a continuation of type from





Under the now well established rules of pet animals in British warships, I doubt whether the carriers Queen Elizabeth or the Prince of Wales will have any non-human animals on board which is a pity. Cats in particular are well suited to living on
 board a sea going vessel whether crewed by skimmers, fishheads, wafu's or bootnecks. I well remember a couple of cats in the Second Training Squadron based on Portland in the 50's one being Leonard  and one being Trigg. I don't ever remember why
 Leonard was called such or after whom, but, as an OD, I had litter-tray duties and got the low down from his keeper, a
 killick dabtoe [seaman] whose part of ship in a Castle Class frigate was in the Tiller flat about as far aft as one could go. Trigg was born in HMS Osprey at the top of the hill leading upward from the dockyard, to a cat called Newport who hailed from Newport [as a kitten] on the Isle of Wight. He got his ship's book number when just five weeks old. The club swinger [PTI] in Osprey named
 him Trigg after an Isle of Wight famous boxer, and we in Tintagel Castle kept that name. He was the very opposite in nature
 without a pugnacious aspect in any part of his body, soft as muck and very loyal. He even prowled the bridge areas when at sea, was
 intrigued by the sight of Portland Races and the water turbulence, and often curled up just outside our door in the W/T
 office flat, one deck down immediately behind the bridge ladders. Everybody liked Trigg and no surprises, often called him
 trigger. In the squadron we had a coal-burning RN tug called HMS Fetlar and she had a dog, a Jack Russell I believe, but very noisy, barking at anything near to their berth on ICP [Inner Coaling Pier]. It must have had a name, but I recall that most people called it 'gobby'. Anyway this is the pet cat of HMS Queen
 Elizabeth [and I'll bet, not the only one in this large battleship],
doing the rounds of the gunnery department. Note no tampions fitted to the gun barrels, a loudhailer at the ready and
 me'thinks it's Scapa Flow, so possibly under orders to slip and proceed.



Now talking about Scapa and if you haven't yet done the pilgrimage, do it now, this coming year. If the weather is nice,
it's a wonderful visit, if it's bad then there no worse place than the Orkneys. However, in both cases there is much to do,
 to visit by boat and land transportation or shanks's pony, including a boat ride to witness the eternal bubble or still
 to this day, leaking oil from the Royal Oak resting upside down on the bottom her sheer weight crushing her superstructure,
 guns and upper deck fittings. The wreck is all by itself some distance from other wrecks and the main fleet anchorage
 position, but quite close by to the mainland area of Scapa itself, and not too far from the local airport at Kirkwall. Lyness
 is on Hoy some goodly distance from Scapa, but at worst a road journey of 1 hour 30 minutes or a road and ferry journey
 which takes less time. HMS Vanguard is also a listed wreck and her demise, a year after Jutland in WW1 was also very
 sad with only two survivors from a crew of 845 men loosing more crew members that did the Royal Oak in WW2. She was blown
 to pieces by a violent internal explosion. It is a sad and lonely place but now it is a peaceful place, with many
 beautiful things to see especially on Hoy, and of course the monuments sited on terra firma at Scapa and other areas of the Orkney's.

I now move on to Jutland having already covered in great detail another point of view about the surrender and scuttling of
 the German High Seas Fleet. See here



 again here


   The navy of course is multifaceted, and there are nearly as many stories about Jutland other than the results of the
 shooting-match and the run for home capitulation by Admiral Scheer and his depleted fleet, clearly unsure about how well they had performed, until news of the British losses raised their morale and no doubt their Prussian strutting.


I am going to tell three newish stories, over and above those I have told in other webpages. First a comforting story
 for sailors involved in WW1 from day one, and some of their families.

Even more than at any other time in the navy's recent history and after a huge lull in time since the last great sea
 battle [exempting Coronel/Falklands, War of 1812, Crimean War, Boer Wars I and 2, and many British wars in between like
 Indian Mutiny, Opium Wars, Egyptian Wars inter alia] none of which can equate with the importance of seeing the German's
 off at Jutland, comforts like rum and baccy were of paramount importance in maintaining morale.

In those days there was no such things as NAAFI's and officers looked after themselves with direct buying from the famous
 [in naval terms anyway] Saccone and Speed company, today called Saccone and Speed [Gibraltar] Limited.  Throughout my thirty
 year career, Saccone and Speed was as well known as the White Ensign, and their delivery vans on dockyard jetties
 were as ubiquitous as pussers lorries. For the Grand Fleet they were delivering right around the UK coastal ports
 particularly along the whole length of the east coast from Chatham northwards to Rosyth, Invergordon and Scapa Flow
 [Lyness]. In large ships, members of the Gun Room Mess [cadets and midshipmen] negotiated their allowable alcohol
 and tobacco stocks via the wardroom buyer, and in this way the wardroom got the profits and were able to monitor the
 consumption of these trainee officers. For the lower deck [although the warrant officers* - the middle deck - sent
 their servants [a specific job on the watch and quarter bill] shopping there, the ship ran its own retail outfit, the
 profits of the sales going directly into the ships welfare fund which were strictly controlled and regularly audited
 by a senior wardroom officer.

* Warrant officers in small vessels lived in the wardroom.

The Ship's Canteen Service [SCS], manned by various junior rates with a mix of
 senior rates as supervisors, purchased their stocks from admiralty suppliers at fixed prices [also to be sold at agreed
 prices in favour of the sailors pocket], and always cheaper than Saccone and Speed wares mainly because of serious bulk
 buying and often at a lower quality - but beer is beer to a needy sailor. Beer was nearly always supplied at source
 from the brewery nearest to the main naval port being supplied [which also carried rum stocks delivered by central
 supply points like King Williams Yard in Devonport and Clarence Yard in Portsmouth/Gosport, whilst cigarettes
 and tobacco was purchased, again through admiralty agents, from the main tobacco companies, known as 'bonded good'. There were many of them,
 but I will mention just two. One was the well known firm of John Player and Sons Ltd, and the other was the American
 cigarette 'De Reszke' Tobacco Company. Availability was never an issue but price was. Although it was known as the
 aristocrat of cigarettes the admiralty negotiated bulk buying cost often lower than John Players and even what Saccone
 and Speed charged the wardroom for. In addition of course, the admiralty had agreements [many loose and non-contractual]
 one of which was with Player and Sons Ltd. It can be truly said that the admiralty purveyors really did look after the
 men in this regard. This is a typical WW1 advert from a Times newspaper dated 20th June 1916, three weeks after Jutland.

Can't see the detail properly? Look below for a retype!


If you had difficulty with reading the text of the above advert, here is a verbatim re-type of the article



He wants Cigarettes to smoke every day, so send him
a regular supply of “De Reszkes” - he’s worthy of the
very best.  Buy them yourself and post
the parcel with your own hands, then
you know it is bound to arrive safely.


“De Reszke”

In 4 weeks official Naval
and Military orders alone
reached this huge figure.
Far and away – our lotterbag [an American retaining bag of sorts for
proves it - “De Reske” cigarettes hold
Pride of place amongst the officers
of His Majesty’s Navy and Army
Week after week “De Reszkes”
are shipped by the million, to the
Army Canteens and Officers messes
On five hundred ships of "The Kings Navee" [sic]
the “De Reszkes” is ever prime favourite
with officers and men.
This preference of our fighting forces
for one particular cigarette is only to be
accounted for by the never varying
quality of a smoke that is always dependable
and worthy.
When next you are buying your weekly box
send one off to your friend in the trenches.
He will be glad – and you won’t be sorry.
Tenor [Large Size] 100 7/3d- 50 3/10d - 25 2/0d - 20 1/8d - 10 16d
Basso [Extra Large] 100 9/6d - 50 5/0d - 25 2/7d - 20 n/a - 10 1/7d
Soprano [Ladies Size] 100 6/3d - 50 3/2d - 25 1/7d -20 n/a-  10 6d

is particularly  directed to the
“De Reszkes”, American cigarette
which is recognised in the Trade
as the finest cigarette of its kind
in England.

6/- per 100
3/1 per 50
1/7 for 25
1/3 for 20
7½d for 10

Sold by all tobacconists and Stores
or post free from:-
15 Piccadilly. London. W.



   Now of much greater importance nationally because of Jutland.
John Player and Sons Ltd made cigarettes and used the picture of R.N.,Sailors on the packaging. However, long before that............

The use of a sailor[s] and in several forms started in 1885 when Player happened upon a canvas painted by a man
 called Wright of CLAPHAM in approximately 1880, at that time [1885] being used by a small tobacco company as their logo called Parkins of Chester, calling their product Jack's Glory, a mainly pipe tobacco product.

Upon purchase of the picture, John Player immediately used the sailor's head as a trademark/logo of his
 thriving company producing cigarettes, loose shredded tobacco for rolling into cigarettes, pipe tobacco [shag]
 and chewing tobacco with snuff on the side. Many older sailors [thousands in the fleet at Jutland] preferred
their own smoking preparations as follows. They would slice thin flakes of tobacco as required from a
cord-bound rum-soaked perique, prepared over many weeks to maturity. The perique was purchased ashore
 from tobacco traders and was highly prized. Some say that lockers, of a sort but secure, were first
introduced to keep personal valuables in, not kit which was kept in a kit-bag or a swag-bag, and personal
tobacco was certainly one of these. Perique was available world-wide, so a shrewd sailor never ran out of the
precious commodity. A little later on in 1888, Player added a life-jacket to the picture and
 again in 1891 two ships, Britannia and Hero. In actual fact he destroyed the original 1880 picture by these

Here are details of those two ships.


The Three-Decker is HMS Britannia

When Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837, HMS Britannia was one of the biggest ships of the line. She was a wooden three-decker, carried 120 guns, could sail 9 knots in a fair wind
 and in fact was not very different from Nelson's ships of the line.

HMS Britannia, HMS Hero (respectively left and right of the sailors head) and the sailor himself were formed into the current Player's Trade Mark in 1891 as shown here.



The Player's Sailor's Ship


Note his cap tally. She was HMS Hero.  "The battleship HMS Hero was launched 27th October 1885, and she differed from HMS Conqueror [the lead ship of the class Hero belonged to]  only in that all four of her 6 inch guns were mounted
on the superstructure. At the end of Hero's career it was used as a target from November 1907 and was finally sunk off the Kentish Knock on 18th February


Ever heard of a famous artists cum illustrator called Arthur David McCormick?

He was an Irish man from Ulster who travelled the world acting as the illustrator [in lieu of the camera]
 on expeditions led by eminent explorers/scientist's, and recorded scenes and events in the greatest of
detail.  In 1927, whilst apparently resting from these arduous tours he was contacted by John Player and
Sons Ltd and asked to paint a picture for their company to be used as their company logo to replace the
picture they had ruined by being too ambitious.  This he agreed to do and the picture was called by him,
 the "Head of a Sailor" bearing the cap tally of HMS Excellent. It was their last advertising image,
and for all I know [as a non-smoker] it may be in use to this very day.
This is that famous picture of 1927.

However, before that time of 1927, Players had other pictures of sailors and at one time after 1905, the
sailor's picture vogue at that time showed the cap tally of HMS Invincible. Millions upon millions
of cigarette packets were produced from 1905 until the 1st June 1916, the last day of the Battle of Jutland.
 She and her class were bugged from the very beginning with main armament gunnery problems and although
commissioned in 1906, she underwent a third major
 refit in 1914 to put right her problems. As late as 1915 she was still undergoing changes to her secondary
 armaments which resulted in fewer 4" guns than planned and fitted during her build. This class of ship also
 had underwater torpedo tubes and she was perhaps rightly considered a potent weapon platform. She saw much action
 in the early part of the war both at Heligoland Bight and the Falklands. In the latter Battle, the two
battlecruisers [Invincible and Inflexible] laid into the very large German squadron sinking two very well
known ships infamous also in WW2, the Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau. The whole of the German squadron was
destroyed see

Throughout the vicious fight, the Invincible fired no fewer than 515x12" shells, sustained damage to the
vessel requiring dockyard assistance in Gibraltar, but not one of the crew members was hurt in any way: the Inflexible lost one man and three injured.


No wonder then in 1914 that the very name of Invincible was a much loved word for the British population.
She [with others of course] was a true hero, so Players choosing her for their advertising was the most
naturally step possible for the company. People bought Players cigarettes just to own a picture of the sailor
with the cap tally of HMS Invincible.


Certainly, he gunnery defects had not inhibited her from performing her duties at these first two battles, and
come February 1915 she had joined the Home Fleet and was ready for her next battle, that of Jutland. Sadly, she was
 lost in action

The death of HMS Invincible at Jutland

After a gallant fight with other British battlecruisers against German forces earlier in the engagement, Invincible was caught by
two German ships both firing onto her. She sank within 90 seconds from terrible magazine explosions
midships fore and aft, which totally destroyed the vessel sending 1026 men to a watery grave with only
six survivors, all to do with the ships gunnery systems. It was one of several total British losses totalling
many thousands of deaths and tons of materiel.
This picture shows Invincible blown into two separate parts each resting on the seabed.




This news of Invincible's loss was taken to heart in a big way by the British people,
their [our] hero was lost and with such a terrible loss of life. Those of us who can visualise
the day to day routines and procedures of a large warship, whether down below or up top, would
have nightmares themselves thinking about how those men died, some immediately engulfed in fires/
explosions generating heat measured in the 1000 degree mark, some scalded to death by bursting boilers full of red hot
steam-heated pressurised water destined for the steam turbines, but from whatever means
,their deaths would have been rapid and over in a few seconds thank God for that small mercy!

The death list makes for shocking reading:-

The Captain was a very senior captain dating from 30th June 1907 whose name was Arthur.L.CAY R.N.




This tragedy also heralded the end of the use of the sailor with the HMS Invincible cap tally on Players
packaging of their cigarettes and other tobacco products. According to some, they reluctantly pulled-the-plug,
 but others say that they were equally saddened and shocked by the loss of this well loved hero, and adopted a new advertising trademark/logo as soon as possible.


In 1980, just weeks after having commanded the gun carriage during Mountbatten Royal Ceremonial Funeral on the streets of London on September 5th 1979, the Captain of HMS Excellent Captain R K S Bethell OBE FBIM Royal Navy, published a booklet
 to commemorate 150 years of his establishment from 1830.  In it he put the Royal Navy's side of the story
with the Players company. It is important because it supports the trading position of Players in the early days [and at the time of Jutland]
 and how tenuous it was in the overall competition with companies like De Reszke Cigarettes Co.

“In 1927, A D McCormick RA, was commissioned to produce the final version in use to-day, using “HERO” as the cap tally [the lack of HMS is an artist’s error, irretrievable after registration] for
use on packaging.  For advertising purposes “INVINCIBLE” was used up to 1916, when the name was dropped as likely to give offence to relatives of the dead of the *cruiser [sic] of that name
 was lost at the Battle of Jutland.  In 1956, the John Player management for the first time forged an actual link with “The Service” by inviting a football team from
 the Gunnery School to play the firm on their Aspley Lane ground in Nottingham and since the November of that year football, cricket and ladies hockey teams have made annual visits to
 each other’s grounds.

For many years Nottingham has proved to be a prime recruiting centre for the Royal Navy , with a long tradition of distinguished service.  Although the association between John Player of Nottingham
 and the Royal Navy was for so long merely supposition, it is now a  stabilised fact.

With the launch of the latest HMS NOTTINGHAM on 18th February 1979, the ties between the City, its industry and the Royal Navy can only be made stronger.”

* Invincible was a battlecruiser, not a cruiser.

However, as always on the WWW one must be careful about stated fact and figures, and here is a glaring example. Captain Bethell' definition above is vouched for and proven correct with other places of learning.  HMS Excellent's Museum Curator [date not known] but on Captain Bethell' patch,  wrote a so-called  authoritative article for the BBC for a web page called "Your Paintings" - 'More about HMS Excellent'.  In it he mixes up names [and dates] which throws all readers, by quoting HMS Illustrious instead of HMS Invincible [our hero remember].  Very important to understand that at the time of Jutland, Illustrious, being the oldest battleship in the navy and no longer fit for purpose, had been stripped of all weapons and was acting as a stores ship.



Staying with Jutland, a question! What is the life of a defeated dead [or possibly severely injured] German sailor worth?
How or who decides the answer to that question?

Well,  back in WW1,  'PRIZE MONEY' was the norm and in fact every royal sailor was rewarded with a useful amount of cash paid out to him [in a one-off payment] of the raising and selling of the German  High Seas Fleet scuttled at Scapa flow after the war. Some were very well rewarded, but even a humble able seaman received three months pay as a prize money bonus. This wasn't repeated at the end of WW2 simply because there was no German ship's to sell off. Vast numbers of UBoats had surrender and some were sunk off the northern tip of Northern Ireland and some were sold for salvage. German surface ships were few on the ground, we, the Royal Navy having sunk most of them and what was left were used for experiments by ourselves and by other Allies. Perhaps the best known ship, the Prinz Eugen, the heavy cruiser escorting the Bismarck at the time of Hood's sinking in May 1941, which was detached by Bismarck to save the cruisers  bacon when it was inevitable that she [Bismarck] could not survive the oncoming fire-fight with the British battleships, ended up in the Pacific [a long way from her Nazi home] and used in an atomic testing range.  Her wreck still breaks water and can be view from the shore laying parallel with a remote Atoll.

Another infamous ship the Gneisenau, was so badly damaged and wrecked in her Nazi port by the RAF Boy's that she
was never again used except as a block-ship! Our gallant crabfats also resigned Tirpitz to her total demise.

  So, have you decided yet ?  How much is a dead German sailors life worth?

The government assessors didn't have the full and correct numbers of all German sailors killed during the very brief fire-fight period, but they knew for certain the crew-counts of all the German ships lost which totalled eleven. The crews of those 11 vessels totalled 4537, several of them small vessels. Once a cash figure was agreed, the next part of the question was to whom would that amount of money be shared out to, as prize money which would be the assailants, namely the British Grand Fleet. How many ships were amassed but not necessarily used in bringing down the Germans, driving them for good from the North Sea [although the Germans conducted several sorties after Jutland], which in those days, even on our maps, was called the German Sea. I won't ask you to guess this one, for I don't believe that any of you would come up with anywhere near to the correct answer. It was in fact 151 ships deployed at source with 121 actually involved in some way or other - mind-blowing stuff!

The answer I wanted was that each German life was calculated to be worth just £5.0.0d giving a total for the Grand Fleet of £22685.0.0d, a massive pile of money. Regrettably, we were not told about the number crunching processes but, as you will read below, in todays prices there was over £2M to be distributed. We of course know exactly how many of our men were lost, and how many were picked up as survivors by us or as POW's by the Germans. What we cannot calculate in the pro rata calculation is whether any of the sinking/salvage money went to the NOK of those deceased R.N., sailors who were lost in the 16 vessels sunk and 22 damaged some badly, a total of 38 units in all, far greater than the German losses and almost unbelievable. So too were our personnel losses which totalled a staggering 6185 for just a few hours of open warfare, as against the 4537 lost by the Germans. One has to be very careful to qualify what the effect was upon the Germans when the British losses were made known to them, because it is very easy to see that in personnel/materiel terms, the Germans came out of the battle better off than we did by quite a large margin, and to many minds that signifies a defeat for the British. In the seven and a quarter odd hours of action, it was, and we cannot argue ourselves a victory or even a draw. What mattered, although it hurt the British and badly, was the aftermath of those seven and a quarter hours which could not have been foreseen in early June 1916, which quite literally brought the great Aryan nation to its knees almost begging for an immediate surrender:
Those losses are as follows:-

Lion 101 dead
Princess of Wales 22 dead
Queen Mary 1271 dead - 19 survivors
Tiger 25 dead
Indefatigable 1019 dead
Barham 27 dead
Malaya 60 dead
Warspite 14 dead
Dublin 3 dead
Southampton 35 dead
Chester 36 dead
Defender 1 dead
Turbulent 91 dead
Nestor 6 dead
Nomad 8 dead
Onslow 3 dead
Petard 9 dead
Marlborough 2 dead
Invincible 1022 dead
Black Prince 860 dead
Defiance 905 dead
Warrior 69 dead
Calliope 9 dead
Broke 48 dead
Acasta 6 dead
Porpoise 2 dead
Shark 87 dead
Spitfire 6 dead
Caster 12 dead
Nessus 7 dead
Obdurate 1 dead
Tipperary 185 dead
Ardent 79 dead
Fortune 67 dead [plus 18 injured and captured]
Sparrowhawk 6 dead
Onslaught 5 dead
Beneficent 9 dead
Flirt 6 dead
Others, who DOW later, and for up to several weeks after the battle which could be from any of these ships
 listed, was a total 61 dead

TOTAL DEAD [Not including injured/captured/POW] = 6185 = Official Admiralty numbers

followed by this

The nominal list of deaths amongst the men are sadly much too long to produce here. May I suggest that if you have access to one, to consult the Navy List of January 1917 Corrected to 18th December 1916, pages 134a to 137b [and there are lots of them] "OFFICERS AND MEN KILLED IN ACTION" [RATINGS SECTION] or this website - opening at 1916, May 31st and clicking on the Battle of Jutland link.

Now read this file - tip, reduce magnification to reduce blurring of text

1920-07-28 Jutland prize money.pdf

The Battle of Jutland is so well known but with some gaps!  Although it was indecisive it was so vicious that in its main-engagement-time of just
FIVE AND A QUARTER HOURS plus a further TWO HOURS NIGHT ENGAGEMENT with our destroyers sinking a fleeing battleship, SEVEN AND A QUARTER HOURS IN ALL there was such terrible losses of men and materiel: [the German's themselves scuttled their badly damaged capital ship the Lutzow as they were doing their overnight flit rather than leaving it for the Royal Navy to enthuse over], in real terms with losses of 10,772 men, it meant that virtually 1486 men were slaughtered every hour of the battle.

And note, NOT ONE MEDAL WAS ISSUED, other than for gallantry and valour [but see the story of Jack Cornwell] here  . UTTERLY INCONCEIVABLE!

Although never stated as such, it must have been the shortest major sea battle in all history.

This text below sums it all up succinctly. 

When Jellicoe left his appointment as the C-in-C he wrote this letter for all in the Grand Fleet to see.

READ this important document:


See also : memorandum-jellicoe-to-grand-fleet.htm

Without medals and with such great losses, what reward did the Grand Fleet get out of the altercation?
Well preciously little really!
They got the usual sinking/destruction/salvaging of enemy ship prizes, and on a good day, a humble little submarine [for example]  could sink a big ship and each crew member were sitting pretty as a result. Alternatively, many ships, big and small could sink a lesser group of ships to share out a small sum of money, enough to take the girlfriend out for the night.
In my next file I will show a well known battle which received a reasonable pay day namely Heligoland Bight.

In this list you can see a major group of British warships sharing in the prize money for destroying German warships at the Battle of Heligoland Bight. There are single warship actions with the crew keeping all the money.  Mersey and Seven [monitors] each receiving prize bounty/salvage money, bounty for badly damaging Konigsberg with gunfire, after which the Germans scuttled her, and then claiming the salvage for retaining the salvaging of SMS Konigsburg.

Then an example of a blank week [or blank month]

Then have a look at this period

Lots of warships quite literally lining their pockets! Not least the submarine E8 taking out SMS Prinz Adalbert an armoured cruiser -  what a pay day for such a small submarine with few men?

Look at Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse a battleship. What a payday for the Highflyer a mere second class cruiser.

In today's money, £22,685.00 in 1916 is now worth £2,083,522, so a massive amount of money despite the fact that each German sailor is only worth £5 in 1916 [that's £459.23 in today's money]. This was spread around the fleet engaged at Jutland, and every man in the Grand Fleet [in relevant ship's] would have done well out of it. I don't have the exact figures but there would have been much rejoicing. If a man got £20 only in 1916, by todays standard he got £1836.92, relatively, a handsome amount.

In WW1 the payouts were complicated but as per a well broadcasted plan, fair and each group of men knew where they stood. I'll show you those tables in a minute.

In addition to a 'prize' for sinking an enemy ship, warship or coopted ship, British sailors were given war bounties for simply being in a recognised war theatre for a given period,  as well as war salvage bonus's when the spoils of war had been assessed and sold for hard cash. Some of those payments came when well into the 1920's, so there was a super-dooper payday due eventually even though often it was given piece meal.

What follows is a seamans record from WW1 at the the time of Jutland. 

This section gives the necessary details re issue of medals and what they were for, and note that he was awarded THREE medals, the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal. In addition to medals which sadly [and sickeningly] were always issued late and grudgingly by the Admiralty, men were given CHEVRONS to wear on their right sleeve cuff in recognition of their sea service between 1914-1918.


What are campaign medals? One would think an easy question to answer but not so!


It doesn't have authority but look at this Wikipedia definition.


1.A military campaign denotes the time during which a given military force conducts combat operations in a given area (often referred to as AO, area of operation). A military campaign may be executed by either a single Armed Service, or as a combined services campaign conducted by land, naval, air, cyber and space forces. My comment. Battle of Jutland qualifies!

2.The purpose of a military campaign is to achieve a particular desired resolution of a military conflict as its strategic goal. This is constrained by resources, geography and/or season. A campaign is measured relative to the technology used by the belligerents to achieve goals, and while in the pre-industrial Europe was understood to be that between the planting (late spring) and harvest times (late autumn), it has been shortened during the post-industrial period to a few weeks. However, due to the nature of campaign goals, usually campaigns last several months, or even a year as defined by Trevor N. Dupuy. My comment. Battle of Jutland qualifies because the 'campaign goal' was to destroy the German High Seas Fleet in one battle, the shorter the better.

3.A campaign is a phase of a war involving a series of operations related in time and space and aimed towards a single, specific, strategic objective or result in the war. A campaign may include a single battle, but more often it comprises a number of battles over a protracted period of time or a considerable distance, but within a single theatre of operations or delimited area. A campaign may last only a few weeks, but usually lasts several months or even a year. My comment. Battle of Jutland qualifies. Jutland was a single battle.

Campaign medals are those medals awarded to individuals who served in the First World War and who met the qualifications laid down for each campaign medal. In general, all those who saw service overseas were awarded a campaign medal. The qualifications for each campaign medal were laid down in Admiralty/War Office Orders.


1914 Star1914 Star


Instituted in 1917 for service ashore in France and Flanders between 5 August and 22 November 1914. In 1919 a clasp bearing the above dates was authorised and given to those individuals who had actually been under fire between the prescribed dates.

1914/15 Star1914/15 Star


Authorised in 1918, the 1914/15 Star was awarded to those individuals who saw service in France and Flanders from 23 November 1914 to 31 December 1915, and to those individuals who saw service in any other operational theatre from 5 August 1914 to 31 December 1915.

British War MedalBritish War Medal


The British War Medal 1914-1920, authorised in 1919, was awarded to eligible service personnel and civilians alike. Qualification for the award varied slightly according to service. The basic requirement for army personnel and civilians was that they either entered a theatre of war, or rendered approved service overseas between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. Service in Russia in 1919 and 1920 also qualified for the award.

Victory MedalVictory Medal


The Victory Medal 1914-1919 was also authorised in 1919 and was awarded to all eligible personnel who served on the establishment of a unit in an operational theatre.

Territorial Force MedalTerritorial Force Medal


The Territorial Force War Medal 1914-1919 was awarded to members of the Territorial Force only. To qualify, the recipient had to have been a member of the Territorial Force on or prior to 30 September 1914, and to have served in an operational theatre outside of the United Kingdom between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918.

The Silver War BadgeThe Silver War Badge


The Silver War Badge (SWB), sometimes erroneously called the Silver Wound Badge, was authorised in September 1916 and takes the form of a circular badge with the legend "For King and Empire-Services Rendered" surrounding the George V cypher. The badge was awarded to all of those military personnel who were discharged as a result of sickness or wounds contracted or received during the war, either at home or overseas.



In this picture above, you will see that this sailor did more than his fair share at sea throughout the whole war, being awarded each and every Chevron from 1914 to 1918, with the second line a little hard to read which says "May '19 - 1918 Chevron awarded, and 1914 & '15 Star". The following text tells you all about Chevrons:-


  • Sea Service Chevrons
    In May 1918 the Secretary of the Admiralty announced the conditions for the award to members of the Royal Navy and the other marine services of chevrons for service at sea and overseas.

    They will be awarded to denote services overseas, or at sea undertaken since August 4, 1914, and are to be worn in uniform.

    Service overseas and at sea is defined as service at sea in sea-going ships of war, auxiliaries, in defensively armed merchant ships as guns’ crews, and those employed in minesweeping. Officers and men of the late R.N. Air Service who, although serving in the United Kingdom, were liable for service in the air for offensive or defensive purposes, may count such service as qualifying service. Service in kite balloons when embarked in ships will also count.

    The date for the award of the first chevron will be August 5, 1914, in the case of those serving at sea or abroad on that date. In other cases the date on which the individual began or begins qualifying service as defined - for example, an individual who began qualifying service on December 31, 1915, is entitled to his first chevron on that date.

    Additional chevrons are to be awarded as follows:-

    (a) From January 1, 1915, to December 31, 1917, inclusive, on a calendar year basis, that is, one chevron and not more than one for each of the years 1915, 1916, and 1917. The individual must have an aggregate of three months' qualifying service in the calendar year to entitle him to the award for that year.

    1914 Silver Chevron
    The chevrons will be ¼ in. in width, the arms 1¼ in. long. They will be worn inverted on the right forearm. Chevrons for officers will be of silver or gold braid. The first chevron, if earned on or before December 31, 1914, will be silver; if earned on or after January 1, 1915, it will be gold, and all additional chevrons after the first will be gold. The silver chevron will be worn below the gold one. For ratings they will be of worsted embroidery of two colours - red and blue. The first chevron, if carried on or before December 31, 1914, will be red; if earned on or after January 1, 1915 it will be blue; and all additional chevrons after the first will be blue.

    In the case of officers they are to be worn on the blue undress coat only.

    The chevrons are a distinction to be worn on uniform to denote service at sea or overseas since the outbreak of war, and are not to be regarded as being in the nature of a reward. There will, therefore, be no posthumous award to fallen officers or men. The chevrons may be worn in plain clothes by officers and men who have left the Service, but who would, had they remained in the Service, have been entitled to wear them on uniform. In such cases, application for authority to wear the chevrons must be made.


    War Badges Abolished in the Navy.

    On 24 Nov 1922, since most medals for war service have now been issued, service chevrons, wound stripes, and silver war badges were no longer to be worn in uniform.



    In 1919 our sailor was given a War Gratuity of £30-00, a good amount of money for a Leading Hand.  Here is a part of the petition to HM The King to make an award of a Gratuity to all those who had taken part in WW1.


    And whereas we are of opinion that Officers and Men of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Naval Reserve, and Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve who served during the present War should be granted gratuities in respect of such service:

    We beg leave humbly to recommend that Your Majesty may be graciously pleased, by Your Order in Council, to sanction the payment of gratuities to these officers and men as set forth in the enclosed Schedules.

    The Lords Commissioners of Your Majesty's Treasury have signified Their concurrence in these proposals.


    It manifested itself as:-


    Gratuities to Seamen and Marines.

    1. Gratuities on the following scales to be granted to Chief Petty officers, Petty Officers, Men and Boys of the Royal Navy, and Warrant Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, Men and Boys of the Royal Marines, whether they belong to the permanent service or reserve or were entered for "Hostilities only."
      1. Royal Navy

        For the first year's service or part of a year if a year has not been served. *


        Increment for each additional calendar month or final portion of a calendar month after a year's service, subject to a maximum of 48 such monthly increments.







        10 To those who have served at sea or overseas for any period during their qualifying war service.
        Ordinary Seamen or Able Seamen


        Leading .Rates .


        Petty Officers .


        5 To those who have not served at sea or overseas.


        Chief Petty Officers .



        Note.-No Gratuity to be paid to ratings who have rendered only six months' or less than six months' service within the prescribed war period without any service at sea or overseas.

    Our man was a LEADING RATE.  His £30.00, was made up as follows:-
    Under the '£' {STERLING} COLUMN = £6.00
    Under the 's' {SHILLINGS} COLUMN [right hand column] = 48 calendar months x 10 shillings [50p] = £24-00

    A Boy and a Chief Petty Officer with like for like service, would have got, respectively £26-00 and £36-00.

    Now, let us compare that with what the officers got.

    War Gratuities to Permanent Officers of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

    1. War Gratuities to be granted to permanent Officers an the active lists of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines (excluding the R.N.R., and R.N.V.R.) for service during the war on the following scales:-
      Relative Rank of Officer For the first year's service (or for part of a year if a year has not been served). Increment for each additional month after a year's service.
      Officers who have served at sea or overseas. Officers have not served at sea or overseas.





      Admiral of the Fleet











      Commodores, 1st and 2nd Class





      Captain over 3 years' seniority


      Commander and Captain under 3 years' seniority











      Commissioned Warrant Officer


      Warrant Officer




      Paymaster Cadet



    2. Officers who have served at sea or overseas for any period during the war to receive the higher rates of increment for the whole period of their war service after the first year,

    An Admiral of the Fleet would have received £864-00 and a Paymaster Cadet £63-00.
    Top of the upper deck getting well over 2000% more than the top of the lower deck!  Is that fair?


    Now we come to another of my ready made pages, this time on PRIZE MONEY.



    Our man received three whacks of prize money.  The first line reads "Paid £15-00 Naval Prize Fund", the second read "Paid final share of Naval Prize Fund", and the last line reads "Paid supplementary Share of Naval Prize Fund".   The Naval Prize Fund filled its coffer with captured enemy ships/submarines which could be sold for scrap or sold on to non-enemy non-combatants as sea going units.  It was boosted to an unprecedented level when the surrendered German High Sea Fleet scuppered itself in Scapa Flow Scotland.  All the ships were raised and sold for scrap or used in the Royal Navy as viable fighting units. First world war sailors did well out of the Fund, but read THIS PAGE  for a full understanding of the money paid and why.


    Now a little known story about Portsmouth [in particular] but also extended on a very much smaller basis to other naval ports.


    The 19th century can be viewed as follows.


    * Ignores 1st Boer War which was a three months skirmish ten years previously in 1880.
    Image also ignores all the small naval battles/feuds during pax years and wars/battles such as the Indian Mutiny, Opium Wars and the like. More importantly, I have left out a bizarre naval battle involving the Royal Navy [in an allied fleet during the Greek War of Independence, led by a British admiral, Edward Codrington] which was fought with most of the ships involved riding at anchor on the 20th October 1827, with the enemy, Islamic naval forces,  utterly destroyed by the allies superior fire power. It was in the pre-steam days, and as such is recorded for history as the last battle involving only sailing ships, but since most were at anchor it is really a rather irrelevant fact! It was called the Battle of Navarino. Some of my older readers might remember a film called "The Guns of Navarone" about commando's destroying huge land- mounted German guns in 1943, which although both places are in Greece, they are many miles apart.


    During the whole period depicted here, groups from the large population of Portsmouth' Jews [there is more than one large Jewish cemetery in the City] used to congregate outside the main dockyard gate of Portsmouth Dockyard [the Hard] - not the largest but the premier port - to offer loans with outlandishly high repayment terms to the families of sailors gathered there awaiting the arrival of their loved ones. Communications for most of this century were either bad, misleading or non-existent and many assembled on the Hard only to find that their loved ones were no more. The Jews targetted these people who were as poor as church mice, desperate and now known to be bereaved. It concerned the Admiralty and many were the times when the Jewish lenders would be dispersed by force only to reassemble in places like lower Queens Street and the square of the famous church on the Hard, St George's. However the Admiralty were powerless to control what happened outside of the dockyard wall/gates [except to contain rioters and would- be arsonists] , and since it had no programme of its own to address the poverty directly associated with death of its sailors, it in effect turned a blind-eye. In these times, pressed-men were released to their civilian occupation [more generally, hand-to-mouth  existence] both between battles and wars and in all pax britannica periods; middle ranked and senior officers were put on half pay; some very senior officers [first class commodores upwards] might be lucky to get a pension but it was not an automatic reward; retained sailors living in hulks went for thirty to forty years without a pay rise, and only the standing warrant officers [gunner, boatswain and carpenter] continued in full employment, being ship-keepers in pax britannica times, retained their privileges [including rum issue] and were allowed to move their wife and children on board the vessel they were 'keeping'. Warrant officers were the only people in the navy with pensions at the end of their careers.


    A very famous Gunner [two types of warrant officer for this rank - note, not rate - a basic warrant officer who wore three buttons on each of his fluted tunic cuffs on what for all intents and purposes was an officers uniform [four buttons], sword belt and sword, and after ten years minimum service a promotion, an increase of pay but not of privileges, when he added to his cuffs a quarter inch thick gold stripe one inch above his three buttons on both arms. Later on, if very lucky, he would change the ¼" stripe for a ½ " stripe to become a chief warrant officer. At this point he was either a commissioned warrant officer or a chief warrant officer, both a CWO, but his title very much depended upon his specialisation. For example, a Gunner became a 'Chief' but a telegraphist became a 'commissioned'. Both could go on to becoming lieutenants at which point the word "warrant" was no longer used.


    I digress.


    This very famous Gunner late on in the 19th century, got the ear of one Jackie Fisher, and subsequently many issues of grievance from the "middle deck" were part or fully settled. The warrant officers were given some meaningful measurers of autonomy which upset many in the wardroom who were forced to toe the line on all matters notwithstanding. One of the issues they raised was compensation for death whilst in action. Commissioned officers didn't have this, and certainly the gun-fodder down below didn't. The Admiralty faced a dilemma, which could not be resolved from the public purse. It was resolved by allowing the warrant officers to set up and run a fund which was called the "Chief and Warrant Officers' Retirement and Death Benefit Association". No other parts of the service had this double privilege, a pension and now a death benefit. To administrate the 'RADBA' which was a voluntary contribution from pay, accountability had to be seen functioning, but not by the Admiralty. The 'RADBA' was administered by committees set up in all naval ports, home and abroad of CWO's and WO's mixed, and audited by civilian auditors approved by the Admiralty in the UK. From there, the CWO/WO's were granted permission to have an approved Journal in which WO's of all kinds could following the fortunes of the 'RADBA'. It wasn't long before they started to express their views on the state of the navy from training to pay, and it became a bargaining weapon and compulsory reading by Their Lordships, much envied by commissioned officers who didn't have a mouthpiece. It also carried contentious stories which the admirals were not always pleased about. But it also brought new privileges to the WO rank which would not have occurred had it not being for their coveted "NAVAL WARRANT OFFICERS' JOURNAL".  For example, commissioned officers could win medals but WO's couldn't, and so the WO's [middle deck] argued that officers [upper deck] were being treated in a better way than themselves which was at odd's for many of them, especially when the CWO's were doing the same job as the less senior officers. They got the King to approve of a new medal for which they would be eligible. However, the Board Admirals were getting fed-up with the progress being made by the WO's mess. and not long after Fisher became the First Sea Lord in 1904, they engineered a job for this warrant officer pally with Admiral Fisher  in the ordnance department in Sydney NSW Dockyard when he stayed for four years. On his return to the UK he was promoted to the Chief Gunner rank and made president of the Chatham Depot WO's Mess. Not only was he out of the way, but he disliked his job and was said to be shocked at the lack of social skills of the mess members but at the graceless decorum of the wives of members, and for the first time, said he, witnessed why it was that the WO's and the Wardroom were not good bed-fellows, and one of the main reasons why promotion to the wardroom was painfully slow. Nevertheless, he continued 'banging the table' for improvements,  all the while knowing  it was a lost cause, since leopards cannot/ do not change their spots!


    The Conspicuous Service Cross [CSC.pdf - below], first awarded in the second Boer War when eight such crosses were awarded. It was awarded to many WO's and midshipman plus others for service rendered throughout WW1 including during the battle of Jutland, but by that time, with a name change. Two thousand in all were won in WW1.


    In October 1914, the first letter of the acronym was changed from a 'C' {Conspicuous} to a 'D' for {Distinguished}, otherwise all the elements of the original CSC stayed the same in the DSC. It was a purely naval gallantry award in concept, but later on was expanded to include other recipients.   All commissioned officers and warrant officers [male and female] were eligible for this gallantry award. It is good that we have this Journal archive which mentions this cross  in full, for although it was extant for 14 years between 1901 and 1914, it is no where shown as an artefact for us to view. Had it not been for the Journal, the CSC could have been an entirely different cross to that of the DSC which we readily recognise today. We now know that both were identical in every way. The Letters E.R.I. on the CSC 1901-1910, stood for Edward Rex Imperator, namely King Edward VII who had just become the monarch after the 1901 death of Queen Victoria. On the next CSC at the death of Edward VII  1910-1914, GRI [see picture below] stood for George Rex Imperator [King George V].  That use of Rex Imperator continued during the reigns of Edward VIII and George VI but only until the title lapsed in August 1947. Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, King George V, King Edward VIII until abdication, and for a period King George VI, were all Emperor's/Empress of  India and used the word Imperator which mean Emperor. Victoria was Regina Imperatrix whilst all the Kings were Rex Imperator.  Females always used 'trix' at the end of a relevant root word, for example, in a will, men were executor and women were exectrix.


    Now, first look at the original file of the CSC here 




    and on clicking your back button to return here  or  closing the pdf file  read this file under, which shows pictures of George V's CSC/DSC with a bar on the ribbon denoting that the cross had been won twice. It shows the front of the cross known as the obverse [the back, in this case plain and blank] is called the reverse. Queen Elizabeth came to the throne in February 1952 on the death of her father George VI and has never used the word Imperatrix - she would have been a lovely Empress and in a very real way she is the Head of the Commonwealth, or should it have been the Empress of the Commonwealth - I think so anyway!



         The Journal took it upon itself to speak for the "middle" deck in a strong voice. For example, when wireless telegraphy was first mooted for mass fitting in the fleet, they wrote to the Admiralty thanking them for their wisdom and astuteness. Then, in a most audacious fashion, they wrote to the King on the death of his mother Queen Victoria and the King's private secretary, none other, wrote back to thank them. The wardroom got nowhere near to  express their heartfelt sadness, that coming only from the Admiralty.


    In the Grand Fleet at Jutland there would have been getting on for five hundred warrant officers, with battleships having 25 or so embarked. This picture was taken in approximately mid 1939, and is of the WO crew in HMS Hood, a battlecruiser.



    Note all the buttons and flutes have gone, leaving WO's with thin stripes, and CWO's with thick stripe. The man at the front is a Royal Marine, as in the officer 3rd row down from top 3rd in on the left.

    At Jutland, ONLY THE WO's widows {and/or family [NOK]} were financially compensated over and above what the Admiralty paid for the loss of their husbands, assuming of course that they had paid in to 'RADBA'.


    The Admiralty were very fair, but not over generous, in looking after the dead of Jutland and of the living wounded,  and the payments were infinitely better than most civilians received when they were left without a bread winner. For 1916 typically, the widow of a  CPO who was drowned, say, having five children [almost the norm in those days], would for herself receive a weekly pension of 9 shillings, 5 from the Royal Hospital Greenwich fund and 4s from Admiralty coffers plus 2s for each child, a total of £1.7.0d per week, which was above the poverty line so many people from late Victorian, through Edwardian and into early George V reign years had to survive on. See this file:-



    This picture is more to the point, i.e. WW1 and is the total mess of  eighteen  WO's  of HMS Renown c.1918 [Renown commissioned in late 1916], just four  months after Jutland - note the four button jacket/tunic!   Apart from the faces, nothing has changed at this point and so could easily be a picture of say, the Invincible.  HMS Renown missed Jutland by a few months being commissioned in September 1916 as a brand new and much improved battlecruiser. Note the basic WO with fluted cuffs [far left] and the over ten years seniority far right, but no Chiefs in sight, the no buttons & half inch stripe only WO. The WO on the right belongs to the "Civil Branch" i.e., non-executive so has no ring/curl on the top of his stripe: he is probably a WO Paymaster. The WO [standing] over the left shoulder of the seated WO in a blue suit, belongs to the "Military Branch" i.e., executive [seaman, navigator, gunner, torpedo specialisations] and has a curl in his stripe. The two men at the front with moustaches are Royal Marine WO's. Four months earlier, there, 'but for the Grace of God went them' !  The builders and the naval architect of this new type of battlecruiser,  didn't of course  have time to take into account  Beatty's words when he said to Ernie Chatfield, his Flag Captain in the Lion "there's something wrong with our bloody ships" when within half an hour of Battle of Jutland commencing the two battlecruisers Indefatigable  and the Queen Mary blew-up. Renown, although deployed from late 1916 onwards, saw no real action in WW1. She most certainly got about in WW2, punching her weight and earning her keep, involved in lots of fractious incidents and gunnery punch-up's, but equally, as the pressure of WW2 combat reduced, she got some of the prize PR jobs. She was never put to the test and so we will never know whether our yards had produced a fit for purpose battlecruiser as wished for by Earl Beatty. When I joined the navy in 1953 at Shotley, I entered my career in BEATTY TWO Mess in the Annexe, and have ever held the wonderment of the Jutland days, and Beatty's career thereafter firstly as the C-in-C Grand Fleet then the First Sea Lord. Today, we would give our spare arm to meet such men as these [Jellicoe and Beatty et al] , and whilst clearly we can't, we can nevertheless and for all times, remember and respect them. I have done many researches, and this is the closest I have got to a contemporary picture of WWI battlecruiser WO's. May they all, and always, RIP.






    This was a typical page in their Journal which is a very large archive today. Note the last column details concerning deaths.


    The ranks: R = Retired. CG = Commissioned Gunner. CB = Commissioned Boatswain. B = Boatswain


    I have a couple of yearly collections which are quite cumbersome and weighty documents, but I have access to them all. Thousands of pages of intriguing naval history known only to the WO's mess and the Admiralty but on subjects which covered the whole of the Royal Navy.

    The CWO/WO Retirement and Death Benefit Association paid out for many WO's during WW2 with many of them coming from the Hood itself.  It paid up on one's death, however and whenever, or if lucky, paid  handsome annual pension when others in the naval service were destitute.



    Just a few days before Jutland took place, on the 18th May 1916, a British submarine went through an ordeal of some magnitude.

    The Admiralty allowed a women reported from The Times down the boat to get the story for the press.

    It is self evident, but remember to adjust the zoom factor if the 89 year old newsprint appears blurred and difficult to read.


    submarine ordeal.pdf




    Other aspects of Jutland and WW1. Pay was good for ratings but not so for officers. Medical Services barely adequate at times complicated by poor mouth hygiene resulting in rotting teeth and severe tooth ache which had to be addressed by the M.O. Dentistry as a separate profession did not come to the navy until 1925, a time which saw civilians being recruited to act as dentist assistant, a job hitherto done by SBA's [sick berth attendants] when assisting MO's. Much friction between Royal Dockyard workers [who also built ships as well as maintaining and repairing them], and the Royal Navy, each blaming the other for the inadequacies of naval ships, armaments and defects. Morale was also dented because many thought our performance at Jutland was not as good as they expected, and that the German submarine service had not been affected by the outcome of the battle and the losses at sea from submarine attacks were increasing. Whilst the Royal Navy were blockading German seaports containing their navy [although some squadrons did leave harbour dashing for the east coast of England to bombard coastal towns/ports, one a quite sizable squadron as early as the 19th August just ten weeks or so after Jutland]  and denying them their ability to trade and feed themselves, we too were struggling with imports and exports with our ships being regularly sunk by UBoats. Oh and one thing I forgot to mention. Although naval pay by 1918 was, yes, good, relative to the the navy of pre WW1, it lagged far behind the pay of civilians, especially civilians in Portsmouth' naval dockyard, which had leapt ahead. Now, I invite you to Portsmouth, at that time, and even now, a city with hundreds of miles of streets harbouring back to back grotty houses [sometimes called hovels - certainly they are in northern cities], where dockyard employees were owners [based on their superior income] and sailors were renters and neighbours  based on their inadequate Service income, with both sets having identical social graces and aspirations. There was much friction and many fall-outs with dockyard matey's [who were almost to a man or a whole family, Portsmouth bred and born] pigeon-holing royal sailors as today we might pigeon-hole immigrants.


    Many warships broken up in UK breakers-yards have used wood [in particular] taken from the vessels, to good effect. The best examples for bulk use are to be seen in the Hotel on Burgh Island, South Devon, a visit which my wife and I made in 2014, although be warned that on a windy days, the tractor crossing from the mainland out to the island can be uncomfortable - also take a wad of cash because everything is very expensive! However there is a pub right next door to the hotel and their prices might be less? The hotel purchased the cockpit/poop-deck of HMS Ganges [1821] in full - [broken up in Devonport] - as the centre piece in the hotel's main bar. HMS Foudroyant [not the one anchored in the centre of Portsmouth's Harbour throughout the 1960's/70's, which although called and named in paint over her stern the Foudroyant, was actually HMS Trincomalee] but HMS Foudroyant proper, wrecked on Blackpool pleasure beach scores of years before, and whose timbers now form and adorn Blackpool's football club boardroom. Other pieces of salvaged wood have been used to manufacture artefact, and the Flagship at Jutland, the Iron Duke is no exception for there is much to be had in the form of keepsakes. Down in the West Country there is a large model of a fishing boat which was sunk in the early part of the 20th century, made entirely out of wood from the Iron Duke. BUT.........the best of the bunch, as it were, ends up in quality places either for sale or for exhibition purposes. In 1991, Christies of London [not known for selling anything "tat" sold a model of the Iron Duke made from wood and metal for £528 [$905}. By far the best, although it didn't involve the use of any salvaged material from the Iron Duke, was this model.


    It was a work of art when first made by




    It was designed throughout to demonstrate all the electrics in that class, ergo, HMS Iron Duke. Each and every deck could be removed revealing the wiring, dynamo's, alternators, condensers, inductors, motors, battery-packs etc throughout the ship, everything an engineering student would require for a good understanding of how the ship worked and functioned. The whole gunnery systems was laid bare for a good understanding. Regrettably, over the years, parts have been taken out and lost, but for all that, it is still a priceless piece of history, and as such, is in the hands of the nation and not in the hands of a collector.


    However, since we have an good picture of the ship, as good perhaps as we will get, now is the time to comment upon her suitability to act as a flagship with regard to her wireless telegraphy aerial rig. Although the Iron Duke had the W/T equipment fit commensurate with being able to generously communicate by wireless [i.e. of a battleship] she would have been frustrated by not being able to transfer radiated energy from her transmitters to her aerials with any great efficiency. W/T equipment come 1914 was at a high level of sophistication and aerial theory was exceedingly well understood, and was well applied to all shore W/T stations but only to a few ships of that time.


    Now without in anyway getting technical, read on seeing only ordinary every day English words, the finest aerial is a straight long taut vertical piece of wire, excellent for one frequency. In WW1, this was called a "Marconi Aerial" simply because Marconi used such a piece of wire in his first wonderful successful experiments. A warship, particularly a large and important ship has to talk on different frequencies and all with near equal efficiency. To make that happen we add a horizontal piece or pieces of wire to the end of the long straight wire making a suitable join or connection. As the vertical piece is long, then so too should be the horizontal piece. We can  now call the vertical piece the FEED and the horizontal piece the ROOF. The higher the roof and the length of the roof, the better the communications achieved. Just as a by and by, the FEED should meet the ROOF in its middle, and moving the connection forward or aft takes away some of the efficiency of the communication. In this picture [a] of a WW1 cruiser, the aerial rig is ideal, rigged that way to minimise smoke/soot pollution with the W/T office just forward of the mainmast.



    In pictures [b] to [e] of various types of WW1 warships, the exercise in rigging is to make the ROOF as long as possible.  I promised no technical talk. The FEED points reflect where the W/T office is sited in the ship, and the end of the extension pieces are tethered and do not willy nilly fly around in the breeze.





    From my picture above  of the model of the Iron Duke Class, you can readily see that from the after funnel to the stern there is absolutely no room for any form of an upright structure however low or thin in girth it might have been, with the deck space monopolised by 'Q' turret and 'X' and 'Y' turrets. This means that her main aerial rig is in the direct vicinity of the single mast, itself stubby, not much higher if at all from the tripod top with a stub mast going on from the spotters position. So as not to impede either 'A' or 'B' turrets firing on even modest elevations to achieve range, no attempt was made to fit other than a receiving wire from the bow to the top of the stub mast, meaning that all the aerials were rigged in a very small area in the immediate vicinity of the tripod and forward funnel. Apart from there being no obvious feed or roof, the smoke/soot affect of the forward funnel would have severely reduced the efficiency of the radiating elements, not to mention rendered the ceramic or glass insulators ineffective, unless washed with soapy water on a regular basis. By today's standards, it must have been an MI [Mutual Interference] nightmare. Given their utter lack of knowledge on the actions of the ionosphere and their "noisy" radio transmitters, things must have been fraught to say the least. 


     So, on this subject, to finish with a pictorial image of aerials and their potential uses.


    Just before WW1, there was a major fleet manoeuvre involving the 'goodies' and the 'baddies' in those days known as RED and BLUE forces. A referee ship was appointed to carry a deciding flag - and staff -[visibly, for all to see] on the outcomes, deciding which side won and which didn't. She was the cruiser HMS Euryalus and she monitored each side over the radio waves using her aerials as follows




    Finally, let's change from N=Naval to M= Merchant/Maritime/Mercantile [your choice] and look at the most famous ship of all as she was in 1911. Yes, that is the White Star Liner 'Titanic'. The same rules for W/T aerials applied here and the feeder and roof are very obvious.




    Finally in this snippet is an important Memorial to the men of the Portsmouth Depot who lost their lives during the WW1 1914-1918 period which of course includes all those lost at Jutland. Each Depot [in addition to Portsmouth, Devonport and Chatham] had such a Memorial. The Memorial is in the form of a REREDOS [or sometimes written as Raredos] a religious icon placed in a prominent position behind the altar at the east-end of a church, or in the chancel [in the area/vicinity of the altar]. A Reredos was an artefact made from many types of material including stone, some painted, some fine art, some rough wood carvings, dedicated to a person, a group of people, an event or occasion. The Reredos for the men of the Portsmouth Depot was made of wood carved in a mixture of 'heavy cuts' and 'fine decorative cuts' to hang on a wall of a holy place. At this point, please bear in mind that since virtually all vessels making up the Grand Fleet/Home Fleet at Jutland were mix-manned, meaning that they had sailors from each of the three main depots on board [including Marines from separate units/depots including bandsmen, Royal Marine Artillery {RMA} and Royal Marine Light Infantry {RMLI}], the Reredos' wherever dedicated, represented men and not the ship's they served in and died in, so this Reredos commemorates all those lost with Portsmouth Official Numbers, for example P/SS 106419. One of the great tragedy's of WW1 [the night of the 3/4th September 1917] was the aerial bombing of Chatham Barracks in Kent. At the time the Drill Shed was being used as a dormitory for the many sick in the barracks and it took two direct hits killing approximately 134 men resting or fast asleep. As always during WW1 the men from all three Depots were often serving together and the Portsmouth Reredos remembers these men wherever they died}. At Jutland, very few ships escaped a 'death roll' or a 'wounded roll', and in many cases, men died of their wounds at a later period, often in UK naval hospitals. These Portsmouth Depot men were spread across 36 vessels shown here in alphabetic order:-


    Acasta, Ardent, Barham, Black Prince, Broke, Calliope, Castor, Chester, Defence, Defender, Dublin, Fortune, Indefatigable, Invincible, Lion, Malaya, Marlborough, Nessus, Nestor, Nomad, Obdurate, Onslow, Onslaught, Petard, Porpoise, Princess Royal, Queen Mary, Shark, Southampton, Sparrowhawk, Spitfire, Tiger, Tipperary, Turbulent, Warrior, Warspite.   


    This Reredos dedicated to the men of the Portsmouth Depot was erected in the the chancel of the Royal Naval Cathedral [St Ann's Dockyard church] in 1920. There it hung in all is beauty and carved quality until 1941 when the bombing of the Dockyard by the Luftwaffe was at its zenith of destruction. The 'Cathedral' was bombed  [and not repaired for a dozen or so years afterwards] and like so many other things, chiefly the Signal School and the Navigation College [School] which ran its business from the dockyard building immediately ahead of the HMS Victory's dock, which were displaced far and wide to the north side of Portsdown Hill to respectively Leydene and Southwick, the dockyard saved some of the treasures in the destroyed buildings.  The Portsmouth Depot Reredos was stored in the dockyard [whereabouts uncertain] but now is back on view not in the restored 'Cathedral' where one might imagine it to be, but in the dockyard shed which houses the visiting publics restaurant, the gift shop and the dockyard apprentices exhibition and skills centre. There it hangs high on the wall for all to see and hopefully revere. Below the Reredos is a brass plaque telling one about the Reredos. When my wife and I last visited the 'yard' we overheard a couple - with 10-12 year old intelligent children reading the eye-level plaque - asking what a Reredos was, and what follows gives credit to those enquiring questions!  The brass plaque says, quite literally "This Reredos....." when it really should have said 'The Reredos above......', after all, not everybody is a Church of England goer rendering the very word Reredos foreign to the majority, and the plaque itself is certainly not a Reredos at least not in the accepted definition!



    So, remembering its message of remembrance and reverence for those lost in battle especially the carnage experienced at Jutland over the period 30th May/1st June 1916 inter alia, we should be seeing this wonderful epitaph not in the Portsmouth Dockyard, despite its bonhomie towards the icon after the German bombing of the yard, but in the Portsmouth Depot HQ church, namely the RNB HMS Nelson in Queens Street, through which all the Portsmouth Depot ratings would have passed on their way to war albeit, in those days, through HMS Victory and not as now, through HMS Nelson.


    This is the Reredos carved by a famous English craftsman/sculptor Nathaniel Hitch 1845-1938 for the church in the naval barracks Chatham. Note the difference between it and the one in Portsmouth [below]. This one is 'earthly', secular almost, showing a king, a monarch on his throne holding an orb in his left hand and making the sign of the Cross with his right hand, with a knight, a warrior, on each side. Is it meant to depict the knights protecting the Faith and thus the Christian country of Great Britain?



    This is what the Portsmouth Reredos looks like with a difficult to read brass plaque below - it is difficult to read because of reflections [with and without camera flash], the awkward positioning of the plaque and the use of a RED letter to being several of the words e.g., THE GREAT WAR.




    The Portsmouth Reredos proper looks like this. It has no relation to anything naval or even earthly and depicts Holiness. However it can be taken that Christ gave his life for us and Portsmouth naval men gave theirs for the country. Note that two people have left poppies on the top two corners of the Brass Plaque below.



    Now, can you imagine challenging the Establishment, from any level, even from an admiral's position, let alone from a humble warrant officer in the wireless telegraphy branch? The Establishment (the Admiralty then, now the Ministry of Defence [Navy]); and the Naval Historical Branch, amongst others, would not entertain ANY intrusions upon the so-called knowledge of naval history, by and large taken from official records made at the time of the incident; any incident. I hear you say, well that's reasonable, for after all aren't they the custodians of naval history per se? That reaction is overwhelmingly common-place, which is the sole reason why what follows, is added to a snippet [normally reserved for trivia or incidental information] instead of a page all on its own as an integral part of my long menu of Navy Smaller Stories from which you have retrieved this snippet.


    Admiral Beatty, was heard to say to his flag captain at the time of Jutland asking what must have been a rhetorical question, what's wrong with our bloody ships?, when certain of his capital ships were easily despatched by German gun fire.


    I have spent a great deal of time [years] reading and translating [into modern W/T jargon/language] the findings of the outcome of many trials conducted from 1900 until 1913 in the fleet, by the then Experimental Branch of H.M. Signal School, in those days and until 1941 established in R.N.B.Portsmouth, working alongside the operational side of the Signal School. That Experimental Branch became ASWE, now itself, outdated and long gone. Those trials and their outcome were documented in fine detail, and those which proved to be successful [and there were many] were incorporated into the fleet, so by the time of Jutland, they were practiced procedures in an operational environment at sea, finessed over a period of at least two years.


    Above you will see firstly a picture of HMS Invincible at the time of the battle, proudly wearing her battle ensign, going a lick and producing an almighty amount of muck and filth out of both funnels; then a model of HMS Iron Duke [a super dreadnought]; followed by five pictures of 1916 aerial rigs in outline and one of HMS Euryalus' aerial rig. From these we can build a picture which doesn't require an explanation from a naval historian. First off, look at the Invincible. Although difficult [nay, impossible to see] she had a 'main roof aerial' strung between the upper parts of her fore and main masts - more of that in a minute. It beggars belief that any visual signalling communications between Invincible and other vessels was reliable enough for command purposes, even though we know from the 1916 V/S Manual [OU 0443] flag hoists were hoisted on both masts simultaneously, and that flashing lights were used from both signal decks forward and aft as well as semaphore signalling, with helliographs being used in whatever part of the ship had the sun and the distant vessel in sight free from smoke etc. Whilst her W/T fit was "modern" [all main transmitters used CW [Continuous Wave] technology with some secondary transmitters still using either SPARK or ARC technology which by 1913 were obsolescent, used with modern aerial rigs as shown in the five aerial outlines above, she would have been the first choice for providing reliable and coherent communications within the groups and pan-fleet including short wireless stations/organisations. In those days, ships could not "listen through" and during transmission, reception was not possible. That was the norm for the time, and so it applied equally to the German warships. Invincible [and others, like the Warrior for example] would have made ideal flag-ships, simply because their design and build were fully conducive to the operation of modern 20th century wireless communications. The aerial fit of the Euryalus is all telling and was typical of an all singing and dancing modern warship.


    On the other hand, take another look at the model of the Iron Duke. From what I have explained in ordinary English to you, you can see at a glance that there was no room for the state-of-the-art aerial, namely a main roof. Nor for that matter for any V/S signalling except from that one poition/signal deck, which meant regular manoeuvring of the ship to guarantee best signalling advantage. As a flag ship, despite having, like all other main fleet units, Continuous Wave systems, her limited space for suitable aerials in both height and azimuth rendered her MOST UNSUITABLE for flag ship duties.  I wonder if Jellicoe matched Beatty by asking why I have got a single masted ship?, for by having it, he was in many ways lumbered. Having modern transmitters down below and inefficient aerials up top, is rather like an F1 track-car driving on second hand tyres with poor suspect treads. A transmitter is virtually useless unless it can be matched to an efficient aerial array, where there are no losses and no VSW [Voltage Standing Waves]. I have mentioned the 1916 V/S Manual of a relatively few pages. There is also a W/T Manual 1916 of 359 pages which was a confidential Book - CB242: I have "devoured" this manual and interpreted for my own benefit. Jellicoe was fortunate in that he had two signal officers appointed to the flag ship, in addition to the ships crew of communicators with their officers as complement. Both were commanders and both were rewarded with the DSO after the short [few hours] battle. One was a Commander [S] - no, not a pusser - in those days the [S] signified Signals, and the other a Commander W/T. Jellicoe had a very high level of expertise [more than most naval commanders have ever had], and as facts and the records show, the vast majority of communication traffic, and with it intelligence, left and was received by W/T. Had the flag ship been fit for purpose [hampered in many ways by the old fashioned 'Q' turrent midships in the waist] which saw very little action, the overall performance might have been very much better, but of course, we will never know. What I do know and with passion and massive experience at sea on flag staffs,  is that the well known [for my  branch that is] saying of "Of what avail the loaded tube?; the cannon and the shell?; if Flags and W/T default, the Fleet will go to hell would have had some bearing on the RN at Jutland!


    At Jutland, it could be argued that we very nearly did?


    That to me might be a better accolade for the communication branch badge, than showing the signal hoist 'Equal Speed Charlie London'.


         See you later in Snippets.6.