Museum in Portsmouth launches campaign for sketch of First World War boy hero

Have your say

A NEW crowdfunding campaign has been launched by the National Museum of the Royal Navy to raise £25,000 to pay for a large charcoal sketch of boy hero.

Jack Cornwell, who died shortly after the Battle of Jutland at age 16 in 1916, remained at his post on HMS Chester despite bearing mortal wounds.

Jack was one of the youngest people to join the Royal Navy. His heroism and demeanour touched many hearts and after an initial common burial, his body was exhumed and he was publicly reburied with full naval honours.

His mother received a letter announcing that he would be posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions.

The crowdfunding campaign comes ahead of a Battle of Jutland blockbuster exhibition at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard due to open in May.

Head of Heritage Development at the National Museum of the Royal Navy Nick Hewitt said: ‘What we want to do is have this sketch restored so we can put it as a centrepiece in our Battle of Jutland centenary commemorations in 2016. There’s a lot of work to be done and we really need the funds to support it.’

Support the campaign by visiting