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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Shrapnel at Whitby


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Good afternoon,


I went sometime ago  to the Far North (Whitby) and found on the beach at Robin Hood's Bay a large number of bits of what look like shrapnel - I appreciate one bit of iron looks much like another - but I wondered if they could be from the 1914 HSF raid? The fragment I kept is about 5cm long and maybe 2-3 cm thick and  looks as if it was machined and curved -  much like the stuff you find on the Western Front.

I wondered if anyone had anything on this?

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Hi yperman,


Sounds good - but how about a photograph with a scale ruler by it?

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Yperman, for what its worth my mother was stationed at Whitby during WW2 on anti aircraft predictors with the ATS. could have been a relic from then?

from Humber Field Archaeology web page..


Phase 1 of the survey (2006–08) consisted of an assessment of the available sites and monuments records for the study area, including those held at national and local level, as well as examining a range of other sources. An important element of the survey was commissioning new aerial photographic analysis of a coastal strip between Whitby and North-East Lincolnshire. Some limited field investigation was also carried out in sample areas to check the accuracy of the archive records and determine the potential of different areas for revealing new information. A large number of new monuments were added as part of this process, including a considerable number of World War 2 sites identified through the aerial photographic analysis. The World War 2 data included pillboxes, anti-aircraft batteries, temporary trenches and weapons pits, bombing decoys and many miles of beach defences

Edited by chaz
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So far as I know - and I may stand corrected - the HSF raiders didn't fire on Robin Hoods Bay itself. If they had, I'd think the fire would've been aimed a few hundred yards inland, at buildings.


I think it'd be a considerable task to identify your splinter, if such it is. I believe British and German steels had distinct analyses, but it'd be complicated and expensive to get that done, as well as destructive to your relic.


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 I very much  doubt that the relics are war related ordnance

 The area around   Robin Hood's Bay is well known  for the numerous ships Large and Small that have perished on the  scars below the cliffs

The wrecks battered by the waves continually cast fragments of  steel spars, rivets, and

allsorts of fragments large and small onto the rocks below the cliffs


A secondary  source of iron and steel fragments are the disused alum mines  which were located along the top of the cliffs in various locations, Waste material just thrown of the cliff edge  during the period the mines were open


I am also surprised that you consider Whitby to be in the far north


following is a photo of a wreck being smashed to pieces at the bottom of the cliffs between Whitby and Robin Hood's Bay

Shipwreck - Sarb-J



Edited by RaySearching
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1 hour ago, RaySearching said:

 ... I am also surprised that you consider Whitby to be in the far north... 


I am not, as yperman is Sussex based... My ma was born in Bolton (Lancs!) and when I went up to Durham to do my BA she thought it were way beyond the pale... A indeed it almost was being a palatinate county! But by the time I went to Newkie for my Phud her geography were somewhat better... Now, how was the adage after the M1 was built? Watford Gap marked the start of the 'North'? 

Edited by trajan
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Thank you all, my poor scrap of iron now has junk status!


RaySearching when I referred to Whitby I was being tongue in cheek... we South Coasters all know Whitby is miles south of the Far North! Seriously thank you for your help - I saw some vicious looking reefs off Whitby and can well believe there have been many wrecks there, as you photo shows.



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