Remembering the Battle of Jutland - 100 Year Anniversary

27/05/2016 11:22:19

Remembering the Battle of Jutland, 31st May 1916 - 100 Year Anniversary

Remembering the Battle of Jutland - 100 Year Anniversary


Plassy and the Battle of Jutland

In her role as a Hospital ship PLASSY was involved in the Battle of Jutland on 31st May 1916. The 192 survivors PLASSY took on board included wounded soldiers from HMS Lion, HMS Princess Royal and other Royal Navy ships. Discover more about P&O’s role in the Battle and in WW1 in our online exhibition 'Our War at Sea'.

Plassy as a hospital ship and some of the wounded from HMS Royal Oak, HMS Sovereign and HMS Pembroke.

Battle of Jutland - DCMS Commemorative events in Orkney

On behalf of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Orkney will be hosting the national commemoration of the Battle of Jutland, which brought together the two most powerful naval powers of the time in the most pivotal naval engagement of the war. The lives of 6,000 British and 2,500 German soldiers lost at Jutland will be honoured in Orkney 100 years to the day.

On Tuesday 31 May 2016 there will be a Service of Commemoration in the morning at St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall, Orkney commemorating the centenary of the Battle of Jutland and the First World War at sea. This will be followed in the afternoon by a commemorative event on Hoy at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery. All events are being organised by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) at HM Government.

For more details of the commemorative events in Orkney running during the week 28th May to 5th June, see their WW1 cultural programme online. 


WW1 VC on loan to The Orkney Museum

We are also very proud to now have our replica of the VC awarded posthumously to Captain Archibald Bisset Smith, on loan to The Orkney Museum as part of their First World War commemorative events and exhibition ‘The Battle of Jutland, Scapa Flow and the war at Sea’ which remembers, along with the Battle of Jutland, the importance of Scapa Flow during the war and also Orcadians who served, both in the Royal Navy, Royal Naval Reserve and the Merchant Navy.

Captain Archibald Bisset Smith was awarded his VC (the original is also held within the P&O Heritage Collection) post-humously for his valour in command of OTAKI whilst in action with a German surface raider on 10th March 1917. The medal will be on display in the Museum's exhibition until October this year.


Portrait of Captain Archibald Bisset Smith c. 1916 by Stanley Pellet, originally displayed on board NZSCo.'s OTAKI (1953) alongside his VC.

The young P&O cadet, George Leslie Drewry also received a VC in 1915 for his service during WW1. Despite his declared ambitions to return to P&O after the war, he was sadly killed in an accident at Scapa Flow, Orkney on 2nd August 1918. The VC is now held in the collections of the Imperial War Museum. Read more of Drewry's story here.


Discover more in our WW1 online exhibition ‘Our War at Sea’

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