Battle of Jutland – May 1916

John West

31st May 1916- 1st June 1916

The Battle of Jutland took place between the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet on the 31st May 1916 in the North Sea, off the mainland of Denmark. The Battle was fought over 36 hours finishing on the 1st June 1916.

Chief Stoker West (born Market Rasen 1889) joined the Royal Navy in 1911. He served first as a stoker on the scout cruiser HMS Skirmisher but after a year was transferred as chief stoker to the battle cruiser HMS Princess Royal on which he served throughout the War. John saw much action on this ship being involved in the battles at Heligoland Bight (1914), Dogger Bank (1915) and, on 31st May and 1st June 1916, in the major battle at Jutland. In that battle the Princess Royal took nine direct hits which killed 22 and injured 81 of the crew but the ship remained operational. John was lucky to survive the battle and in July was on leave in Market Rasen where he featured in a report in the Market Rasen Mail.

H.M.S.Queen Mary Lost in the Battle of Jutland Bank

There were a total of 250 ships in the battle; 151 British Grand Fleet and 99 German High Seas Fleet. There were 100,000 sailors overall engaged in the Battle, of which 1 in 10 were killed or wounded.8,645 were killed in total; 6,094 British, 2,551 German Sailors.

The British lost the three battlecruisers Queen Mary, Indefatigable, Invincible as well as the three armoured cruisers  Defense, Warrior, Black Prince along with 7 other vessels.

 The Germans lost the battlecruiser Lützow, the pre-dreadnoughts Pommern along with 9 other vessels. One thousand men lost their lives when a magazine exploded on the British battlecruiser Indefatigable.

There was no clear winner in this battle, but it did convince the Germans never again to challenge the British Navy during World War I in the North Sea.






This was the first time in history that a carrier-based aeroplane (from HMS Engadine) was used for reconnaissance in naval combat.

There were four Victoria Crosses awarded after the Battle of Jutland.

THE ROYAL NAVY                                        

Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, Vice Admiral Sir David Beatty

28 battleships, 9 battlecruisers,
9 armoured crusiers, 26 light
cruisers, 78 destroyers,
1 minelayer,
1 seaplane carrier


Vice Admiral Reinhard Scheer, Vice Admiral Franz von Hipper

16 Battleships,
5 battlecruisers,
6 pre-dreadnoughts,
11 light cruisers,
61 torpedo boats