Gathered at Hawes Pier, South Queensferry, to remember Jutland (from left): Petty Officer Mellanie Wallace and Commander Felicity Campbell of the Royal Navy; Fife Deputy Provost Kay Morrison; Queensferry Sea Cadet Murray George; Edinburgh's Lord Provost and Lord Lieutenant Donald Wilson; Karen Elliot, Chair of the Association of Wrens and local school pupil Sean Stone (Photo: WW100 Scotland)

Jutland - Scotland to mark Centenary on Firth of Forth

Posted on on 12 May 2016
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A ceremony has been held on the Firth of Forth to launch Scotland's national commemorations for the Battle of Jutland Centenary.

The programme embraces communities on both shores of the Forth, highlighting the estuary's important role as a British naval base in the First World War.

Pupils from South Queensferry High School joined members of the Royal Navy at Hawes Pier where the Band of the Royal Marines will perform Beating Retreat on May 28th 2016 as part of events remembering all those who served in WW1's biggest sea battle.

Rosyth, the base for the British battlecruisers commanded at Jutland by Admiral David Beatty, will host a wreath-laying service and an act of remembrance, attended by the Princess Royal and the First Ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Fife’s Deputy Provost Kay Morrison said: "I am pleased that Fife and the Forth have been chosen to mark the centenary of the Battle of Jutland. Our naval heritage is an integral and valued part of Rosyth’s history.

"Scotland, and Rosyth’s naval dockyards, played a vital role in the UK’s war efforts, and the focus for these commemorations is rightly the theme of reconciliation with Germany.”

The Grand Fleet at anchor in the Firth of Forth, with the Victorian railway bridge in the background - photo taken from the British airship R.9 (Image © IWM Q20633)

Descendants of Jutland veterans and visiting German schoolchildren from Wilhelmshaven will be among guests taking part in an invited act of remembrance at South Queensferry Commonwealth Cemetery, near Edinburgh, where 40 casualties of the battle are commemorated.

Members of the public are invited to gather at Hawes Pier for the Band of the Royal Marines Beating Retreat as the Royal Navy frigate HMS Kent departs.

The ceremony takes places against the backdrop of the famous Forth railway bridge, a landmark for sailors of the Royal Navy and now a UN World Heritage Site.

Edinburgh’s Lord Provost and Lord Lieutenant, Donald Wilson, said: "The Battle of Jutland was the biggest naval clash of the First World War and left a tragic legacy along the Firth of Forth. The Battle itself may have lasted only a matter of hours, but close to nine thousand British and German lives were lost.

“Our commemorative events on Saturday 28th May will mark close to 100 years since the tragedy. It will be a time for remembrance and reconciliation.

"It is so important to bring citizens together to remember our shared past and I am impressed by how the Leith, Queensferry and Fife communities have been so eager to play their part in the commemorations. It is touching that our events will be attended by school children from Germany as well as Scotland who wish to pay their respects."

For more information, visit the WW100 Scotland Centenary website.

Scotland will also host the UK national commemorations for the Battle of Jutland, with a programme of events in Orkney.

Images courtesy of WW100 Scotland (South Queensferry); Imperial War Museums (aerial view of Grand Fleet © IWM Q20633)

Posted by: CN Editorial Team