On the afternoon of Saturday 4th July 2016 the club held a very special service to commemorate and remember one of the greatest sea battles of the 20th Century known as ‘The Battle of Jutland’, which took place during WW1 on the 31st May 1916 in the North Sea. The British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet opposed each other with 250 Warships, 151 British and 99 German, both fleets included some of the most powerful ships of that time, known as Dreadnoughts.
At the end of this sea battle the Royal Navy had lost 14 ships, and the German Navy 11, and many more were badly damaged. The death toll on both sides was huge. The British lost 6,094 lives, which included many Royal Marines, who in those days manned the big guns, and 2551 German lives were also lost.
Both sides claimed victory, but even though the British Fleet lost more warships and men, the German Fleet turned and sailed away, never again
to attempt to wrestle control of the seas by facing the British Fleet.
During the service in the club the Branch Standard was carried by Jimmy Greene, and escorted by Ben Stones and Gerry Bowers. Garry Moore gave a short reminder to all those attending of the basic facts of the wartime encounter, and Mick St-Pier gave the stories behind the four VCs that were won that day which included that awarded to John ‘Jack’ Cornwell RN, aged only 16, and Royal Marine Major Francis Harvey. John Lacey read out Nelson’s prayer, our Chairman Paul ‘Riggo’ Richardson the RM Corps prayer, Bob Davies gave the ‘Exultation’ and at the end of the service the ‘Kohima Epitaph’. The ‘Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’ was sounded by Andy ‘Pastie’ Cornish, followed by ‘Up Sprits’, when tots of rum were made available to toast ‘The Queen’, ‘The Royal Navy and Royal Marines at Jutland’ and ‘Absent Friends’.
A memorable service worthy of the 100 years anniversary of this famous battle.