Naval battles of the First World War

Half marathon notice

Visitor notice: On Sunday 4 March Cutty Sark and the museum car park will be closed for the Vitality Big Half Marathon. All other museums will be open as normal and DLR and rail links will be running. Find out about road closures

A new display by the Caird Library and Archive shares fascinating material relating to the First World War at sea.

The Archive collection contains a strong representation of personal papers, journals and diaries for the First World War. They include the papers of distinguished officers, naval historians and medal recipients from the period. Focusing on the period from the outbreak of war on 4 August 1914 to the Battle of Jutland (31 May – 1 June 1916) these holdings reveal the human and deeply personal aspect of the war at sea. 
 
Destruction of HMS Good Hope at the Battle of Coronel, 1 November 1914, watercolour by W.L. Wyllie, PAF1790
Destruction of HMS Good Hope at the Battle of Coronel, 1 November 1914, watercolour by W.L. Wyllie, PAF1790
 
The small selection in our new display includes material relating to the first Battle of Heligoland Bight (28 August 1914); the Battles of Coronel (1 November 1914) and the Falkland Islands (8 December 1914); the Gallipoli campaign (25 April 1915 – 9 January 1916), and the Battle of Jutland (31 May – 1 June 1916).
 
Jutland was the only major fleet battle of the First World War. Both sides claimed victory but the British Grand Fleet remained dominant, despite heavy losses, while the German High Seas Fleet was rendered ineffective by somewhat lesser ones.
 
The new display contains:
 
Report of the Battle of Heligoland Bight, 28 August 1914, written by Commodore William E. Goodenough, HMS Southampton, First Light Cruiser Squadron, written on 29 August 1914. [BTY/3/1 (2)].
 
Short description of the Battle of Coronel (coast of Chile), 1 November 1914, from a diary kept by Navigating Lieutenant Harry T. Bennett, HMS Canopus. [JOD/106/1].
 
Letter written by Acting Sub-Lieutenant Robert Don Oliver (1895–1980), HMS Inflexible, to his father, about the Battle of the Falkland Islands, 8 December 1914, written on10 December 1914. [OLI/37 (10-11)].
 
Diary kept by Petty Officer Joseph Albert McGill, HMS Albion, 18 February 1915 – 18 March 1916, displaying an entry on 25 April 1915. [JOD/275/2 (102)].
 
Letter written by V. Webster, HMS Galatea, to Miss Crump, Madresfield, Malvern, 24 June 1916. [AGC/W/5 (4-5)].
 
Page entitled ‘The Library’ from Camp Magazine, Issue 2, printed by H. N. Werkman, Groningen, May 1915. [PJA3016].
 
To see the display visit our Caird Library and Archive