New Zealand’s role in the Battle of Jutland remembered

Last Updated : 31 May 2016
Battle of Jutland
National Museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy
Battle of Jutland (1)
National Museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy

A service commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Jutland will be held at the National Museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy (NMRNZN), Torpedo Bay, Devonport on Tuesday 31 May at 10am.

“The New Zealand service will remember the sacrifice of the more than eight and a half thousand men who lost their lives in the largest naval battle of the Great War and acknowledge the part this country played in the conflict,” says Sandra Coney QSO, chair of Auckland’s WW100 Political Steering Group.

The event will be held in the Navy Museum’s WW100 Commemorative Pavilion and A. D. Boyle Room.
Captain Alexander David Boyle saw action during Jutland aboard HMS New Zealand, as Turret Officer for ‘X’ Turret. During the battle, his station received a direct hit and Capt. Boyle was mentioned in dispatches for his conduct under fire.

Royal New Zealand Naval Reserves Officer and well-known actor, Mark Hadlow, will read an extract from the captain’s diary recalling the fighting. A representation from the Boyle family will be present to share memories of their late relative, who received medallic recognition from France and the United States, as well as Britain, during his distinguished career.

“The whole country made a contribution to the war effort at sea. The Battle Cruiser HMS New Zealand was paid for by the people of New Zealand and in 1913 she sailed here to allow New Zealanders to see their ‘Gift Ship’. En route, she called into South Africa and Australia not only to replenish coal supplies but to strengthen imperial sentiment and reinforce ties with Britain. On the ship’s visit to these shores, close to half the population came out to see it,” says David Wright, director of the National Museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy.

Items from HMS New Zealand are on display at the museum including a chunk of armour knocked from turret ‘X’ during the battle and the mahogany sideboard from the Admiral’s dining cabinet is in the A.D. Boyle Room.

A piupiu worn by the ship’s captain during Heligoland Bight, Dogger Bank and Jutland is currently on loan to the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth, UK. It is said the item of traditional Māori dress became a ‘good luck’ charm to the men on board, as the vessel was not hit in the first two engagements and only sustained minor damage with no casualties at Jutland.

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