Yesterday evening (25 May), MPs discussed the Battle of Jutland centenary in an Adjournment Debate secured by Flick Drummond MP.
Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford and Minister for the First World War Commemorations, responded to the debate on behalf of the Government.
The Battle of Jutland took place in the North Sea near Denmark, and it was the only major naval battle of WWI. The Royal Navy lost 14 ships and more than 6,000 men, whilst the German navy lost 11 ships and over 2,500 men.
Mr Evennett highlighted the importance of remembering those involved at the Battle of Jutland, and he advised MPs that the Government’s key themes of the “First World War centenary programme are remembrance, youth and education”.
He also discussed his own personal association with this commemoration, as his grandfather, Clyde Turner, served on HMS Malaya during the battle. His grandfather’s legacy lives on as both Mr Evennett’s son and grandson were given the name Clyde as one of their Christian names.
Following the Battle of Jutland, four Victoria Crosses were awarded to sailors and Royal Marines. Among these was Jack Cornwell, who died aged 16. He stuck to his task as a sight-setter of a 5.5-inch gun on HMS Chester after the rest of the gun’s crew had been killed or mortally injured.
Today (26 May), Mr Evennett listed the grave of Jack Cornwell and other memorials to mark the centenary of this naval clash. Mr Evennett commented: “Jack Cornwell is one of the many brave sailors who lost their lives at the Battle of Jutland who we will honour at the centenary commemorations.”
“It is important that their sacrifice is never forgotten. It is right that we list these important memorials to ensure they are protected for generations to come.”