ONE hundred years ago on May 31 / June 1, 1916 the Battle of Jutland took place in the North Sea, the biggest naval engagement of the First World War.
Here, Redditch Ukip County Councillor Peter Bridle recalls the part played by his grandfather in the battle.
THIS year, of all years, we should stop and cast our minds back to 100 years ago. It was then that HMS Princess Royal, a British battlecruiser and the flagship of Admiral Beattie, was one of 4th Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet. It was operational in the North Sea when they were ordered to draw out the German High Sea Fleet.
George Henry James Bridle joined the Royal Navy on May 23, 1892, just 15 years old.
He served on HMS Victory three times and 12 other ships, reaching the rank of Chief Petty Officer when he was 31.
He had joined HMS Princess Royal on May 25, 1914 and his Service Record shows he had been awarded a ‘bounty’ for the sinking of the German armoured cruiser, SMS Blucher, on January 24, 1915, at the Battle of Dogger Bank.
On May 31, 1916, at the Battle of Jutland, he was lucky to escape injury when his ship was hit by 17 salvos from four German ships and sustained severe damage. Twenty two men were killed and 79 wounded on his ship.
He was paid a ‘bounty’ of £25 for seeing action at Jutland and survived to see the end of the war, living until 1957 in Copnor, Portsmouth.