(June 4th to 11th)

Format: Triple

At 5.50 p.m. we sighted the first battle squadron, and Lion immediately started to close the enemy, turning to the eastward, and rapidly reduced the range. The German battle cruisers also made a big turn to the east and a little later to a course about S.E. Just as our battle cruisers were conforming to this last alteration, we sighted a broken-down enemy light cruiser only about 6,000 yards from the Lion, in a position to fire torpedoes at our battle cruiser line. We were suitably placed on the engaged bow of the Lion for repelling such an attack, and at once went off to try and stop this firing of torpedoes, and at a range of 4,000 to 2,000 yards, or less, engaged this light cruiser, firing 88 rounds of which I an sure a number must have hit.


These three extracts are from “Destroyers at Jutland” in Sea Warfare, first published between October 19 and October 31, 1916 in the Daily Telegraph.

Cdr. Alastair Wilson writes: The Battle of Jutland took place in the afternoon of 31st May 1916 and the night following. For the British, it was a tale of heavy losses, due to material deficiencies in the battle-cruisers, and of a missed opportunity in the night, due to lack of imagination on the part of one or two captains. But the German fleet also took a battering, though their losses were smaller, in ships and men. They returned to their base the next day, scarcely the action of a victorious fleet.

Very soon we were again in the thick of a perfectly hair-raising bombardment from their secondary armament. We were engaging a light cruiser at the head of the line with all our guns, the range on the sights being 3,000 yards – Nestor was apparently going to make quite certain of his attack. At this moment, just as our sights were coming on an enemy battleship for our last torpedo, Nestor was hit, and we had to put our helm hard-a-port to prevent ramming him


Suddenly from behind the head of the enemy’s line there came a German light cruiser, who opened hot fire and straddled us. It was just about 5 o’clock when two boilers were put out of action by direct hits. From the bridge I saw at once that something of the kind had happened. A huge cloud of steam was rising from the boiler room, completely enshrouding the whole ship, and it was painfully apparent that our speed was dropping every second.