Centenary is approaching for outbreak of Great War

The ship's company of HMS Lion, 1917
The ship's company of HMS Lion, 1917
The loss of HMS Eurydice during a squall.

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It’s hard to believe, but in two years we’ll be commemorating the start of the First World War.

David Lionel Aldous, a former Royal Navy sailor himself, is a keen collector of all things to do with the senior service.

But these pictures of his are personal. The main image shows the ship’s company of the battlecruiser HMS Lion in 1917 and somewhere up in the topmast is his stoker father Arnold.

They were taken during the 1914-1918 war after Lion took part in the 1916 Battle of Jutland.

Lion served as the flagship of the Grand Fleet’s battlecruisers throughout the war.

She sank the German light cruiser Köln during the Battle of Heligoland Bight and served as Vice Admiral David Beatty’s flagship at the battles of Dogger Bank and Jutland.

She was so badly damaged in the first of these battles that she had to be towed back to port by the battlecruiser Indomitable and was under repair for more than two months.

During the Battle of Jutland she suffered a serious propellant fire that could have destroyed the ship had it not been for the bravery of Royal Marine Major Francis Harvey, the turret commander. He posthumously received the Victoria Cross for having ordered the magazine flooded.

The second picture shows Admiral Beatty with Lion’s officers, also in 1917.

Such was Arnold’s respect for Beatty and his ship that he named Dave after the admiral and gave him his middle name after the warship.

Dave, of Norfolk Street, Southsea, also enclosed pictures of the front and back of the Jutland medal.

His final two photos show the postcard sent by George V and Queen Mary to fighting men at that first Christmas of the war.