Battle of Jutland

gallery12Maskell RoadThe Battle of Jutland, fought in the icy waters of the North Sea off the coast of Denmark on 31st May to 1st June 1916 was the largest naval battle of the First World War. It cost roughly ten thousand lives and this included five of the Summerstown 182. Fourteen British and eleven German ships were sunk. Both sides claimed victory. Seventeen year old Percy Newman from 590 Garratt Lane was one of the 903 men and boys who went down on HMS Defence. There were no survivors.  Reginald Cooper and George Rudge were drowned on HMS Invincible. There were 6 survivors of 1021 on board. Ernest Seager, pictured above was one of three servicemen all killed from the same family on Thurso Street. He died on HMS Shark. ‘Stoker First Class’ Cooper lived on Swaby Road and the homes of Percy Newman and George Rudge have been swallowed up by the Burtop Road Estate at the bottom of Burntwood Lane. In this development Turtle and Headworth roads disappeared completely and one side of Maskell Road on which at least nine of the 182 lived is no longer residential. HMS Barham survived the battle but was struck six times by ‘large calibre projectiles’ killing 4 officers and 22 men. It was at dawn and close to the end of the battle when the last of these hits caused many casualties and wrecked her wireless equipment. It is most likely in this assault that Henry Briggs, the 20 year old Sick Berth Attendant from Elton’s Cottages was mortally wounded. His body was never recovered but his name is on a memorial in Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery on the island of Hoy in the Orkneys. Another sailor lived just three doors away from Percy at 596 Garratt Lane. John Henry Wood was ‘Stoker First Class’ on HMS Iphigenia. One of 583 men drowned on 23rd April 1918 in an ill-fated attempt to block the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.

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