The tragic impact of the Royal Navy’s recent monumental clash with the enemy has become all too apparent in recent days as more Island families receive the much-dreaded telegram announcing the death of a loved one.
News of the great naval battle in the North Sea reached Jersey shortly after it took place on 31 May and the early hours of 1 June. Swiftly proclaimed a victory by the British Admiralty and reported as such in the newspapers, it soon became clear that the price of winning was a high one. Britain lost several major warships sunk in the action, most of which went down with nearly all hands.
Jersey’s longstanding connection with the Royal Navy meant that 26 Islanders were among the more than 6,000 sailors who lost their lives. On the battlecruiser HMS Queen Mary alone, nine men from Jersey died, among them 18-year-old Midshipman Philip Malet de Carteret. The eldest son of Jurat Reginald Malet de Carteret, Philip was already a veteran of the Falklands and the Dardanelles. Sadly, he was among the 1,200 members of the ship’s crew killed when the battlecruiser exploded. There were only 18 survivors.
A/E/3 included details of how many men from Jersey have volunteered to join the Royal Navy since the start of the war.