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Battleship bell strikes a chord

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: March 24, 2014

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The bell of a German First World War battleship which bombarded Britain in 1914 sold for £5,000 at auction – after being used as a garden ornament in Bristol for 70 years.

German Konig class battleship SMS Grosser Kurfurst was one of several ships which bombarded Hartlepool on December 16, killing 118 residents.

After the German surrender it was scrapped in Rosyth, Fife, where a Bristol man – believed to a wine merchant – bought the ship's 22-inch high bell in the 1930s.

It has been in the man's family ever since and was used as a garden ornament. It was sold by specialist auctioneer Atlantic Crossing Auctions in Southampton on Saturday. Auctioneer Stephen Booth said: "These bells are very hard to find. I know of only one other in a church in Scotland. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was special."

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