Hero sailors honoured on centenary of Battle of Jutland

A special service will take place in Nelson to mark the 100th anniversary of the Naval Battle of Jutland, the largest sea battle since Trafalgar.

Monday, 23rd May 2016, 7:36 am
Updated Monday, 23rd May 2016, 8:41 am

The German fleet never went to sea again during the First World War after the battle for fear of annihilation, and the British fleet maintained its iron grip on the seas.

First World War commemorations have been dominated by the valiant deeds of the Army and the terrible sacrifices they made.

But Michael Sutcliff, of the Nelson and District Branch of the Royal British Legion, believes we must not forget the deeds of the Royal Navy who lost 254 ships and 41,329 sailors.

The sailors included 10,000 who were seconded to the western front and Gallipoli in the Naval Brigades, their names can be also found on our war memorials.

The Royal British Legion will be holding a service of remembrance for Naval services at the War Memorial in Cross Street, Nelson, at 11am on Saturday.

Mr Sutcliff said: “We are including in this service the Merchant Navy who lost 15,000 sailors in the First World War, and over 30,000 in the Second World War.

“It is very clear that without those merchant sailors, we could have and maybe would have lost both world wars, and in those two wars we lost over 5,000 merchant ships, nearly all through U-Boat attacks and all carrying vital supplies to these islands.

“To mark the Jutland centenary we would like to invite anyone in Pendle who had any connection with the Royal Navy, Royal Marines or the Merchant Navy in either of the World Wars or, in fact, those since such as Korea or the Falklands for example, to come and join us.”

Anyone who has a family member from the Naval service with a name on any Pendle Cenotaph should contact Mr Sutcliff through the Barrowford Legion Office (613132) and leave a message and number.

The commemoration will be supported by the local Sea Cadets; the White Ensign from HMS Manchester will fly from the Town Hall flag pole, the standard of the 8th Destroyer Squadron, and Royal Marine Association will be paraded along with others.

Wreaths will be laid by representatives of those three services by the Mayor of Pendle.