Monthly Archives: November 2015

Remember a day: 31May 1916

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‘.. Our children shall understand

When our fate

Was changed, and by whose hand.’     The Verdicts by Rudyard Kipling

During the 1st world war my grandfather had served in the Royal Navy as a Stoker 1st class aboard the Iron Duke Super Dreadnought-class ship HMS Marlborough.

At 18.17 on the 31st May 1916 HMS Marlborough fired the opening salvos in the naval engagement with the German High Seas Fleet at Jutland. At 18.39 the Marlborough was struck by a torpedo fired by the German Cruiser Wiesbaden, tearing a 28 foot hole in the hull about twenty feet below the waterline. The Marlborough continued in the battle at reduced speed and was eventually escorted by HMS Fearless to the Humber for temporary repairs.

Two of HMS Marlborough’s Crew were killed buring the course of the action

Edgar George Monk – Stoker 1st class

William  Rustage – Stoker 1st class

S.W. Catchpole - Stoker 1st class

S.W. Catchpole – Stoker 1st class

I painted this picture in the 1990s having been inspired by an oil painting of the Marlborough by my Uncle Norman. After he died I was offered his oil paints, brushes and easels and when I went to collect them I saw for the first time, a detailed pencil drawing of the Marlborough by my grandfather. The drawing was completed at Devonport Dock and is dated 1914.