Jutland Centenary website launched by grandson of British commander Admiral Jellicoe

Posted on centenarynews.com on 02 December 2015
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A new website containing a wealth of resources about the Battle of Jutland has been launched by Nick Jellicoe, grandson of Britain's naval commander in 1916, Admiral Sir John Jellicoe.

Commemorating both British and German dead, the site is aimed at reaching 'educators, historians and anyone seriously interested in understanding the decisive naval engagement of the First World War.'

Animation, interactive displays and podcasts will be used to tell the story of the clash involving almost 250 warships off the Danish North Sea coast on May 31st/June 1st 1916.

There are also pages for sharing stories and local events listings.

'The most important thing is to engage a new audience' Nick Jellicoe explains, using digital technology to 'bring the history back to life."

German texts

Another goal is to make the German side of the story better known. 

Many of the original German accounts of the Battle of Jutland (Skagerraksschlacht) were printed in hard-to-read Gothic text.

Optical character recognition software is being used to translate them, but volunteers are also being sought to complete the task and identify more books for translation.

Databases

The Jutland Centenary site's databases include focuses on:

*The ships that took part, and the signals sent

*Gunnery records

*Admiral Jellicoe's press cuttings from 1916-17

*Paintings and photographs

There's a digital Roll of Honour for the British and German dead.

Nick Jellicoe has launched the project in preparation for the 2016 commemorations of Jutland.

The website went live on Armistice Day 2015; more content will be added in the run-up to the Centenary. 

Nick Jellicoe has also just finished writing a book Jutland: The Unfinished Battle, which will be published next year.

Talking to Centenary News, he said: "The Jutland Centenary Initiative has been an exciting and rewarding personal journey of discovery through which I’ve come to deeply admire a man I never personally knew: my grandfather.

"It has not just been about the book but also diverse initiatives such as the site, exhibitions not only in the UK but also Germany and Denmark, the schools’ programmes and maybe the most important, the Jutland Memorial Park to be opened next June in Denmark. With all of these have come new friendships and new opportunities. 

"My sincere hope is to have added real value to helping pass on some of the lessons of Jutland – particularly to a younger generation  - and to fairly portraying Admiral Jellicoe’s legacy in a way that is better understood." 

Admiral Jellicoe's bust in Trafalgar Square, London (Photo: Centenary News)

Sir John Jellicoe, commander of Britain's Grand Fleet, went on to become First Sea Lord (the head of the Royal Navy).

But his tactics at Jutland, and the outcome of the battle, generated controversy.

Winston Churchill famously described Jellicoe as "the only man who could have lost the war in an afternoon."

British losses of men and ships were greater. But the Royal Navy's surface fleet remained dominant. Germany responded with a return to unrestricted submarine warfare.

Visit the Battle of Jutland Centenary Initiative here.

Also in Centenary News:

UK Government announces 2016 Jutland Centenary commemorations.

Forthcoming Centenary exhibition at National Museum of the Royal Navy

Information, website images & logo courtesy of Nick Jellicoe; Admiral Jellicoe image - Centenary News

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News

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