At the end of May 2016 a series of events were held at Brooksby Hall to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Jutland.
Earl Beatty of the North Sea & Brooksby, formerly Vice Admiral Sir David Beatty who commanded the Battlecruiser Fleet at Jutland, used Brooksby Hall as his hunting box from 1906 until his death in 1936. More InformationIn the 1920’s David Beatty erected a memorial in St Michael & All Angels Church Brooksby in memory of the officers and men from the Battlecruiser Fleet who lost their lives during the battle. A flamboyant figure, David Beatty was much admired in this part of Leicestershire for his contribution to Brooksby and the local area.
On 25th May 2016 Robert Urquhart gave a talk to the Hoby & District Local History Society at Brooksby Hall entitled “The Battle of Jutland – Eye Witness Accounts”. Using recollections and eyewitness accounts from both sides, Robert described the progress of the battle from the perspective of those who risked life and limb in the largest and bloodiest naval battle in history.
More InformationOn Sunday 29th May 2016 a Commemorative Service was held at St Michael and All Angels Church Brooksby to honour the men who lost their lives in the Battle of Jutland.
The service was attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Lady Gretton; the Mayor & Mayoress of Melton Mowbray; Commander Neil Bing RN; Lady Diana Beatty, Earl Beatty’s granddaughter; Hon Benedict Gage, Earl Beatty’s great grandson; Mr Chris Dovey OBE, National Chairman of the RNA, and representatives from the East and West Midlands Areas of the RNA, the Royal Marines Association, Senior Service Club, RAFA and a contingent of Sea Scouts. The service was conducted by Canon Malcolm Britton and the preacher was Royal Navy Chaplain, the Rev Richard Ellingham.
More InformationIn the evening of Sunday 29th May 2016, the Ratcliffe Chorale, under the baton of Anne de Graeve, performed a concert entitled “Songs Nautical & National”. Amongst the pieces they performed was the anthem based on psalm 107:23-31 “They that go down to the sea in ships” by Herbert Sumsion. Verses 23 & 24 of psalm 107 are inscribed on the Battle of Jutland Memorial.
More InformationFrom Monday 30th May to Thursday 2nd July 2016 an exhibition was staged in St Michael and All Angels Church, Brooksby outlining the life and career of Earl Beatty and the biographies of the men whose names appear on the Battle of Jutland Memorial. Hon Nicholas Beatty, Earl Beatty’s grandson generously opened the family archives for this exhibition and it contained photographs of many artefacts not seen before in public. A book of the exhibition was also produced.
We are indebted to the Hon Nicholas Beatty for so generously giving us access to the Beatty family archive; Jane Warner for access to the James family archive; Diane Horsfield for researching and assembling the exhibition; Steve Horsfield for his photographic skills; Nicky Stephens Marketing for producing the display boards and commemorative booklets and to the Hoby and District Local History Society for their help and support.
We are immensely grateful to Chris Ball, Principal, and the staff and students of Brooksby Hall and Brooksby Melton College for all the support and practical help they give to Brooksby Church in so many ways.
The following sources were used to put together the exhibition: A History of the Great War in 100 moments Edited by Richard Askwith; Admirals by David Lambert; The Life & Letters of David Earl Beatty, Rear Admiral WS Chalmers; Our Admiral, Charles Beatty; Report on the History of the Gardens at Brooksby Hall, Leicestershire & Rutland Gardens Trust; Brooksby, John Hubbard; The Dreadnought Project and numerous other on-line resources.
Funding for the Battle of Jutland Centenary Commemorations was provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund; Hoby with Rotherby Parish Council; the Diocese of Leicester; Mrs J S Stearn and family; Mrs L Case; Miss I Butler-Stoney and Brooksby District Church Council.