Reinhard Scheer-Hennings (left), great grandson of Admiral Reinhard Scheer, and Nick Jellicoe, grandson of Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, pictured together after the Centenary wreath-laying in Trafalgar Square, London (Photo: Centenary News)

Jutland families unite in Trafalgar Square tribute to the Fallen

Posted on centenarynews.com on 24 May 2016
Share |

Descendants of the commanders at the Battle of Jutland have laid wreaths in London's Trafalgar Square in memory of all those who died in the biggest naval clash of the First World War.

For a few moments, quiet descended on a corner of one of the UK capital's busiest sight-seeing stops as the families of Sir John Jellicoe, Sir David Beatty and Reinhard Scheer gathered to pay tribute and reflect on the events of a century ago.

A minute's silence was observed shortly before 2.30pm, remembering the first exchanges of fire between the British and German navies in the North Sea on the afternoon of May 31st 1916.

Twenty five warships from the two sides were sunk at the Battle of Jutland, with the loss of more than 8,500 lives.

The Silence in Trafalgar Square, with the Guard of Honour provided by a Royal British Legion standard bearer & the Royal Hospital School, Suffolk, which lost 101 former pupils at Jutland. The Royal Navy White Ensign flew on Admiral Jellicoe's flagship HMS Iron Duke (Photo: Centenary News)

The Trafalgar Square ceremony on May 23rd 2016 was the overture for the series of commemorations coming up on both sides of the North Sea, culminating in the May 31st/June 1st Centenary.

It was a relaxed occasion with a strong family atmosphere, held in front of the busts of Admirals Jellicoe and Beatty, first unveiled in 1948 after another world war.

Nick Jellicoe, grandson of the Royal Navy's Commander-in-Chief at Jutland, said: "This is a day on which we've brought together as many of the people connected with the battle that we can in one place.

"I love the fact that it's been so inclusive and that our friends from Germany, and further afield, have come to honour all of the fallen of Jutland. Let it be a lesson for us, ' he told Centenary News.

Nick Jellicoe's sentiments were echoed by Reinhard Scheer-Hennings, great grandson of Admiral Reinhard Scheer, commander of the German High Seas Fleet at the battle known in German as Die Skagerrakschlacht.

"For me its a day of people coming together and sharing not what separates them, but what unifies us. It shows me what was done 100 years ago, and then 25 years later, was all very unfortunate and totally unnecessary."

Nicholas Beatty, in front of the bust of Vice Admiral Sir David Beatty, with a miniature set of his grandfather's medals (Photo: Centenary News)

Also in Centenary News

Forthcoming Jutland events round-up

Scotland remembers on the Firth of Forth, May 28

Jutland exhibitions at Deutschesmarinemuseum, Wilhelmshaven; National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) Portsmouth; National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

Remembrance online through IWM 'Lives of the First World War' & NMRN interactive map project

Posted by CN Editor Peter Alhadeff, reporting from Trafalgar Square

All images: Centenary News