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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

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Parish Records




War Memorials





23 JUNE 2009

This morning, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission brought back to this beautiful Memorial, re-pressed and completely refurbished, the bronze panels which were stolen for scrap metal last year. Detective Constable Jago who was instrumental in recovering them was present as were representatives of the British Legion who have arranged on Saturday for a service of re-dedication in which many serving and ex- seamen will be taking part.


1 July 2008:

It almost defies belief but during the nights of June 29th and 30th, a number of the bronze panels bearing the names of thousands of Naval dead (who have no other grave) were stolen from the memorial below. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission visited the site today and have pledged to replace the panels as a matter of urgency but are concerned that there will be a repetition of the theft as bronze is now in short supply as a metal. The panels were brutally wrenched off and there is some damage to the stonework. A mason has already started working on the site.

4 July 2008:

Some panels discovered in Somerset today - cut into pieces and an attempt made to erase the names. Perpetrators not yet caught.

27 August 2008:

Three men have been arrested and charged with this offence. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has announced that, if found guilty, the men will be sued for the full cost of reinstating the memorial to its formal condition.

13 November 2008:

Today, we hear that one of the men arrested 27 August has jumped bail and did not turn up in court today.  His photo has been broadcast on TV and the public are being asked to help to trace him. The War Graves Commission say that re-casting of the missing panels is underway but that it is a very difficult task as they must be made to match the orignals as exactly as possible; the task may well take another year. Poppies were laid against the blank walls during the Remembrance Day Ceremony.


The Naval War Memorial on Plymouth Hoe
The Naval War Memorial on Plymouth Hoe

©Richard J. Brine

The names of all the men in our database appear on the panels of this fine Memorial on the Hoe at Plymouth. Chris Goddard has photographed each of the panels and provides readable close-ups on his website at


The relevant 1916 panels run from 10 to 19 and are

arranged alphabetically by rank.



A - C D - F G - I J - L M - O P - R S - V W - Z


This is a most unusual database in that, except for Tom Harris of Exeter who died of his injuries a few days later, every man listed here died in the same action on the same day in the same year. The official British casualty list as published in 1919 is reproduced on the Jutland Ships page


Even as its centenary year lies just over the horizon,  controversy continues to rage over the Naval Battle which took place 31 May 1916. Even the name is controversial - the British refer to The Battle of Jutland - the Germans to The Battle of the Skagerrak.

The question "who won the battle?" is still a moot point and behind this question lie so many others. Whose ships had the best armour cladding and which fleet the most up-to-date vessels? Who handled that tricky substance cordite, most carefully? Which worked best - slow, targeted rounds of gunfire or rapid rounds fired more or less at will? How big a part did luck play in the outcome? Were the British Admirals up to the task of commanding so large a fleet? Were the German Admirals up to the task of commanding so large a fleet? Did either side have a communications system that could handle such a large engagement at night? What was the purpose of the battle and was it all a monumental disaster in which thousands of men died unnecessarily?

There are numerous websites with answers and an equally large number which pose even more questions. The site below has a very simple eyewitness account to get you started - just use a search engine to get to scores of other far more controversial sites.


As you read, remember that hardly any of the men listed here ever saw any part of the Battle - the vast majority continued to perform their duties deep down below decks, far away from daylight and far away from any chance of escape when disaster struck.


The grand Fleet meet up with the Battle Cruiser Fleet at Windy Corner
The Grand Fleet meets up with the Battle Cruiser Fleet at Windy Corner

6.15pm 31 May 1916

Photograph taken by a Naval Officer under battle conditions



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