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Chatham Naval Memorial Chatham Naval Memorial
First Name: John Llewellyn Last Name: RICH
Date of Death: 01/06/1916 Lived/Born In: Tufnell Park
Rank: Ordinary Telegraphist Unit: HMS Tipperary
Memorial Site: 1. Kentish Town, St Benet 2. Chatham Naval Memorial

Current Information:

Age-17

76, St George's Avenue, Tufnell Park

The Battle of Jutland was a naval battle fought between the Royal Navy and the German High Seas Fleet on 31 May and 1 June 1916 in the North Sea near Jutland in Denmark. It was the largest naval battle of the the war. The German plan was to use their fast scouting group of battlecruisers to draw Vice-Admiral Beatty’s battlecruiser  squadron onto the main German fleet and there, destroy them. The two opposing forces met on the afternoon of 31st May 1916. A running battle ensued, during which the Royal Navy lost two battlecruisers, until the main German fleet was seen.  At this point Beatty’s battlecruiser squadron turned back and brought the pursuing German ships towards the main British fleet of Admiral Jellicoe. That night these two main fleets of 250 ships engaged each other twice before the Germans, recognising that they were outnumbered, broke off the engagement and returned to port. Both sides claimed victory. The British lost more ships (14) and three time as many sailors (6,000), but the Germans never brought out their main fleet again, preferring to concentrate on submarine warfare. Over 500 of those who were killed were men from London.

The 4th  Destroyer Flotilla, which included HMS Tipperary, were part of the main fleet. On the night of 31st May, 1916, they were guarding the main fleet from attack when, just before midnight, they were approached by a number of bigger and more powerful German ships: cruisers and battleships. The British destroyers managed to fire off some torpedoes but then the German ships opened fire. HMS Tipperary was set on fire and after two hours she sank. John Rich was one of the 184 members of her crew who lost their lives. Only 13 men survived.

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