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Commemorative events mark the Battle of Jutland centenary

Posted  10 May 2016 in News  
By Kate Clements
The gun crew of "P" turret of the battlecruiser HMS NEW ZEALAND posing for a group portrait after the Battle of Jutland. © IWM (Q 64301B)

31 May 2016 marks the centenary of the Battle of Jutland, where over 8,000 British and German men lost their lives at sea. The battle lasted just 36 hours but its impact on the First World War was significant.

The Centenary is an opportunity for people in the UK to come together to remember those, on both sides, who lost their lives at Jutland and to recognise the pivotal role of the Royal Navy in the First World War. The First World War Centenary Partnership, led by Imperial War Museums (IWM) is presenting a series of exhibitions, events and concerts throughout May and June to commemorate the Jutland centenary.


To commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Jutland, the National Museum of the Royal Navy at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, in partnership with Imperial War Museums, will open a new major exhibition 36 Hours: Jutland 1916, The Battle that won the War. Open from 19 May, the display will feature objects including guns from British and German ships and battle ensigns stained with smoke. It will tell the stories of those involved in the battle.

HMS Caroline, the last surviving ship from the Battle of Jutland, currently moored in Belfast, will also open to visitors following a restoration funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Jutland – The Unfinished Battle is a new exhibition at the Deutsches Marinemuseum in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. It explores the Battle of Jutland through an animation developed with Nicholas Jellicoe, grandson of Admiral Jellicoe, Commander of the British Fleet during the battle. The exhibition explores the personal stories of both British and German seamen who took part in the battle and will run from 29 May until 31 October 2016.

Kidology Arts is hosting Disruptive Pattern, an art and music installation that commemorates the men from Derbyshire’s pit villages who served as stokers on board the Royal Navy’s Dazzle ships during the First World War, including the Battle of Jutland. The temporary exhibition is on display at Worksop, Nottinghamshire from 30 April until 10 July 2016.

The Museum of Kivik in Sweden has a temporary exhibition The 1916 exhibition which explores Sweden’s role in the First World War. Although officially a neutral state, more than 800 Swedish sailors lost their lives at sea and the Swedish Navy engaged in action in the Baltic Sea. The exhibition focuses on the events of 1916, including the Battle of Jutland, the Battle of Verdun and the Battle of the Somme. It is open from 18 May until 20 November 2016.

The Forth at War is a new exhibition from the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Fife which explores the contribution of the Firth of Forth to the war at sea. The display includes paintings, models and memorabilia from the Battle of Jutland and is open from 20 May until 28 August 2016.

The Museum of Hartlepool is hosting Jutland 1916: Remembering the Forgotten Battle from 21 May until 18 September, in partnership with the National Museum of the Royal Navy. The exhibition explores the role communities in the North East of England played in the Battle of Jutland, using artefacts, models and interactive family activities.


Organised by the Department for Culture Media and Sport, the official commemorations take place in Orkney on 31 May 2016 and include a service at St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwell, followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at sea on Jutland Bank by British and German ships. The event is invite-only but large screens will be provided in Kirkwell for members of the public.

At the Barbican Centre, London The Jutland Concert will take place on 15 June. Organised by the London Concert Choir on behalf of Seafarers UK, it will feature performances of Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony, accompanied by Britten’s Four Sea Interludes.

In memory of the 115 pupils and staff members killed in the First World War, Gresham’s School will commemorate Old Greshamanian Cuthbert Hill who died at Jutland on board HMS Invincible on 31 May 1916. Each person will be commemorated with an illustrated talk and a lantern lit in their memory at the event on 25 May.

As part of the national Jutland commemorations, The National Archives is displaying original documents relating to the battle including service records, ships logs, and naval maps. On 31 May the First World War collection is going to be opened up from 2pm until 5pm for visitors to explore the story of Jutland. And on 3 June, a number of nautical craft activities will help tell the story of the Battle of Jutland.

The Woodland Trust is creating a Jutland memorial wood at Langley Vale, Surrey which will become a poignant living memorial to the Battle of Jutland. Saplings will be planted, each representing one of the lives lost in the battle, and 14 semi mature oaks will be planted to represent the 14 ships sunk.

Fife Cultural Trust will hold a talk on 31 May which will explore the aftermath of the battle. Jutland: The battle after the battle will look at how the key personalities, including Jellicoe, Beatty and Churchill reacted to the outcome of the battle.

On 1 June, the Northern Ireland WW1 Centenary Committee will remember Commander Barry Bingham VC, who earned a Victoria Cross for his bravery during the Battle of Jutland. A commemorative stone will be laid at Bangor Castle, in County Down.

Find a whole range of other events and search for something happening near you during the First World War Centenary in our Events Calendar.

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