Drop-in session for anyone with Battle of Jutland links

A new project to encourage people to come forward with stories and memorabilia from the Battle of Jutland continues in Gosport tomorrow.

Wednesday, 27th April 2016, 6:10 am
Steve Doe from Portsdown U3A, speaking with Mick Jasper and brother Roger Jasper about their grandfather Albert Edward Jasper at Portsmouth Central Library Picture: Allan Hutchings (160409-488)

Portsdown U3A has run three drop-in sessions so far, which have all seen good responses.

The next session will be in The Gosport Discovery Centre from 3pm to 6pm tomorrow.

Carole Chapman, business secretary of Portsdown U3A explained what the principle behind this project was.

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She said: ‘Anybody who knows they have a relative who took part in the battle can turn up. People tend to bring information they have, including documents and photographs.’

Originally it was unknown exactly how many Portsmouth men were killed in the battle but through research with Portsmouth University and the National Museum of Royal Navy, Portsdown U3A have found over 600 men were killed.

Portsdown U3A also found Commander of the torpedo boat destroyer HMS Shark, Commander Loftus William Jones was in fact from Portsea not Petersfield as he was believed to have lived.

Commander Jones was one of the four men to receive a Victoria Cross – the highest military decoration awarded for valour in the face of the enemy, for his lead and encouragement of his men despite losing his leg in action.

Mrs Chapman went on to discuss how people in Portsmouth have a desire to remember.

‘We found quite a few people have said they’d gone a long time not knowing but as they got older they felt compelled to find out more.

‘Others come who survived and they tell us stories of what was said about it, their responses to it’

Mrs Chapman commented on why this is so important to people in Portsmouth.

‘We want to know our personal history and the history and heritage of the city.’

The city will commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Jutland on May 31 to enable relatives to pay their respects.

For more go to portsdownu3a.org.uk.