Great War Centenary

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright July 2016, John M; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
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Hostilities and incidents on British soil

NZ5333 : Memorial plaque near the Heugh Battery by Andrew Curtis

The first military casualty was recorded at Hartlepool on 16th December 1914.


The country was subject to air raids by Zeppelin airships and long range Gotha bombers.

TQ3181 : Zeppelin raid commemorated, Farringdon Road by Christopher Hilton TQ3080 : London - Sphinx by Chris Talbot London raids

NT2573 : Zeppelin flagstone, Grassmarket by kim traynor NT5578 : Zeppelin bomb, Museum of Flight, East Fortune by kim traynor Zeppelin raid on Edinburgh and Leith

TG5112 : The grave of Martha Taylor, Zeppelin victim by Adrian S Pye TM2648 : Zeppelin raid memorial by Adrian S Pye TL8463 : Three victims of a Zeppelin raid at Bury St. Edmunds by Adrian S Pye TG1543 : Bombshell Dropped by Colin Smith TL8945 : WW1 Bomb dropped by a Zeppelin by Adrian S Pye
Zeppelin raids in Suffolk and Norfolk

SJ5186 : The Bombed Milestone, Victoria Park by David Dixon SJ5186 : Plaques detailing the Zeppelin Raid by David Dixon Widnes

The first Zeppelin to be destroyed is commemorated at Cuffley, Hertfordshire.

TL3003 : The William Leefe Robinson Memorial by Des Blenkinsopp TL3003 : Inscription on William Leefe Robinson Memorial (front) by Bikeboy


The East Coast was bombarded by a German Naval squadron. Numerous vessels were lost to enemy action and mines particularly in the North Sea. Other vessels were lost in the Atlantic and off the Irish Coast.

HMS Oceanic
HT9339 : The 1000 ft cliff of Nebbifield by Julian Paren HT9640 : West to Soberlie from Alasdair and Betty's Seat, Foula by Julian Paren HU4741 : Propeller blade of HMS Oceanic, Hay's Dock, Lerwick by Julian Paren NO3725 : Souvenir from  the Titanic's sister ship by James Allan NO3725 : The standing stone that isn't by James Allan
The White Star liner was commissioned on 8th August 1914 and entered into service as an armed merchant cruiser on 25th August 1914. The vessel ran aground and was wrecked off Foula less than a fortnight later on 7th September 1914.

RMS Lusitania
W6240 : Lusitania memorial - Old Head of Kinsale by John M SJ3389 : Lusitania propeller by Chris Allen W7966 : The Lusitania Peace Memorial by Rod Allday W7171 : Gravestone of infant victim of sinking of Lusitania by Sheila Madhvani
Sunk 7th May 1915 off Old Head of Kinsale, Co Cork, Ireland

HMS Hampshire
HY2225 : Kitchener Memorial, Marwick Head by Stuart Wilding HY2225 : Kitchener Memorial by Nick Mutton HY2225 : Inscription on the Kitchener Memorial by Kevin Rae
Sunk by mine laid by U-75 off Marwick Head, Orkney on 5th June 1916. Lord Kitchener and a diplomatic mission to Russia were lost.

SS Tuscania and HMS Otranto
NR2741 : The American Monument by Euan Nelson NR2163 : Kilchoman Military Cemetery by Rude Health
Memorial on Mull of Oa, Islay, to American casualties of troop transports SS Tuscania sunk by U-Boat in February 1918 and HMS Otranto foundered following collision in September 1918.

SS Formby and SS Coningbeg
S6112 : Memorial to the SS Formby & the SS Coningbeg by Rod Allday
Sister ships, both homeward bound to Waterford from Liverpool with general cargo in December 1917. They were torpedoed by the same U-Boat, U62, within two days of each other, with a total loss of 83 lives. They were not sailing in convoy.

HMS Drake
D1450 : HMS 'Drake' buoy, Rathlin by Rossographer
The cruiser was torpedoed by U79 off Rathlin Island on 2nd October 1917 and the crippled vessel sank in Church Bay with a loss of 19 sailors.

HMS Laurentic
C1038 : SS Laurentic Memorial by John M

The liner, launched in 1908, was built by Harland and Wolff for the White Star Line. During the Great War she was converted to an armed merchant cruiser as HMS Laurentic. The ship was sunk on 25th January 1917 with the loss of 345 lives after striking two mines off Fanad Head shortly after leaving the naval anchorage in Lough Swilly. The ship was transporting 43 tons of gold most of which was recovered by navy divers. The 6 inch gun was recovered by local divers in 2007.

SS Greltoria
TA0928 : Humber Dock Basin, Kingston upon Hull by Bernard Sharp

Torpedoed and sunk off Flamborough Head on maiden voyage 27 September 1917.

Steamers Main and Rio Verde
NX1236 : Memorial to the Men of the Main and Rio Verde by Julia MacDonald

Sunk by a U-boat off Kirkmaiden, Dumfries and Galloway.

Destroyer B98 BOS
HY7444 : WW1 Shipwreck, Bay of Lopness, Sanday, Orkney by Beth Loft

German destroyer used as a mailboat was driven ashore at Lopness, Orkney in 1919 whilst on tow.

HMS Natal, Cromarty Firth
NH7568 : Buoy marking the wreck of HMS Natal by Russel Wills
The Warrior class cruiser sank after suffering an internal explosion at anchor in Cromarty Firth on 30th December 1915. Three hundred and ninety crew and some visiting civilians were lost. A buoy marks the wreckage and war grave.

Submarine K13
NS2489 : The K13 Memorial by Lairich Rig
The submarine sank during sea trials on 29th January 1917 with the loss of 32 lives.

Submarine E49
HP6309 : The memorial for the submarine HMS E49, Baltasound by Mike Pennington
The submarine struck a mine laid by a German minelaying submarine whilst leaving the pier at Baltasound, Shetland on 12th March 2017 with the loss of all 31 crew. A memorial was unveiled to mark the centenary.

U-Boat UB122
TQ8373 : U-boat wreck in the mud by Richard Dorrell
One of the 100 submarines surrendered at Harwich for scrapping, though this was probably not what they had in mind. Maybe a parted tow saved the boat from the dismantlers.


NY3169 : Site of Quintinshill  Rail Crash by Anthony Jeffrey NT2676 : Leith Mural detail by kim traynor NT2675 : Gretna Rail Disaster Memorial, Rosebank Cemetery by kim traynor NY3169 : Quintinshill Memorial - July 2016 (1) by The Carlisle Kid NY3169 : Quintinshill Memorial - July 2016 (2) by The Carlisle Kid NY3268 : Stormont Hall at Gretna Green by Mike Smith
The Quintinshill train crash near Gretna killed 215 of the 500 Territorial Force soldiers from the 1/7 (Leith) Battalion, The Royal Scots on their way to Liverpool to embark for the Gallipoli campaign. The soldiers are buried in a mass grave in the Rosebank Cemetery in Edinburgh.The Stormont Hall at Springfield was used as a mortuary.

Easter Rising

O1534 : Easter Rising memorial, Dublin by Rossographer O1534 : General Post Office, Dublin by Stephen Sweeney O1434 : The Four Courts Building by Gary Barber O1733 : Bolands Building. by IrishFlyFisher
O1534 : City Hall, Dublin by Philip Halling O1533 : St. Stephens Green by Harold Strong O1233 : Kilmainham Gaol by Gareth James O1233 : Memorial to the Executed Leaders of the 1916 Rebellion by Graham Hogg Q7521 : Banna Strand: Sir Roger Casement Memorial by Nigel Cox

The Easter Rising in 1916 was suppressed by the local reserve forces and territorial units of the 59th North Midland Division taken by train to Liverpool and ferry to Dublin.


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