Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Battle of Jutland centenary marked in Portsmouth

Jutland ceremony Image copyright LA(PHOT) Nicky Wilson
Image caption Serving Royal Navy personnel, veterans and descendants gathered on Southsea Common

Royal Navy sailors and veterans have marked the centenary of the biggest naval engagement of World War One with a parade and ceremony in Portsmouth.

More than 1,800 sailors based in the city were among the 8,648 who died during the Battle of Jutland.

Current sailors and descendants of those who took part attended a ceremony in Southsea.

The battle was fought near the coast of Denmark on 31 May and 1 June 1916 and involved about 250 ships.

To mark the event the event the Royal Marines Band led a parade from Collingwood to Southsea Common's Royal Navy memorial.

Image copyright LA(PHOT) Nicky Wilson
Image caption More than 100 sailors from HMS Sultan and HMS Collingwood marched through Southsea to commemorate the occasion

Keith Simpson MP, commissioner of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, said the event commemorated the "courage and comradeship" of those who served at the Battle of Jutland.

Wreaths were laid during the service led by HMS Collingwood chaplain, the Reverend Martin Evans.

Event organiser Commander Andy Green, said: "The large turnout at the ceremony was made all the more poignant because out of the 6,000 officers and men who lost their lives at Jutland, a great majority were attached to Portsmouth."

Image copyright LA(PHOT) Nicky Wilson
Image caption Wreaths were laid during the service led by HMS Collingwood chaplain, the Reverend Martin Evans
Image copyright LA(PHOT) Nicky Wilson
Image caption The service was held in front of 330 guests including Armed Forces Minister Penny Mordaunt and 284 descendants of sailors who either fought or were lost in the battle

The only major sea battle of World War One, the Battle of Jutland saw the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet, based at Scapa Flow in Orkney, clash with the German High Seas Fleet.

Most of those killed were lost at sea and have no grave - their names are inscribed on three memorials in Portsmouth, Plymouth and Chatham.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption HMS Lion (L) is shelled and HMS Queen Mary is blown up by German shells during the battle

At the end of the engagement, the British had lost more in terms of ships and men, but it later emerged the Germans had concealed the scuttling of two of their ships, and it soon became seen as a strategic victory for the Royal Navy.

Battle of Jutland in numbers

British fleet

6,097

lives lost

  • 14 ships lost

  • 177 sailors captured

  • 674 sailors wounded

PA

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