The Battle of Jutland: Eye Witness Accounts” 
by Robert Urquhart

Beatty album 3 HMS Lion on 1st June 1916

Robert Urquhart, naval and military historian, will give a talk on “The Battle of Jutland: Eye Witness Accounts” at the Hoby & District Local History Society on Wednesday May 25th, 7.30pm, Brooksby Hall (LE14 2LJ). All are welcome. 

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As the British Fleet returned to base on the morning of June 1st 1916, it steamed through a battle-field strewn with wrecks, the bodies of sailors and the detritus of the bloodiest naval battle in history. In this talk, the main events in the battle and those influencing its course are covered, providing an understanding of the key aspects. At the start of the war expectations of the Royal Navy where high, but it took almost two years for a clash of main fleets. At Jutland the German Navy was outnumbered and outmanoeuvred yet when they returned to harbour they claimed victory. By using eyewitness accounts and recollections from both sides, the talk progresses the battle from the perspective of those who risked life and limb in the largest and bloodiest naval battle in history.

Robert studied naval and military history at De Montfort University. His interest in the Edwardian Navy stretches back twenty years in which time he carried out research at the British Library St Pancras, the National Archives at Kew, MoD Naval Library Whitehall and Cambridge University Central Library. With the pending centenary of Jutland, he was invited to work with a group based at Brooksby Hall to commemorate the battle. In revisiting a handful of his undergraduate and postgraduate papers Robert has written a book on the battle, due for release in May 2016. He is Chairman of The Melton Mowbray & District Historical Society and is working closely with the Brooksby Hall Jutland Centenary group, who are liaising with descendants of Admiral Beatty to prepare materials for a series of commemorative events at Brooksby Hall.

The Hoby & District Local History Society is a voluntary organisation. The Society brings together people from all walks of life who are interested in the local history of the Leicestershire villages of Hoby, Rotherby, Ragdale and Brooksby and the District around them. The society was founded in 2013 as part of a village First World War research project for which it received a National Lottery Grant.