Jutland Remembered – how the Battle of Jutland centenary was commemorated at Brooksby in 2016 with the aid of grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Hoby & Rotherby Parish Council, the Diocese of Leicester and individual donations.
Conservation of the Jutland Memorial and Union Flag
The marble memorial that Admiral Beatty had installed in the church was professionally cleaned and the lettering restored where needed. The Union Flag worn on Beatty’s flagship, the Queen Elizabeth, when he received the German surrender in 1919 was cleaned, treated for mildew, repaired, mounted on an aluminium frame and hung at the west end of the church in a drier situation than previously. English Heritage enhanced the listing of St Michael & All Angels Church, Brooksby in 2016 to recognise its national significance in regard to the Battle of Jutland items.
Illustrated Talk on the Battle of Jutland from Eyewitness Accounts
Hoby & District Local History Society committee members warmly embraced the project and the Society meeting on Wednesday 25th May was held in Brooksby Hall when an audience of 96 people enjoyed an illustrated lecture by Robert Urquhart, chair of Melton Mowbray & District Historical Society. Robert had recently completed a book “Jutland 1916 The Ultimate Test” published by Landguard Publishing.
The Beatty & Jutland Exhibition
A display, Jutland Remembered, was compiled by Diane Horsfield largely from the archives of the Beatty family by kind permission of the Hon. Nicholas Beatty and from the archive of Edwin James, Admiral Beatty’s agent at Brooksby, by kind permission of Jane Warner.
A commemorative booklet “Jutland Remembered” based on the display was also produced. (See link below).
St Michael & All Angels Church was filled to capacity on Sunday 29th May 2016 for the centenary commemoration service.
A large contingent of ex-service personnel and sea cadets attended the service and 12 standards were paraded. As well as Jennifer, Lady Gretton, the Lord Lieutenant and Coun. and Mrs David Wright, Mayor & Mayoress of Melton, the Royal Navy was represented by Cdr Neil Bing RN and the Revd Richard Ellingham RN who preached. Mr Chris Dovey OBE, National Chairman, Royal Naval Association took part in the ceremony and the Beatty family was represented by Lady Diana Beatty and her son the Hon Benedict Gage.
The Right Revd Christopher Boyle, Assistant Bishop of Leicester pronounced the blessing, Anne de Graeve played the organ and Sam Thomas played “Last Post” and “Reveille”. The church had been beautifully decorated by the floristry department students of Brooksby Melton College.
Click here to see video footage of the service.
The service was followed by a reception and exhibition in Brooksby Hall. For photographs and more information visit the Hoby and District History Society website
Songs Nautical & National
That evening the Ratcliffe Chorale, under the baton of Anne de Graeve, with organist, Ron Berry and tenor, Philip Leech captured the mood of the occasion with works including the anthem “They that go down to the sea in ships” by Herbert Sumsion, one-time organist of Gloucester Cathedral. (That extract from Psalm 107 is quoted on the Jutland Memorial in Brooksby Church. On a lighter note we enjoyed Ron Berry’s organ solo “Hornpipe Humoresque” by Noel Rawsthorne and joining in with “What shall we do with a drunken sailor?” The concert came to a fitting conclusion with hearty renderings of “Rule, Britannia!” and “Land of Hope and Glory”.