ANDREW LYNAS 1896 – 1916

J/43919 Ordinary Seaman Andrew Lynas was killed in action 1 June 1916 at the Battle of Jutland.  He was lost at sea and is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.   He was 20 years old and is commemorated on the Evenwood War Memorial, the Roll of Honour, St. Paul’s Church, Evenwood and the Memorial Plaque in the Workmen’s Club.

Family Details

Andrew Lynas was born 1896 at Evenwood the son of James and Annie Lynas.  There were 2 children, both at Evenwood:

  • Margaret Annie born 11 November 1893
  • Andrew born 17 February 1896

George Milburn Proud was their step-brother, son of Annie to an earlier marriage.

In 1901, the family lived at 18 Chapel Street, Evenwood and 45 year old James worked as a coal miner (hewer).  By 1911, James worked as a coal miner (shifter) and 15 year old Andrew worked as a colliery labourer.

Service Details

 Andrew Lynas enlisted 7 September 1915 into the Royal Navy.  His friends William Carrick and William Purdy also enlisted at the same time.  He was with HMS Victory, a training base between 7 September 1915 and 23 November 1915 and allocated the service number J/43919.  Between 24 November 1915 and 1 June 1916 he served as an Ordinary Seaman aboard HMS “Ardent.”[1]

Both Andrew Lynas and William Carrick were home on leave during the month of May. [2]         

 The Battle of Jutland 31 May – 1 June 1916 [3]

31 May 1916: over 250 British and German warships were steaming on convergent courses to a rendezvous unanticipated by the Germans, off the Jutland coast of Denmark.  Admiral Sir John Jellicoe was Commander of the British Grand Fleet which consisted of 28 Dreadnoughts, 9 battle cruisers, 8 armoured cruisers, 26 light cruisers, 78 destroyers, a seaplane and a minesweeper.  Admiral Reinhard Scheer commanded the German High Seas Fleet, consisting of 16 Dreadnoughts, 6 pre-Dreadnoughts, 5 battle cruisers, 11 light cruisers and 61 destroyers.  Both sides had submarines and air ships but these did not play a part in the conflict.

HMS Ardent was part of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla along with another 18 destroyers

The 4th Destroyer Flotilla included the following destroyers:


HMS Ardent took part in the night battle of the 31 May/1 June.  The Germans proved to be better equipped for night fighting with better co-ordination, star shells and searchlights The British destroyers were painted black, a bad colour for night fighting and after the battle they were repainted grey like their German counterparts.  Whilst they attacked bravely their tactics were poor, usually approaching too close and launching their torpedoes at the wrong angles, enabling the Germans to fire first and avoid the torpedoes.

The 4th Destroyer Flotilla encountered the German van, including the 1st Battle Squadron.  Westfalen sunk HMS Tipperary, HMS Spitfire collided with Nassau and Elbing was accidentally rammed by Posen and sunk later.  At 11.40pm HMS Broke challenged Rostock who opened fire causing her steering to jam and ram HMS Sparrowhawk.  HMS Contest then ran into the back of HMS Sparrowhawk.  Rostock was torpedoed and sunk for her troubles and Westfalen sank HMS Fortune.  HMS Black Prince, which had been lost, arrived just after midnight and was blasted at close range by four battleships causing her to explode.  Moments later Westfalen sank the HMS Ardent.  Further engagements took place into the early hours of the morning but the German High Seas Fleet broke through and steamed for home.  Jellicoe was unable to intercept the German fleet which reached port by early afternoon.

In terms of material losses, the outcome was as follows:

  • British losses:  3 battle cruisers – Indefatigable, Queen Mary & Invincible; 3 armoured cruisers – Black Prince, Defence & Warrior; 8 destroyers – Ardent, Fortune, Nestor, Nomad, Shark, Sparrowhawk, Tipperary, & Turbulent.
  • 6,097 British sailors lost
  • German losses: 1 battle cruiser – Lutzow; 1 armoured cruiser – Pommern; 4 light cruisers – Elbing, Frauenlob, Rostock & Wiesbaden; 5 destroyers – S35, V4, V27, V29 &V48.
  • 2,551 German sailors lost.

The first official British statement about the Battle of Jutland was issued 2 June 1916 when it was confirmed that:

“The battle cruisers Queen Mary, Indefatigable and Invincible and the cruisers Defence and Black Prince were sunk.  The Warrior was disabled and after being towed for some time had to be abandoned by her crew.

It is also known that the destroyers Tipperary, Turbulent, Fortune, Sparrowhawk and Ardent were lot and six others are not yet accounted for.”  

 Sir John Jellicoe’s official report submitted 24 June 1916 includes the following statements:

“It is not known when Black Prince, of the same squadron, was sunk but a wireless signal was received from her between 8 and 9 pm.

“During the night the British heavy ships were not attacked but the Fourth, Eleventh and Twelfth Flotillas under Commodore Hawksley and Captains Charles J. Wintour and Anselan J. B. Stirling delivered a series of very gallant and successful attacks on the enemy causing him heavy losses.

It was during these attacks that severe losses in the Fourth Flotilla occurred including that of Tipperery with the gallant leader of the Flotilla Captain Wintour.  He had brought his flotilla to a high pitch of perfection and although suffering severely from the fire of the enemy a heavy toll of enemy vessels was taken and many gallant actions were performed by the flotilla.

Two torpedoes were seen to take effect on enemy vessels as the result of the attacks of the Fourth Flotilla and being from the Spitfire and the other from either Ardent, Ambuscade or Garland.

 …some survivors from the destroyers Ardent, Fortune and Tipperary were picked up and the Sparrowhawk…

Officers and men were cool and determined with a cheeriness that would have carried them through anything.  The heroism of the wounded was the admiration of all.

I cannot express the pride with which the spirit of the Fleet filled me.”

The Kaiser claimed victory, known to the Germans as “the Victory of the Skagerrak.”  Jutland was undoubtedly a material victory for the German High Seas Fleet whilst being a strategic victory for the British Grand Fleet.  The Germans had inflicted heavier losses on the numerically superior Grand Fleet and had escaped near destruction but had failed to break the British blockade or control of the North Sea.  The engagement had not altered the balance of power in any meaningful way.  The relative strength of the navies was 28:16 before the battle and 24:10 afterwards – both in favour of the British Fleet.   The Kaiser would not release his High Seas Fleet to do battle since he could not risk challenging and being defeated by the British fleet so the German navy stayed in port.  Submarine activity was resumed in earnest.

A German journalist described the action as follows:

“An assault on the gaoler, followed by a return to gaol.”

Ultimately, the inactivity of the sailors led to disorder beginning in August 1917 and full scale mutiny by November 1918.

Action involving the 4th Flotilla: HMS Ardent [4]

Lieutenant Commander Arthur Marsden, HMS Ardent commented on the morale of his crew:

“It was a most inspiring fact for me as their captain to notice the smiles on everyone’s face; to see the cheerfulness and enthusiasm throughout the ship at the idea of at last having a go at the Germans.  Though the prevalent thought throughout the Fleet was not so much the killing of Germans and sinking their ships as the thought that at last the navy was to have the chance of proving their worth and showing our folks at home that their continued trust in us was not misplaced.  And further a feeling that at last we could show our professional skills against a strong adversary rather than any particular bitterness against them as individuals.”

Another opinion states:

“Whatever their inner feelings, most of the men behaved just as they were expected to do, in the finest tradition of the Royal Navy.  It may on occasions have been a façade but it was a good one.” [5]

There had been 2 earlier encounters before the 4th flotilla saw action.  The following account concentrates on the 4th flotilla: [6]

 “Scheer was rapidly converging with the rear of the British fleet and when at 11.30, the fight broke out afresh, the destroyer flotillas had to face a fiery test.

At about 11.20 Captain Wintour, leading the 4th destroyer flotilla in the Tipperary, became aware of a line of ships to starboard, approaching on a converging course.  Unable to make out whether they were friend or foe, Wintour ventured to give the challenge, and immediately a rapid and accurate fire was poured upon him.  The Tipperary burst into flames but managed to fire 2 torpedoes, as did also 4 other destroyers and the Broke.  The destroyers in the rear then opened fire and gaps which appeared in the line of searchlights indicated that several shots had got home.  The identity of the enemy was soon revealed.  It was the 2nd scouting group, part of the advance screen of the High Seas Fleet.  In face of the destroyer attack it turned away and tried to escape by passing through the line of the leading battle squadron.  The Frankfurt and Pillau were successful but the Elbing was badly rammed by the Posen and had to be abandoned, sinking later.

But the Tipperary had received her death blow.  The first salvo had swept her bridge away and she was rapidly settling down.  The Spitfire, next astern, her torpedo davits put out of action, turned back to her leader’s assistance and in doing so ran up against what she took to be 2 German cruisers bearing down upon her.  One of these altered course to ram, and the 2 ships met almost bow to bow.  As they struck the enemy fired on the Spitfire and although the shots passed over the little vessel, the blast blew her bridge and searchlight platform away and also her forward funnel.  But somehow she managed to get clear and eventually reached port little better than a wreck, carrying with her a mass of plating, ripped from the side of her opponent. The escapade was truly remarkable, and it became more so when later information revealed that the ship she encountered was not a cruiser, but the battleship Nassau.

Meanwhile Commander W. L. Allen in the Broke, had taken the Tipperary’s place and gathered the Sparrowhawk, Garland, Contest, Ardent, Fortune and Porpoise in line astern. In this order they hurried south, hoping to re-engage the enemy. They had not gone far before a large ship loomed up on Allen’s starboard bow (11.40), heading to cross his bows. He challenged, but in reply a blaze of searchlights flashed out, followed by a burst of rapid fire. The Broke immediately swung to port to bring her torpedo tubes to bear. The Sparrowhawk followed suit, but the Broke, put out of control by a salvo, rammed her amidships and the Contest, following close behind, failed to clear and cut a large slice off the Sparrowhawk’s stern. Both the Broke and the Sparrowhawk were put out of action, but their attack had had its effect. At least one torpedo had found a mark, and the light cruiser Rostock, flagship of the enemy destroyer commander, crawled away, badly damaged. Later she was abandoned and sank at 3.45 a.m.

When the Broke was put out of the fight Commander R. B. C. Hutchinson, in the Achates, came up and took command. Followed by the Contest, Garland, Ardent, Fortune and Ambuscade, he headed south in the wake of the battle fleet. Soon he espied some battleships ahead, and thinking at first that they were British, he held his fire.  But he was mistaken, and, coming under heavy fire, was driven off by cruisers to the eastward. Meanwhile, the Fortune had come under fire; a salvo had caught her amidships and she reeled away burning fiercely and sinking fast. In coming to her aid the Porpoise was struck by an 8-in. shell and put out of action.

Whilst the destroyers were harrying the German fleet as it cut across the British rear, another incident occurred which involved the loss of a British ship. The Black Prince, having lost touch with her division after the action in which the Defence was sunk, fell behind. As she steamed south, doing her best to catch up, she suddenly found herself abreast of the German centre. In a moment she was caught in searchlight beams and before she had time to get her guns into action, was hit repeatedly and sent to the bottom with all hands (12.10) a.m.

This incident took place to close to the destroyer Ardent, which also having lost touch with the rest of her flotilla, was steaming alone on a southerly course. Suddenly she saw smoke ahead, and, thinking it belonged to one of her consorts, steamed towards it. Then the huge form of a German ship loomed up, and without hesitation she rushed into attack, firing a torpedo as she closed. At that moment a blaze of searchlights split the darkness, revealing four German battleships in line ahead. From out of the darkness their guns rang out and in a minute the plucky little destroyer was reduced to scrap-iron. The enemy proceeded on his course, leaving the Ardent to sink (12.19). All her compliment, save only her commander Lt.-Commander Marsden and one man perished. With the loss of the Ardent, the work of the 4th flotilla came to an end. Alone it had tackled the whole of the German battle fleet, never flinching, until all its torpedoes were exhausted and nearly every ship a wreck.

The tragic part of the whole action was the fact that, whilst the weakest craft in the British fleet were heavily engaged, the main body steamed stolidly south. The 5th battle squadron witnessed many of the skirmishes in the distance, but thought that only the enemy destroyers were engaged and that the actions were not important enough to report to the fleet flagship. The Malaya actually identified a German Dreadnought of the Westfalen class, but for some unaccountable reason her captain kept this important piece of information to himself and did not inform Jellicoe that he was drawing ahead of the German fleet.”

Steel and Hart provide further details of the action:

“…a significant part of the 4th Flotilla managed to collect together for another strike.  This time the cursed baton was passed to Commander Reginald Hutchinson of the Achates and behind him were the Ambuscade, Ardent, Fortune, Porpoise and Garland.  They had lost contact with the German ships but as soon as they had formed up in line Hutchinson turned back to a southerly course.  For a while all was quiet.  Yet it could not last.  On this course they were once more closing in on the long line of the German dreadnoughts crossing the wake of the Grand Fleet.  Lieutenant Commander Arthur Marsden commented:

“I clearly perceived four big ships on a parallel and slightly converging course to us on our starboard quarter.  They challenged several times and their challenge was not an English one.  They then switched on their searchlights, picked up the Fortune and opened fire on her.”

As had happened several times already during the night, the British destroyers should really have firmly identified the ships as German, well before they were “surprised” by the deluge of fire.  Hampered by their complete lack of training in night tactics, their commanding officers waited far too long “to be sure” and thus surrendered the vital initiative of being first to open fire.  Leading Seaman Thomas Clifford, HMS Fortune reported:

“I was sitting on the tube, it was pitch dark and quiet when a dark shape appeared in front of me about 200 yards away – apparently the Derfflinger.  I knew it was the enemy but must wait for orders to fire.  Then she made her recognition lights and when I got no orders to fire, I looked to the bridge and it was blown away…So I got the tube to bear and fired my torpedo.  Waiting for the splash as she hit, I was blown off the tube by gunfire.  We were that close I could see searchlight crew on the big ship.  I got up and helped to get any survivors into the Carley float.  All boats were blown away.  At last only Sub-Lieutenant Patterson and I were left on the quarterdeck.  He was thinking of 33 golden sovereigns he had down in his cabin, when another forward bulkhead collapsed and the stern rose to a sharper angle, so I suggested we dive over the side.  If you know what it is like to jump into the black unknown then diving in is worse.”

It was actually the dreadnought Oldenberg that the Fortune had attacked.  High above them the German searchlights officer was impressed by the fight of the little destroyer.  Searchlight Control Officer Fritz Otto Busch SMS Oldenburg, 1 Battle Squadron, High Seas Fleet commented:

“It was the most gallant fight I have ever seen.  She was literally riddled with shell; but clear in the glare of our searchlights, I could see a petty officer and two seamen loading and firing her after gun until she disappeared.  We would have liked to have saved her brave survivors but you can well understand we could not stop in the middle of a night battle.” 

Leading Seaman Thomas Clifford was one of those men struggling for their lives below him.

“At about 00.10 I entered the water and for five hours I was on my own.  I was sitting on a lifebelt.  Knowing I had miles to swim either way, I reserved energy and stopped where I was.  At daylight I saw a Carley Float, I swam over but it was too full so I swam around until only six men were in the raft – many having passed out due to exposure, a wonderful death many smiling at the last.  I nearly went twice myself and it feels like turning into warm blankets and going to sleep.  Well, at about 6.30am a cruiser dashed by and threw a line.  They missed us and as they were not allowed to stop to pick up survivors they disappeared – but they signalled a destroyer HMS Moresby, to rescue us.  They lowered their boat and got us aboard.”

 Ahead of the doomed Fortune was the Ardent, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Arthur Marsden.  They too managed to despatch a torpedo.

“The leader of my line appeared to increase speed and turn away to port.  I could see the Fortune was hard hit, so altered round to starboard and fired a torpedo at the leading enemy ships.  We could all see it hit most clearly and there was an enormous upheaval of water right forward.  Her foremost lights went out and she turned away.  By this time other searchlights were on us from the second ship and fire was opened on us but we got through and away with very little damage.  We caught a last glimpse of Fortune, on fire, in a sinking condition but fighting still and firing her guns in a most inspiring manner.”

Lieutenant Commander Gordon Coles, HMS Ambuscade confirmed that the Ambuscade also fired a torpedo in the general direction of the German ships.

“We encountered enemy’s battle fleet steering south-east.  Third torpedo was fired at ships concentrating on Ardent.  A red flash was observed at water level between searchlights and they momentarily went out, giving the possibility of another hit, observing that Ardent may have fired.  Ardent and Fortune were not seen after this.  Having discharged all torpedoes, by smoke screen and continual alterations of helm, I got away to the eastwards.” 

Once again several ships failed to fire their torpedoes for the usual melange of reasons.  Perversely, those that did were ill rewarded for their efforts.  Although some torpedoes were sighted were seen passing through the German battle fleet, there were simply not enough of them to render hits a certainty and a little more subtle manoeuvring took the dreadnoughts past unscathed.  The claims of both the Ambuscade and Ardent to have scored hits seem to be unjustified, although several 4-inch shells certainly did cause damage and casualties to the bridge of the Oldenburg.  This may have been what the harassed officers saw in the split seconds of action under the dazzling strobe effects of a night battle.  Following their encounter the Ardent lost touch with the remnants of the 4th Flotilla.

“I found myself alone and so resumed the course of the fleet and increased speed, hoping to pickup the rest of my division.  Smoke was reported right ahead, which I thought would be theirs but as I got nearer realised that it was a big ship on exactly the opposite course.  I attacked at once and from very close range our remaining torpedoed were fired but before I could judge the effect the enemy switched on searchlights and found us at once.  I then became aware that Ardent was tackling a division of German battleships.  However, we opened fire and ran on at full speed.  The next moments were perhaps the most thrilling that anyone could experience.  Our guns were useless against such big adversaries; our torpedoes were fired; we could do no more but just wait in the full glare of the blinding searchlights for the shells that could not fail to hit us at such close range.  There was perfect silence on the bridge and not a word was spoken.  It must have been only seconds but it seemed like hours.  At last it came and as the first salvo hit I heard a seaman ejaculate almost under his breath, “Oh-ooh!” as one does to a bursting rocket.  Shell after shell hit us and our speed diminished and then stopped; then the dynamo stopped and all lights went out.  Our three guns that had been barking away like good unceased firing one by one.  I looked on the forecastle exhorting the only remaining man of his gun crew to, “Give them one more!” but that was never fired and I saw later both those brave souls stretched out dead.  I myself was wounded by almost the first salvo but felt no great pain or discomfort.  The actual feeling when I was struck was as if I had been hit on the thigh with an iron bar, though eventually a piece of shell as big as my little finger was taken out of me.  The enemy ships suddenly switched off lights and ceased fire.”

Lieutenant Commander Arthur Marsden, HMS Ardent 4th Flotilla

It was clear to Marsden that his ship would soon sink.  Calmly he began to make his preparations for the end; hampered by the fact that he had been wounded in the leg, he made his way aft from the bridge.  The morale of his men remained high but it soon became evident that it would be difficult to get them away safely.

“The ship was nearly gone so it only remained for us to try and save as many as we could.  A terrible scene of destruction and desolation was revealed to me as I walked aft, with some difficulty.  All boats were in pieces.  The funnels looked more like nutmeg graters.  The rafts were blown to pieces and in the ship’s sides and deck there were holes innumerable.  In the very still atmosphere the smoke and steam poured out from the holes in the deck perfectly straight up into the air.  Several of my best men came up and tried to console me and were all delighted that we at length been in action and done our share.  But many were already killed and lay around their guns and places of duty.  Most of the engine room and stokehold brigade must have been killed outright.

I walked right aft and sat down on the wardroom hatch.  I could do no more as my leg was stiff and bleeding a lot.  My servant and another seaman, both of whom have been with me for over two years came aft to look for me and to help me.  I sent them forward and told them to pass the word for each man to look after himself.  For a moment or two I was quite alone; the smoke cut me off from those further forward and there was absolute quiet and stillness.”

Lieutenant Commander Arthur Marsden, HMS Ardent 4th Flotilla

These few moments of peaceful contemplation were cruelly cut short as the Germans found them and once again opened fire.

“Then all of a sudden we were again lit up by searchlights, the enemy poured in four or five more salvos at point blank range and then switched off her lights once more.  This would be about 10 minutes from the time we were first hit.  The Ardent gave a big lurch and I bethought myself of my Gieve waistcoat.  I blew and blew without any result whatever and found that it had been shot through.  Another lurch, which heeled the ship right over and threw me to the ship’s side.  I could feel that she was going so flopped over into the sea, grabbing a lifebuoy that was providentially at hand.  The Ardent’s stern kept up for a few moments then she slowly sank from view.”

Lieutenant Commander Arthur Marsden, HMS Ardent 4th Flotilla

The bedraggled remnants of his crew found themselves adrift in the waves with very little prospect of survival in the cold night waters.

“As the smoke and steam cleared off I could see many heads in the water – about 40 to 50 I should think.  There was no support beyond lifebelts, lifebuoys and floating waistcoats, so I was afraid few of us could possibly survive, especially as I realised that all the destroyers has gone on and no big ship would dare stop, even if they saw us in the water.  I spoke to many men and saw most of them die one by one.  Not a man of them showed any fear of death and there was never a murmur, complaint or cry for help from a single soul.  Their joy was and they talked about it to the end, that they and the Ardent had “done their bit” as they put it.

While there were still many alive, a German came close and fired a star shell over us.  I could see her distinctly and was all for giving her a hail but the men said, “No!”  They agreed that they would sooner take the remote chance of being saved by an English ship rather than be a prisoner in Germany.  I was nearly done in once or twice in the first hour by men hanging on to me in the last stages of exhaustion and I was separated from my lifebuoy and was pulled right over in the water but managed to recover myself and the buoy.  None of the men appeared to have suffered at all; they just seemed to lie back and go to sleep.  After a long weary while the sun got up and then I was feeling much more comfortable than two hours previously.  I found a skiff’s oar floating past me and put it under my arms.  I began to feel drowsy and dropped off into a sort of sleep several times, only to be awakened again by waves slapping my face.  There was quite a swell but the surface of the water was smooth owing to the masses of oil floating about from our sunken ships.  I woke again after what I felt to be a long time to hear a shout and could see ships a long way off.  I took a sort of detached interest in them and gave an answering shout to, “Stick it Ardents!” to someone in the water nearby whom I could not see.  I watched the ships disappear again without much interest and dozed off again.  Once again I awoke to find a flotilla leader – the Marksman – close alongside me.  I sang out for help and in reply got a welcoming and re-assuring shout, “You’re all right, Sir!  We’re coming!” and once again I relapsed into unconsciousness.”

Lieutenant Commander Arthur Marsden, HMS Ardent 4th Flotilla

By 00.30 the 4th Flotilla had shot their bolt.  They had conspicuously failed to launch co-ordinated mass torpedo attacks but had undoubtedly fought courageously as valiant seamen all too literally stuck to their guns.  Then line of their resistance was clearly delineated, as the sky lit up for miles around with searchlights, star shells, fires and explosions.  Unfortunately, in all the confusion and heavy press of events, not one of the destroyers’ commanding officers had had the time or presence of mind to wireless in formal contact reports to Jellicoe.  During the engagements they had held the future of the High Seas Fleet within their grasp but in failing to launch co-ordinated attacks or to report the presence of the German dreadnoughts, they had allowed it to slip through their fingers.  For all their efforts they had achieved little of significance.

Lieutenant Commander Marsden was picked up at around 06.00.  There was only one other survivor from Ardent’s crew.  J/43920 Ordinary Seaman William Carrick and his good friend J/43919 Ordinary Seaman Andrew Lynas both perished.  William Carrick’s body was found off the coast of Norway and interred at Farsund Cemetery.  Andrew Lynas was lost at sea.  Ordinary Seaman A. Lynas was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the British War and Victory medals.

Report of Deaths

 A local newspaper reported as follows:

“The Fallen Brave

In the North Sea naval battle Evenwood lost three of its lads.  They were Wm. Carrick, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Carrick, South View; Andrew Lynas, son of James Lynas Chapel St. and John W. Wren, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wren Copeland Row.  John H. Raine, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Raine and who was killed in France on 24 May, leaves a widow and two children.  In honour of the fallen ones memorial services were held at St. Paul’s Church on Sunday afternoon and at the Wesleyan Church at night.  Both were overcrowded.  The village band played “Lead, kindly light” and the Dead March in “Saul” and the Boy Scouts sounded the “Last Post”.[7]

  The Memorial Service 11 June 1916

 The Church Magazine reported as follows: [8]

“William Carrick and Andrew Lynas went down with the torpedo boat “Ardent”.  The exploits of this little vessel in the big battle were in accordance with the very highest traditions of the British Navy.  She and her wonderful crew will never be forgotten in the pages of history.  She is said to have sunk a huge German warship many times her own size and was in the thick of the fight until she disappeared literally knocked to pieces.  The two lads named here were with us only a week or so before the battle looking hearty and well.  William Carrick was for some time a member of our Parish Church choir and a very useful and popular member too.

 Our Memorial Service for them and Lord Kitchener for great as he was, I am sure he would be proud to have his name commemorated in such company was one which was greatly appreciated.  It was a wonderful service.  We held it on Whit Sunday afternoon (June 11th).  Every inch of room in the church was occupied.  People came from far and near to do honour to the lads………very many who could not get into the building took what part they could in the enclosure outside…….We shall never forget the service nor the brave gallant ones whom we commemorated in it.  I doubt if our dear Church will ever see a nobler day or a greater occasion.”

 The same edition contained the following account of the battle provided by Arthur Dunn of HMS Birkenhead: [9]

“Everybody who took part in the battle feels very certain that the whole of the German losses have not been published yet and when they are it will be a surprise to you all.  When it began we had 4 battleships, 6 battle cruisers and 12 light cruisers which for nearly 3 hours fought the whole German fleet, we being included.  How our ships got through it would be hard to say, for we were in the thick of it most of the time.  We were with the “Invincible” which exploded just before the end.  We had a narrow escape as a great number of shells fell between us just clear of both ships.  I don’t suppose any good news will have been heard of my 3 friends, seeing that their ships were sunk.  The only thing that we are sore about is that we did not meet them earlier in the day.  It was just beginning to turn dark when our main fleet arrived and as usual the Germans turned tail and ran.  I shall never forget the brilliant flashes and the crashing of guns caused by our ships firing salvos or broadsides.  One peculiar scene was the thousands of fishes floating on the water.  They were of all kinds and sizes.  I think they must have been stunned by the turmoil in the sea caused by the falling shells.  I cannot explain what it was like in a letter so the main facts will have to wait the telling until I see you all again.  I shall never forget it and feel thankful that I got through safely.”


 Ordinary Seaman Andrew Lynas is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.  It bears the names of about 10,000 sailors of the First World War who have no known grave, the majority of whom were lost at sea.  Similar memorials are located at Chatham and Plymouth, the 2 other manning ports in Great Britain.[10]


[1] Private papers of Mrs. V. Williams

[2] Evenwood Church Magazine June 1916

[3] Various sources including,

“The First World War” Keegan J. p296

[4] “Jutland 1916” Steel & Hart p174

[5] Steel & Hart

[6] “World War 1914-1918 – A Pictured History” edited by Sir John Hammerton Vol.2 p815 – 817

[7] The Auckland and County Chronicle 15 June 1916

[8] Evenwood Church Magazine July 1916

[9] Evenwood Church Magazine July 1916

[10] CWGC


LYNAS A. photo


LYNAS Andrew  and  his sister Margaret

LYNAS Andrew
his sister Margaret

Portsmouth  Naval Memorial

Naval Memorial

Lynas A Inscription Portsmouth  Naval Memorial

Lynas A
Naval Memorial