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Shell from Seaham Submarine Bombardment

Thirty-nine shots over Seaham

This is one of thirty-nine shells fired from just outside the mouth of Seaham Harbour by a German U-boat (submarine) on 11 July 1916.

Fired from a 5.9 inch deck gun, the shell was recovered by the 4th Battalion Durham Light Infantry from their camp at Seaham, where they were on coastal defence duty at the time of the attack. A silver commemorative plaque, added later by the battalion, bears the inscription ‘4th Bn. The Durham Light Infantry Bombardment of Camp at Seaham Harbour 11th July 1916’.

Most of the shells landed around New Seaham and Dalton le Dale. According to a report in the 4th Battalion war diary, some shells were found near the Mill Inn at New Seaham.

There are varying reports of how many shells were fired, but the submarine commander, in his memoir, said that there were 39, because his U-boat was numbered U 39.

4 DLI War Diary, DCRO ref. D/Bo/F 355
Furbringer, Werner, “FIPS legendary U-boat commander, 1915-1918”, translated by Geoffrey Brooks (L. Cooper, 2000)

Date: 1916

Where to find this: Durham Light Infantry (DLI) Collection,

Contributed by Durham County Record Office | Durham Light Infantry Objects Collection

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