothes.
Others rushed to the railway station and crowed onto departing trains. Some gathered treasured possessions, others left everything behind. One lady carried a gun, another clutched a Christmas pudding, and one man in a top hat was seen carrying a parrot. Pupils from Queen Margaret's and Westland's marched in orderly file to Seamer Station and went to their homes by train.
Those who stayed soon realised that the immediate danger was now over and at once started to clear up the devastation. The Mayor's advice to people was "Keep calm and help others to the same", good advice in any situation.
The St John's ambulance volunteers and soldiers worked non stop carrying injured people to the hospital on Friars Way and the war time Military Hospital under Westborough Methodist Chapel.