The bombardment of Scarborough was described as revenge for the battle off the Falklands on December 7th, 1914, just 9 days before the German raid on Scarborough. The following is a description of the battle of the Falklands as seen by a Scarborough sailor who was on board HMS Invincible. FIGHT OFF THE FALKLANDS - SCARBOROUGH SAILORS DESCRIPTION - AN INTERESTING LETTER Scarborough Mercury January 22nd 1915.
Mr and Mrs W Reed, 52 Hoxton Road, Scarborough, have received an interesting letter from their son, who is on board HMS Invincible, describing the naval battle off the Falklands.
They left England on November 11th, all the men knowing that they were going to the tropics. He describes the progress of the voyage, and says that on the Thursday, the 19th, "Our skipper told us where we are going. He said that the Germans were going to be wiped out to avenge our friends and relatives on the Good Hope and the Monmouth."
On Sunday, the 22nd, he proceeds, they searched the Cocos Islands for the enemy, but were unsuccessful. On the Thursday they arrived at Abatross Rock, where they picked up other ships.
It was on Sunday, December 7th, that they arrived at the Falklands.
"We intended coaling," he says, "on the Tuesday, and leaving so as to pick up the Germans on the Wednesday. However, we had just got started coaling when it was signalled from the shore that two German ships were on the horizon. We immediately cast off our collier, and proceeded to sea. We had to pass the Dresden, Leipsig and the Nurnberg to get at our opponents. We fired on them, and put the Leipsig on fire. Then we went on chasing the others. After a couple of hours fight we sank the the Scharnhorst, the flagship. The Inflexible was engaging the Gneisenau. After we had finished off the Scharnhorst, the Inflexible was told to lay off, and then we fired on the Gneisenau. We gave her a heavy list to port, and then called up the Inflexible at the death. "Cease fire" went, and I went on top of our turret just in time to see her go down." She went slowly over to port, then turned turtle and disappeared, bows first. As soon as she had gone down we steamed up and lowered boats.
We picked up over 100, of whom 14 died, and they were buried on Wednesday. Don't think that because we did not lose any hands that we were not hit, because we were, but I am not allowed to tell you where. I hope this engagement will "buck" the navy and army up to more strenuous endeavours Our German prisoners tell us they have had no news for four months, and have not been able to get or send any letters. Also they had run out of food. They did not know that we were out here. They were looking for HMS Glasgow. Only the Dresden escaped out of the five ships. There were only eight casualties in our fleet.