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Title: Admiral Jellicoe
Author: Applin, Arthur
Language: English
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    |  ADMIRAL JELLICOE                                               |
    |                                                                 |
    |                                                                 |
    |  _UNIFORM WITH THIS VOLUME_                                     |
    |                                                                 |
    |                                                                 |
    |  Lord Roberts:                                                  |
    |                                                                 |
    |  THE STORY OF HIS LIFE                                          |
    |                                                                 |
    |  By ROY VICKERS                                                 |
    |                                                                 |
    |      "A thrilling tale of the adventures of the Great           |
    |      Field-Marshal.... Well written and makes a suitable gift   |
    |      book."                                                     |
    |                                                  --DAILY CALL.  |
    |                                                                 |
    |                                                                 |
    |  Also at 1/6 net                                                |
    |                                                                 |
    |  Lord Kitchener:                                                |
    |                                                                 |
    |  THE STORY OF HIS LIFE                                          |
    |                                                                 |
    |  By HORACE G. GROSER                                            |
    |                                                                 |
    |      "An excellent life ... giving just the information the     |
    |      general reader requires, and its perusal enables           |
    |      everyone to understand the great part Lord Kitchener       |
    |      has played in recent history."                             |
    |                                                 --THE FIELD.    |





C. Arthur Pearson Ltd.
Henrietta Street, W.C.


      IX. 1911-1913


In trying to chronicle the events in Admiral Sir John Jellicoe's life
one is faced with many difficulties, the greatest of which is that
hitherto his most important battles have been fought on land, behind
closed doors and, as far as the public is concerned, in the dark.

Although Sir John Jellicoe has seen active service in Egypt and in
China, has sailed his ships on many seas and gone down into the Valley
of the Shadow on no fewer than three occasions, he has nevertheless
managed to give valuable years to the Admiralty on shore; and it was
during the periods when he became successively Assistant Director of
Naval Ordnance, Naval Assistant to the Controller of Navy, Director of
Naval Ordnance and Controller of the Navy that his most valuable work
was done.

Another important position behind the scenes which he filled was that
of Superintendent of the building of ships of war in private as well
as in Royal Dockyards.

The object of this little book is better to acquaint the general
public with the man who stands with his hand at the helm of the Ship
of England's destiny, the ship in which we must all sink or swim.
Never since the days of Nelson has such a responsibility been vested
in one man. Never in the history, not only of our Empire, but of the
world, has the issue of the fight for sea power and supremacy been so
vital, so tremendous.

What our ships and sailors have accomplished in the past gives us hope
for the future, and courage to wait in the silence of the long night
that now hides England and her defenders from one another.

But above all we are confident, because we have faith in the man who
was sent us with the hour; the man on whom the cloak of the Emir of
the Sea--"Emir-al-Bahr"--has fallen.

That this brief sketch of the Sea Lord and his career is altogether
unworthy of him I am quite aware. My apology for offering it to the
public must be that it is the first attempt to give any coherent
account of his life that has been made. A life, as I have already
pointed out, which has been lived behind the scenes, devoted to duty,
careless of opinion, fearful of applause.

For the details of his career and a brief outline of the work he has
done I am indebted to his wife, Lady Jellicoe, who most kindly placed
at my disposal the few chronicles she possessed of his services, and
gave me all the help she could in my task even to the extent of
reading the MSS. of the volume before it was set up in type.
                                                            A. A.




If Admiral Sir John Jellicoe had been born in 1858 instead of a year
later, he would have first opened his eyes on this now sorely troubled
world on the Centenary of Nelson's natal day.

But the gods timed his arrival exactly one hundred and one years
later, and it was on the cold and blustering dawn of December the 5th,
1859, that Captain John H. Jellicoe was informed of the happy event.
How happy for the Empire, as well as for himself and his wife, the
gallant Captain little dreamed at the time.

Southampton was Jellicoe's birthplace, and he came of the race that
the sea breeds. His father, who only died in the autumn of 1914 at the
age of ninety, was Commodore of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company
until he retired from active service at the age of seventy
years--still a young man. He then became a director of the Company and
took an active part in its affairs almost until the day of his death.

Though as British as the seas which christened the Admiral of the
Fleet and the Guardian of our Empire, Sir John Jellicoe's name is
derived from the French, and it is probable that the family originally
was of French extraction:--"Admiral Sir John Jellicoe serait, parâite
il d'origine française, et descendrait d'une famille protestante
emigrée à la Révocation de l'édit de Nantes, et son Nom indiquerait son
origine. Jellicoe serait une sorte de contraction de Angélycois, nom
des habitants de St. Jean d'Angely."

Gentilcorps--anglicized Noblebody--would be the modern French
equivalent. There is an English surname somewhat similar,
"Handsomebody," a name that was found on the Honours List some five or
six years ago. Jellicorse is another form of Sir John's name, and it
is doubtless from this that one of the nicknames has been derived
which is popular among the men of the Fleet--Jellymould.

Admiral Patton, Second Sea Lord at the time of the Battle of
Trafalgar, was Jellicoe's great grandfather; it is something of a
coincidence that at the outbreak of the present World-War Admiral
Jellicoe was also Second Sea Lord. Jellicoe's youngest daughter is
called Prudence Patton, and Prudence Patton served King Charles II.
faithfully in the troubles and wars that filled that unfortunate
monarch's reign.

Like all popular men in the Service--with the sole exception of
Admiral May, who, though loved and respected by everyone, has, like
the Springtime, been always "May"--Sir John can boast a multitude of

"Jacky-Oh!" "Hell Fire Jack!" (owing to the revolution he made in
Naval gunnery), "All-Jelly" (reminiscent of Epsom Race Course on Derby
Day, but again due probably to the deadly effect of his ship's
gunnery), "The Little Admiral" (this in polite society), "Silent Jack"
and "Dreadnought Jack."

Jellicoe, as everyone connected with the Navy knows, was a
Dreadnought man, and one of Lord Fisher's most enthusiastic pupils.

The nickname most in favour in the "forecastle" for Sir John is Hell
Fire Jack, yet there is nothing of the fire-eating commander or the
bold buccaneer in Admiral Jellicoe's personal appearance. He was
always a little boy--his mother and father's "little boy," without a
doubt--and, physically, he is a little man. Nelson might have been
able to give him half an inch in height. And it is worth remembering
that the majority of great leaders of men have been small of stature,
from Julius Cæsar to Napoleon, Domville, Sir John French or the late
great little Lord Roberts.

Marat was insignificant to look at, and the Kaiser, in his socks,
hardly suggests the leader of the Race of Nietzsche's Great Blonde

Not only does Jellicoe lack inches, but Nature built him on the lean,
light pattern, yet hard as well-tempered steel. He possesses a vast
amount of vitality and reserve force.

Time has given his bright, piercing eyes shrewdness and kindliness;
they are the eyes of a man who, while he is willing to give all,
demands all--or nothing--from those who serve. His nose is long and
adventurous rather than Napoleonic.

Quiet as a boy, he has less to say as a man when he is at work. But
among his intimate friends he has the reputation of a brilliant
conversationalist and a wit, and when Jellicoe speaks those about him
listen. At sea he has not the usual flow of highly-coloured language
generally associated with those who go down to the sea in ships. A
small vocabulary has always sufficed him. His mouth is remarkable; the
thin, lightly-compressed lips suggest determination and severity; but
they turn up at the corners in a curious way, and one feels
instinctively that the disciplinarian has a delicious sense of humour.

Sir John has an elder brother, who is in the Church; beyond a general
family likeness there seems little resemblance between the two men. It
is enough that the life of each has been given to the services of his
God and his Country.

Jellicoe's sister, on the other hand, bears a quite remarkable
likeness to the "Little Admiral." The same keen, flashing eyes,
adventurous nose and firm mouth--a trifle more tender of course, but
with the same delightful suggestion of fun lurking at the corners.

One day, not so very long ago, Miss Jellicoe and a friend had stopped
at a street corner to watch a pavement artist at work. He had just
completed a picture of the Kaiser, a not too flattering one, and he
was busy on the outlines of another picture.

As the portrait progressed beneath his chalky fingers the man
occasionally sat upright and surveyed his work and gave a sly chuckle.

A minute or two later the "Little Admiral's" sister--who is as modest
and retiring as her brother--started and gave a cry of embarrassment.
A small boy, also watching the work of the pavement artist, had nudged

"He's a drawing of yer picture, Miss!"

And so apparently he was. There, in bold chalky outlines, were the
adventurous nose, the bright eyes, the humorous mouth.

Miss Jellicoe tried to escape through the gathering crowd.

"'er portrait," shouted the artist in disgusted tones. "Not likely!
Carn't you recognize Hell Fire Jack, you idjit--him as is going ter
give the Road 'Og here a early mornin' dip in the North Sea!"

If he had glanced at Miss Jellicoe he might have received a shock--and
been able to congratulate himself on the cleverness of his portrait.

But she fled.

In Sir John Jellicoe one realizes a man, something infinitely greater
than the human machine beloved of the Prussian Military Caste. A man,
human and humane; devoid of fear, with an unbreakable will. Those
gentle eyes can flame and the quiet voice thrill when a command is
issued, though he seldom raises it above the ordinary conversational

Probably no one really knows Admiral Jellicoe but his men. And the
Navy likes to keep her heroes to herself. She does not talk about
them: they are one of her secrets. She kept Nelson to herself, and no
one talked about him--beyond the quarter deck or outside the
forecastle--until after his death. Then the sea gave up her secret and
entrusted the memory of one of England's greatest heroes to her

And to-day the sea has given us Jellicoe. Just in time--lest we



Jellicoe commenced his education at a small school at Rottingdean.
near Brighton, and though he was considered a bright little lad, he
did not attract any more attention than the other boys. In
holiday-time he loved nothing better than to be left alone in the
company of his father and to hear from him the wonders of the Deep,
and tales of the distant lands of Romance and Mystery which he had

One can picture the big bronzed sailor and his little son walking
about the lovely Isle of Wight watching the coming and going of the
ships, and sniffing the salt of the breeze that flung the savour and
thrill of unconquerable oceans against the shores of her faithful
lover England; Little Jellicoe eagerly questioning Big Jellicoe; and
Big Jellicoe recounting inexhaustible yarns and seaman's tales that
would have delighted the heart of and inspired Stevenson himself.

It was thus, on the shores of the Isle of Wight, and on the quays and
docks of Southampton, in communion with his father and the sea, that
the seeds of adventure and patriotism were first sown in Jellicoe's
heart--destined to flourish into such a rich harvest for his country.

There is a little story told of Master Jack soon after he learned to
toddle which shows that his character was forming even at that early

"Jacky" had a habit of running ahead of his nurse and suddenly darting
across the road. The spirit of adventure; probably he was ambitious to
be a boy scout. Eventually, finding that warnings were not heeded, the
nurse told him that when she saw a policeman she would ask the
Representative of Law and Order to take him away and put him in

Presently a policeman appeared on the horizon of the pavement.

"Now, Master Jacky, you'd better behave yourself!" the nurse whispered

But young Jellicoe was not the least afraid of the man in blue. He
advanced to meet him and solemnly looked him up and down.

"Nurse says you're to take me in charge," he announced.

The constable, taken aback, smiled and asked the nature of the

"Disobeying orders," was Master Jack's reply. "And I say, policeman,
what ripping buttons you've got on your uniform!"

Jellicoe never knew fear or favour. But evidently as a youngster he
realized the meaning of discipline and order.

In telling this little incident the nurse is reported to have said
that Master Jacky was extremely disgusted when the policeman refused
to take him away and lock him up.

Maybe he thought that the policeman ought to have been reported for
not doing his duty.

At twelve years of age young Jellicoe left the Rottingdean school, and
it was then that Captain Jellicoe decided his boy should have his
chance in the Royal Navy, instead of following in his footsteps and
entering the Mercantile Marine.

So he went up for his preliminary examination and passed into the old
Training Ship _Britannia_ with flying colours. From this moment there
was no stopping young Jellicoe. As an Instructor tersely remarked, "He
was a holy terror"--but not in the sense which that expression is
generally meant to convey.

He was just as quiet and well-disciplined a boy as he has been since
he grew to manhood's estate. But he was "a holy terror" for work.

Any sort of work.

To whatever he put his hand--or his mind--he accomplished. At this
period he is described by one who knew him as being short, thin but
wiry, rather pale, with large determined mouth and nose, and a pair of
extraordinarily bright eyes.

In spite of his aptitude for mental work (the first year or two on the
_Britannia_ is taken up with as much "book learning" as "boat
learning"), there was nothing of the bookworm about young Jellicoe,
and the most fierce youthful opponent of "swotting" could never have
accused him of priggishness.

He was just born with a desire for knowledge and an aptitude for
obtaining it without apparent effort.

At the same time he was as keen as any other boy on games. In spite of
his diminutive inches he was useful with the gloves; he could swim
like a fish; he was a good all-round cricketer, and a very deadly
left-hand bowler. He is still a splendid "oar," a first-class rifle
shot, and on a grouse moor he lets very few birds "get away."

His great game, however, turned out to be racquets, and even to-day it
would be difficult to find a man to equal him on the courts. At tennis
he is almost equally good, and he can give points to the average
amateur. It was during a game of tennis at home one day that Jellicoe
showed his delightful sense of humour and love of fun, peculiar to
sailor-men, proving the truth of the old saying that the greatest men
can also be the greatest children.

Just as a "set" had been finished sounds of a fierce quarrel came from
the other side of the shrubbery. Strange oaths rent the air. Obviously
tramps fighting over their ill-gotten gains! Sir John immediately
disappeared to reconnoitre with one or two friends. They were absent a
long time, and just as Lady Jellicoe was beginning to feel anxious,
her husband appeared, limping, supported by one of his guests, his
head and face swathed in bandages.

The tramps had evidently shown fight, and a terrific encounter had
taken place. Sir John was overwhelmed with sympathy for his wounds and
congratulations for his victory. For quite a long time Jellicoe kept
up the illusion that he had been "in action."

As a matter of fact, the tramps had bolted without giving the Little
Admiral even a sight of their heels.

Not so very long after this Jellicoe himself was fooling the "Blue,"
or defending fleet during Naval manoeuvres by disguising his ships
as (sea-going) "tramps" and succeeded in eluding their vigilance and
raiding an English port!

Probably Sir John learnt a few of his "tricks" during those early days
on the _Britannia_.

The _Britannia_, with her sister ship the _Hindustani_, are no longer
used as Training Ships for the Royal Navy, and though the fine modern
College on the hill overlooking the River Dart is doubtless healthier
and more suitable in many ways, there was a glamour about the famous
old Boat that a College can never possess.

Jellicoe was fortunate, therefore, in receiving his training on the
seasoned oak timbers of a gallant ship in the midst of the waters,
instead of in the modern nicely-arranged and hygienic edifice on
shore, which was built a few years ago, and which took the place of
the ancient Man-o'-War.

Always ready for work or play, he excelled at both, and was popular
with everyone. From the very outset of his career he was "marked" as a
boy who would achieve something great in the future.



Jellicoe's life on H.M.S. _Britannia_ was an interesting and varied
one. Probably he looks back on the years spent in what has been aptly
called "The Cradle of our Sea Kings" as the best years of his life. He
joined at a very interesting period, too, just when the
Franco-Prussian War was raging most fiercely.

For a healthy lad life on the _Britannia_ must have been an ideal
existence. Of course there were hardships, doubtless greater ones
forty years ago than there are now. Hardships find out the weak spots
in humanity--mental as well as physical. Hardships make men.

Discipline is strict in the Navy, stricter than in the sister Service,
but it is of a different kind. Sailors see life from a quite different
standpoint from that from which soldiers look at it. In the old days
there was a great deal of brutality in the Navy, but with it, at the
same time, a great comradeship--a deep understanding of human nature.
To-day brutality has practically disappeared, but the deep
understanding of human nature remains, and with it brotherly love.

A sailor's ship becomes his home, and happy as was young Jellicoe in
his father's house in Southampton, his heart was soon centred in the
_Britannia_ and the ever-varying round of work and play which used to
keep the cadets busy from morning to night.

Captain W. Graham was in command of the _Britannia_ during the greater
part of the period Jellicoe served his apprenticeship to the sea--from
1874 to 1877.

Turning-out at sunrise and turning-in soon after sunset; parade, swim,
drill, preparation; classes, ranging from Latin to Algebra, from
gunnery to rope-splicing--this is a rough idea of a day on the
training ship in the early 'eighties.

An old musty boat may not have been the healthiest place for a growing
boy from a fond mother's and a modern physician's point of view, but
the breeze which swept up the silvery Dart from the English Channel
and whistled through her rigging and portholes was stimulating and

The _Britannia_ still lies at her old moorings, between the little
village of Dittisham and Dartmouth town, with Kingswear, the terminus
of the Great Western Railway, on the left. The Dart is one of the most
beautiful and romantic of English rivers. It rises only about a score
of miles away from Dartmouth, right on the moorland, in a wilderness
of gorse and heather.

It rushes through the granite-strewn valleys, past the glorious wooded
banks of Holne Chase, roaring and tumbling until it reaches Totnes.
Here its wild course is stopped with startling abruptness; from a
foaming shallow trout stream it is turned into a stately river--broad,
deep and calm. But the waters still carry the colour of the peat and
the scent of the heather; the hills still rise from the mossy banks
carpeted with daffodils and primroses in spring. And right down to the
sea itself, thatch-roofed cottages, stately houses and ruined castles
peer through the foliage.

Dartmouth is noted for three things--its cockles and plums from
Dittisham, its orchards and its annual Regatta, which in Jellicoe's
day was famous throughout the world.

The author has it from the best authority that young Jellicoe joined
in some of the successful raids on the aforesaid orchards, that he
tasted and approved of Dittisham plums and cockles, and it is more
than likely that he attended the Regatta, which, from a boy's point of
view, as well as that of many grown-ups, was most attractive as a

At the end of Jack Jellicoe's first year on the _Britannia_ he showed
his instructor and his fellow-cadets the kind of stuff of which he was
made. He was quiet, unassuming, yet always ready for work, and equally
ready to take his place in the cricket eleven, or to put in a little
practice in the field between the goal-posts. When he came out at the
head of his rivals in the examinations, and got first for every
examination that it was possible for him to pass, he must have
occasioned no inconsiderable surprise.

Next year much the same thing happened, though, at the same time,
Jellicoe began to develop a _penchant_ for left-hand bowling. He was
useful with an oar, too. On the _Britannia_ every kind of game was
encouraged among the cadets. Of course swimming, shooting, rowing,
sculling and the "gym" came under part of the curriculum. A cadet need
not play cricket or football, but he would probably have a bad time if
he did not. If he wished, he got his chance at tennis and racquets and
bowls; athletic sports were, of course, held regularly.

Besides the time-honoured paper chase, the _Britannia_ had a pack of
beagles, of which the lieutenant was generally master; the pack is
still in existence to-day. The hounds met, during the season, once or
twice a week, hunting the hillsides, and along the open country from
the cliffs beyond Kingswear, inland, for several miles. Only the
master is mounted, and sometimes he dispenses with his horse; everyone
else is on foot, and, as a cadet remarked, "You have to be pretty
nippy if you want to be in at the death."

Amidst such surroundings, on one of the oldest ships belonging to His
Majesty on the bosom of England's most beautiful river, John Rushton
Jellicoe's character was developed. At the age of thirteen he found
himself afloat--and he has kept afloat ever since. His ship has in
very truth been his home, for he has always been actively engaged,
and never known--perhaps never wanted--a real rest or a proper

Of course Jellicoe passed out of the _Britannia_ just as he had passed
into her--first of his year by over a hundred marks. During the period
he was on board as midshipman he took nearly all the prizes--though he
was only allowed to keep a selection. But the future Admiral of the
Fleet was not after prizes. He possessed what an old boatswain aptly
described as _a hungry brain_. It is rather surprising that he never
suffered from mental dyspepsia, since in his desire for knowledge he
was absolutely avaricious. In his examination as sub-lieutenant a few
years later, he took no fewer than three "firsts."

It was not very long before Jellicoe saw active service. He was
appointed to H.M.S. _Agincourt_ in 1881, and was present at the
bombardment of Alexandria. This was in July of 1882, just after the
attacks made on the Europeans in Alexandria, for which Ahmed Arabi was
held responsible. Arabi was then Prime Minister and leader of the
Rebellion against the English. It was he who had heavy guns mounted
on the forts and ordered earthworks to be thrown up for their

It is interesting to remember that Kitchener was in Egypt at this
time, on furlough. He, of course, saw that a conflict was inevitable;
and when the great exodus of foreigners from the town took place he
remained behind.

But his furlough expired and he was due to return home. He applied for
an extension, and obtained it. Meanwhile, the British battleships
waited outside beyond the harbour, among them the _Agincourt_, with
young Jellicoe on board. Arabi continued to strengthen the defences of
Alexandria and to pour troops into the town.

On July the 10th Arabi received the British Ultimatum; the guns of the
Fleet were trained on the fortifications, and steamers crowded with
people crept out of the harbour, Kitchener on one of them. A few hours
later the first shot was fired by one of the English boats--and
Jellicoe received his baptism of fire.

The enemy's guns were soon silenced, and Arabi withdrew his forces
inland. But a terrible massacre took place in Alexandria; houses were
pillaged and burnt. Eventually a force of bluejackets and Marines was
landed from the Fleet and order was restored.

Of course Arabi and his followers retreated. It was realized a big
force would be required to suppress him, and an expedition was fitted
out under the command of Sir Garnet Wolseley, and Kitchener (whose
extension of furlough had again expired, and who ought to have
returned to England) got his chance.

So it happened that thus early in their careers the two men,
Lieutenant Kitchener, R.E., and Lieutenant Jellicoe, R.N., in whose
hands, jointly, now rests the safety of the British Empire and the
welfare of the world, saw War for the first time and fought for the
first time together.

For Jellicoe, after taking part in the bombardment of Alexandria, was
fortunate enough to accompany the Naval Brigade which was landed and
marched with Wolseley's troops on Cairo, and fought at Tel-el-Kebir,
where Arabi had strongly entrenched his men.

The odds against the British forces were about two to one, but early
in September a decisive victory was gained by us, and Arabi's army
routed. For his share in this action Lieutenant Jellicoe was awarded
the Egyptian Medal and the Khedive's Bronze Star.

It is not recorded whether Jellicoe and Kitchener ever met on the
battlefield, or, if they did, whether they ever spoke. For then, as
now, both were men of few words.

"He is great," Colonel Taylor said afterwards of Kitchener, "and he is

"He don't waste words," was a bluejacket's criticism of Jellicoe, "but
when he does speak, he hits the mark every time."

Kitchener remained in Egypt--where he was fated to accomplish the
first portion of his life's work for the Empire. Jellicoe returned to
England, and we next hear of him at the Royal Naval College at
Greenwich, where he showed that his "mental appetite" was far from
satiated. He won the £80 special prize for Gunnery Lieutenants; this
was a significant moment in his career. As the world knows, British
Naval Gunnery is unrivalled. It was Jellicoe who helped to place it in
the enviable position it now holds.

After leaving Greenwich, Jellicoe served on H.M.S. _Monarch_. It was
in May, 1886, while still a lieutenant on this ship, that he nearly
lost his life. Sir John Jellicoe has had three very narrow escapes,
and this was the first.

The _Monarch_, which had been lying off Gibraltar, went out for target
practice. A stiff breeze was blowing and dirty weather was
experienced. Soon a heavy sea got up, and presently the _Monarch_
sighted a ship in difficulties; she turned out to be a cargo steamer
from Glasgow, the _Ettrickdale_, and was fast on the rocks, with the
waves breaking over her and threatening to knock her to pieces. The
_Monarch_ had only taken one cutter out with her, her smallest; but
her Commander asked for volunteers to man it, so that an attempt
should be made to rescue the crew of the shipwrecked boat.

There did not seem to be much chance of the small cutter living in
such an angry sea; but this was the kind of job which appealed to
Lieutenant Jellicoe, who was one of the first to volunteer, and he was
given command of the crew.

With seven seamen he started on his desperate--almost
hopeless--enterprise. Though the cutter was splendidly managed, she
capsized before the _Ettrickdale_ could be reached, and Jellicoe was
struggling with his men in the boiling waters.

Marvellous to relate, not a life was lost. More dead than alive, they
all managed to reach the shore. For this attempt at saving life
Jellicoe received a medal. It was given him by the Board of Trade. But
he was not allowed to keep it very long, for he lost it when, in 1887,
he went down with the _Victoria_. Fortunately for England and her
Empire, Jellicoe came up again--but his silver medal did not.

Presumably the Board of Trade must have heard of the terrible accident
which cost England so many valuable lives and horrified the whole
world; but the officials did not offer to replace Jellicoe's lost
medal, and when he wrote and asked if they could obligingly supply him
with a duplicate, he received a formal reply that he could have one if
he chose to pay for it.

Up to the present we believe that he has not "paid," and so probably
he is without the silver medal he first won for gallantry. Perhaps
the Board of Trade is still debating whether it would be justified in
going to the expense of providing the Admiral of the British Fleet
with another.

Mrs. Jellicoe, Sir John's mother, possesses an interesting little
souvenir in the telegram which Jellicoe sent after he had been
rescued, announcing that he was safe--

            "_Quite safe terrible affair love Jack_."

This simple message naturally brought great joy and relief to his
father's and mother's hearts. And now the Nation confidently awaits,
with Sir John Jellicoe's family, the receipt at any moment of another
telegram almost similarly worded--

            "_Quite safe splendid affair love Jack!_"



For a short time Jellicoe served as Gunnery-Lieutenant on the
_Colossus_, and then he was appointed Junior Staff Officer of the
_Excellent_ gunnery establishment, under the command of Lord
Fisher--then Captain.

This meeting between the two men was fortunate for the Junior Officer.
Fisher at once marked down Jellicoe as useful, and so, a few years
later, when he was Director of Naval Ordnance at the Admiralty, it
came to pass that Jellicoe joined Fisher there as his Assistant.

It was just subsequent to this appointment when Jellicoe was, we
believe, serving as first lieutenant on board the _Sans Pareil_, that
the German Emperor during the Naval Review put in an appearance with
the powerful vessels of his new and comparatively small Navy. Needless
to say, both the Kaiser and his officers, together with their ships,
were of the greatest interest to our men.

When the Review was over numerous were the discussions and fierce the
arguments which centred around William the Second and his little
fleet. Everyone present from Junior to Senior had something to say,
some criticism to make.

Everyone except Lieutenant John Jellicoe. He kept his mouth shut and
his eyes open, and he expressed no opinion either on the Kaiser, his
officers or his ships.

Jellicoe only spent about three years at the Admiralty as Fisher's
assistant, but it was quite enough for the authorities to realize that
he was an efficient and clever officer--a man who knew how to
organize. Captain Fisher found his services invaluable, and as an
"assistant" Jellicoe served him faithfully.

Jellicoe would probably be the first to admit that during the
comparatively short time he spent at the Admiralty under Fisher he
accumulated a vast amount of knowledge. A friendship sprung up between
the two men, born of respect. Both were enthusiasts; both loved the
Service keenly. Both were ambitious--not for themselves. Neither
sought personal aggrandizement. Their ambitions were noble. It was
natural that both, later on, should meet with opposition. It was
inevitable that the opposition should be overcome.

A greater contrast than the two men make--the "Little Admiral" and the
"Big Admiral"--it would be difficult to find. Physically, Fisher is of
the bulldog breed beloved of the public. The moment he enters a room
you are conscious of his presence. "Jacky" Fisher exudes vitality; it
surrounds him as a perfume surrounds a pretty woman. He carries it
about with him. His figure is robust; he stands with feet wide apart
and firmly planted. He is very straight up and down; his face is
nearly the colour of mahogany; a large mouth, almost brutal until he
smiles, when it becomes a veritable cavern of humour, and aggressive
eyes that nevertheless shine and almost sparkle beneath big bushy
brows; his hair is silver grey; his hands are titanic and generally
hang loosely by his side, suggestive, and ready for action.

Physically, the difference between the two men is the difference
between a small smooth-haired terrier and one of Major Richardson's
Irish police dogs. Mentally, there is not much difference, and events
have proved that both possess the same instincts.

One is the Dreadnought instinct; another, the faith that in action you
must "hit quickly, hit hard, and keep on hitting." A third instinct
might be called the instinct of Silence. They have never attempted to
emulate Lord Charles Beresford or Sir Edward Carson in discharging
fierce literary broadsides.

Jellicoe was gazetted a Commander in 1891; after leaving the _Sans
Pareil_ he was appointed to the _Victoria_, then one of our largest
battleships, sister ship (though of later date) to the _Camperdown_.
It was while he was her Commander that the accident happened during
manoeuvres off Tripoli, on the Syrian Coast.

This was his second marvellous escape from death; all the more
remarkable since Jellicoe was on the sick list, confined to his cabin
with a sharp attack of Malta fever. The ship went down twenty minutes
after she was struck, and twenty-two officers and three hundred and
fifty men were drowned.

This was the most terrible disaster that has happened to the British
Fleet in times of peace since the _Royal George_ foundered one night,
close to shore, and disappeared beneath the waves with her entire
crew, including the brave Kempenfeldt.

The _Victoria_ was the flagship of Vice-Admiral Sir George Tryon,
Commander of the Mediterranean Fleet. The ships left Beyrout early in
the morning of June the 22nd, 1893; they steamed in line abreast to
the Syrian Coast, when the order was given to change their formation
into two columns, line ahead, with an interval of six cables. The
starboard column was headed by the _Victoria_ under Tryon, and the
port column by the _Camperdown_ under Rear-Admiral Markham.

Tryon's flag-lieutenant was Lord Gillford, and it was he who received
the fatal order to signal to the two divisions to turn sixteen points
inwards, the leading ships first, the others of course following in

The smallest circle in which either the _Victoria_ or the _Camperdown_
could turn was six hundred yards--about three cables length--and
therefore if Tryon's orders were obeyed a collision would be
inevitable between the two ships.

Both Lord Gillford and the Admiral's Staff-Commander must have
realized this: every seaman on board the Fleet, when eventually the
signal fluttered in the wind, knew what would happen.

The position must have been a terrible one for those on the bridge of
the _Camperdown_, as well as the _Victoria_; for, not theirs to
question but to obey.

But Staff-Commander Hawkins-Smith dared remind Tryon that they could
not possibly turn in less than eight cables length.

Admiral Tryon agreed, but what was the Staff-Commander's surprise a
minute or two later to see the original signal "six cables length" go
up. He spoke to Lord Gillford and advised him to again call Admiral
Tryon's attention to the impossibility of the manoeuvre being
successfully carried out.

This Gillford did: "You said it was to be more than six cables'
length, Sir."

"Did I? Well, leave it at six cables," Tryon replied, and turning
round he entered into conversation with Captain Bourke.

One cannot help wondering what would have happened if Jellicoe had
been present, instead of confined below with fever. Presumably, he
could have done no more than Gillford and Hawkins-Smith; the
_Victoria_ would have been lost just the same.

When the signal was read on the _Camperdown_ Admiral Markham was
puzzled and therefore he refrained from replying, thereby indicating
that he did not understand his instructions.

The fleet steamed ahead in two columns line.

Tryon grew impatient and signalled to the _Camperdown_--"What are you
waiting for?"

Markham had now no option but to obey. Perhaps he hoped that Admiral
Tryon had some scheme for manoeuvring his own ship.

The signal was obeyed. The leading ships of the two columns turned
sixteen points inwards.

The men of the Fleet watched; amazed and horrified.

A minute passed. There was still time to change the signal. Two
minutes passed, three. To those waiting and watching the minutes must
have seemed an eternity.

Before the fourth minute had expired the _Camperdown_ rammed the
_Victoria_ on her starboard bow. When the great ships parted there
was a big gash visible in the _Victoria_ through which the sea poured.
At once the boat began to list. But there was no panic. Jellicoe's
servant hurried below and warned the Commander that the _Victoria_ was
sinking. Jellicoe got up and went on deck. The order had already been
given to pipe all hands. There was no rush or hurry. In the engine
rooms the stokers remained at their posts, the artificer and
engineers. It was the same in the boiler rooms.

Above, on deck, the men lined up, calm and quiet. But the _Victoria_
was heeling over; sinking fast. Jellicoe, clad in pyjamas, had
clambered on to the bridge, and accompanied by two junior officers,
attempted to signal to the _Camperdown_.

It was too late. The _Victoria_ lurched, turned on her side and poured
her living freight into the Mediterranean. Those on the upper deck
jumped or were flung into the waters. There were many still below, and
as the ironclad sank they could be seen clambering through the port
holes and sliding down the ship's side. The majority were caught like
rats in a trap.

Several of those who escaped from her were struck by the propellers,
still racing madly. Others were sucked below when she finally sank and

As she sank the _Victoria_ turned right over and went down bottom
upwards. Hardly had she disappeared from sight when there came a
terrific explosion and a mighty mass of water was thrown high into the

Many of the men who had risen to the surface and were swimming about,
were swept away and drowned in this waterspout.

Jellicoe, who had been flung from the bridge when the boat commenced
to turn turtle, escaped the explosion--probably caused by the bursting
of the boilers.

He was a sick man with a temperature over 100°. He swam as long as he
could, but weakened by fever he was in danger of collapsing, when
Midshipman West came to his rescue and supported him.

Very probably, but for young West, Jellicoe would have gone under. The
nation owes him a debt to-day. Eventually they were both picked up by
one of the boats sent from the Fleet.

The _Camperdown_ herself was in a bad way; her bows were crumpled up,
and for a little while it looked as though she would sink too, and
follow her sister-ship to the bottom of the Mediterranean. But thanks
to the celerity with which the water-tight doors were closed and the
collision-mats got out, she was saved; the crew were kept working
right through the night to keep her afloat.

There were numerous instances of courage and devotion besides that
quoted of Jellicoe, who, before going on deck, went below to warn and
hurry up any men he might find there. One of the boatswains continued
semaphoring until he was washed off his feet. Admiral Tryon refused to
try and save himself though implored to do so by his coxswain. The
last words he is reported to have said were addressed to a midshipman:

"Don't stop here, youngster; get to a boat."

He might have got to that boat himself, but he went down with his

At the court martial Captain Bourke was exonerated from all blame, and
the finding of the Court was that the collision had been caused by
Admiral Tryon's order.



After the loss of the _Victoria_ Jellicoe served as Commander on
H.M.S. _Ramillies_, flagship in the Mediterranean.

Early in January, 1897, he joined the Ordnance Committee, and received
his promotion, attaining the rank of Captain.

But valuable as his services were now, as they had been when assistant
to Fisher, he was again not allowed to remain at the Admiralty for
long. Admiral Sir C. H. Seymour chose him as Flag Captain on the
_Centurion_. It is hardly necessary to point out that the _Centurion_
of 1898 is no longer on the active list, if indeed she exists at all.
H.M.S. _Centurion_, now "watching and waiting" somewhere in the North
Sea, was built in 1912, and belongs to the King George V. Class; she
has a displacement of 25,000 tons, and a speed of 21-1/2 knots.

The old _Centurion_ was a very different class of boat. She was on the
China Station, and when the Boxer Rising occurred in 1900--just as
we hoped we were finishing our work in South Africa under
Kitchener--Jellicoe found himself in the firing line again.

The Boxers were the moving spirit in a vast organization which had for
its object the extermination of Christian Missionaries and the
aggressive commercial white men who followed in their train.

"China for the Chinese" might be translated as their popular war cry.
The Dowager Empress of China was, if not at the head of the movement,
certainly at the back of it, in spite of her protestations to the

The Chinese are the most conservative people in the world. They love
and respect the traditions of their race as they love and respect
their Ancestors. The "foreign" missionaries, railway concessionaries,
mining agents and other outriders of modern civilization threatened to
destroy and outrage their cherished ideas and institutions. They did
not particularly object to the British; the Englishman--when he did
not try to convert them--was the least hated of the foreign devils.

Americans, French, Russians, Germans, were all hated and feared.

The Boxers decreed that they would have to go. The rebellion started
quietly enough, but once having started it spread with alarming
rapidity until Europe saw itself face to face with the Yellow Peril.
China threatened to over-run the Western Continent.

Proclamations were issued by the Boxers in all the towns and villages
of the great Empire and appeared on the walls of Pekin itself.

"The voice of the great God of the Unseen World--

"Disturbances are to be dreaded from the foreign devils; everywhere
they are starting missions, erecting telegraphs, and building
railways; they do not believe in the sacred doctrine, and they speak
evil of the gods. Their sins are numberless as the hairs of the head.
Therefore am I wroth, and my thunders have pealed forth.... The will
of Heaven is that the telegraph wires be first cut, then the railways
torn up, and then shall the foreign devils be decapitated. In that day
shall the hour of their calamities come...."

And forthwith the Boxers arranged that disturbances should commence at
once. They commenced with pillages and robberies. The Empress launched
edicts against the rising, while secretly she encouraged it. Soon a
direct attack was made on all Christians; missionaries were tortured
and murdered. Churches set on fire and houses torn down.

One or two Legations in Pekin were destroyed. On May the 1st the
German Minister, Baron von Kettener, was assassinated.

This was the signal for a general rising, and all the Legations in
Pekin were besieged, the Imperial troops joining in the attack. Sir
Claude MacDonald had been assured that there was no danger whatsoever.
He was appointed commander of the Legation Quarter by the foreign
representatives, and a plucky resistance was made.

Early in June he sent a telegram to Sir Edward Seymour, Commander of
the China Station, informing him the situation was perilous, and
warning him that unless the Legations were soon relieved a general
massacre would take place.

Seymour acted as quickly as possible, and with a force of two
thousand men he started to the relief of Pekin.

This little army was composed of men and guns drawn from the ships of
the eight Great Powers then in Chinese waters. Great Britain--who
provided nearly a thousand men--France, Italy, Russia, the United
States, Japan, Austria and Germany. Their combined artillery consisted
only of nineteen guns.

Captain Jellicoe was given command of the British Naval Contingent,
and the whole force was under the command of Admiral Seymour. Mr.
Whittall, Reuter's correspondent, accompanied the column, and he gave,
in the diary which he kept, a very graphic account of the fighting of
the allied forces, their failure to relieve Pekin, their attempt to
get back to Tientsin, Jellicoe's bad luck in getting dangerously
wounded--it was feared, fatally, at the time--and the narrow escape of
the whole force from annihilation.

"We left Laufang at dawn on June the 13th," he wrote, "and arrived at
Tientsin at 12.30 p.m. without incident.

"We left Tientsin again at 2 a.m., but the Marines were at Yangtsun,
and the Chinese officials declined to take the responsibility of
affording protection, so we took them on with us. At Lofa we found
three trucks derailed, and so remained there all night outside 'Fort
Endymion.' We moved out from Lofa about midnight on June 14th for
headquarters, but found that they had been removed further up the
line. A party of Americans, foraging, ran across a band of 150 Boxers
and fired on them, killing six and wounding many others. The
_Aurora's_ advance party was attacked about six-and-a-half miles up
the line by a large force of the Boxers, who tried to rush them, but
the bluejackets kept them off, killing and wounding some 150.

"Last night a courier arrived from Pekin, and said that everything was
well in the city when he left, but that many Boxers were openly
showing themselves in the city. At ten this morning a most determined
attempt was made to rush the headquarters' train by a large body of
Boxers. The small-bore rifle bullets seemed to have no effect in
stopping the rush, and the fanatics came on most gallantly. The Maxim
was got into action at the range of about fifty yards, and mowed the
enemy like grass. This was enough for them, and they fled into the

"In the afternoon an attack was made on Lofa by two thousand Boxers,
but they were driven off, with a loss of seventy-five men. Our
casualties were said to be four slightly wounded. In the evening
Johnstone returned, having raided all the villages bordering the line,
killing forty or fifty Boxers. He reports all track in a fearful
state, rails, etc., being up for miles at a stretch. The courier who
brought letters from Pekin on Tuesday returned with letters for Pekin.

"Matters seem to be getting more serious. Report of the Japanese
having been murdered by Tung Fu-hsiang's men confirmed. Grand stand
burned, students attacked by Boxers with swords, Boxers burning
missions and foreign buildings other than Legations. Boxers cut the
throats of the wounded before running. We had two of _Endymion's_
bluejackets wounded at Lofa, one shot through the lungs with a stone
from a small iron cannon. We took two of these guns. The Italian dead
were shockingly mutilated. One Boxer, a boy of thirteen, was brought
in wounded.

"Up at 4 a.m. and started again for Tientsin. Found the line below
Lofa cut in four places, in one of which the embankment had been dug
out to a depth of some four feet. We received the news that the Boxers
were hard at work three miles above Yangtsun tearing up the track. At
5 a.m. saw a body numbering from 200 to 300 strong, enter a large
village to the right of the line. We afterwards foraged in another
village to the left, where we got some chickens and leeks and then set
fire to it. We had this day a guard of 120 Germans and 50 French with

The relief force had now been fighting for a week without making any
real progress. Meanwhile, the news that came from Pekin was grave in
the extreme. Several attempts were made to send messages through but
without success.

Captain Jellicoe sent a body of marines and blue-jackets, under Major
Johnstone, to Yangtsun with the intention of opening friendly
relations with the people, and after a great deal of trouble, this was
done, and food was obtained for the hungry troops.

But every day the situation became more serious. Owing to all the
rails having been cut the trains were held up and a night attack was
expected. For six days no news had come from Tientsin.

Eventually the order came to abandon the trains--fifty thousand pounds
of rolling stock, and practically all the baggage--and march on
Tientsin with half rations for three days.

This, of course, would meet with Jellicoe's approval ... hitting
quickly and hitting hard.

A day was spent making preparations for the march. Every man of the
expedition knew it was a desperate venture, but not one was dismayed.
But Mr. Whittall, in his diary, wonders how much of the unfortunate
expedition is likely to reach Tientsin in safety.

"Progress was," he says, "very slow at first owing to want of water
for the boats, which were constantly getting ashore. At 7.20 p.m. the
column halted and bivouacked for the night, which passed without
incident. Gunfiring in the direction of Tientsin reported to have been

"Réveillé" sounded at 4 a.m. Column marched 6.15; Hangu, 7.30; halted
while town was searched by advance guard; 8.5, Chinese army reported
advancing; 8.25, American 3-inch opened on enemy in a copse flanking
river in line of our advance.

"Conflicting reports as to character of enemy, some saying only
Boxers, others Imperial troops. 9.5, I went up to the firing line.
Enemy strongly posted in a village ahead. 9.0, our 9-pounders came
into action at 450 yards. Enemy retired, under the heavy shrapnel
fire, and a party of Americans went ahead to examine village. One
_Aurora_ wounded accidentally.

"First volleys fired very heavy; when enemy found range too close to
be pleasant; 9.50, column resumed advance, two Russians wounded.
Village ahead reported full of the enemy. Our 9-pounders ordered up;
opened fire 10.31. Americans advance with French on left, our Marines
advance under cover of the river bank. 2.20, while troops resting, we
were attacked. Enemy driven off, one American dangerously wounded.

"Column resumed its advance on both banks of the river. Three Chinese
field-guns observed moving in the direction of Peitsang. Sounds of
heavy firing in the direction of Tientsin again heard all the morning.
Natives report it is General Nieh fighting Boxers.

"8.15, large body of cavalry seen on our left flank which were at
first taken for Russians; but a shell pitched unpleasantly near our
flanking parties from the left of the village the cavalry had just
passed, convinced us that they must be Nieh's cavalry. Our guns were
soon in action, replying to the enemy's fire, and the rattle of
musketry became general."

It was the mistaking this large body of enemy cavalry for a relieving
force of Cossacks that nearly cost Jellicoe his life. The Chinese
Cavalry was hailed, and replied with a volley. Jellicoe rallied his
men and boldly charged them.

He helped clear them out, but fell shot in the chest. Mr. Whittall
made the following brief entry in his diary at the time:

"Flag-captain Jellicoe, _Centurion_, dangerously wounded in the chest;
feared mortally. Lieutenant Bamber, also of the _Centurion_, and
Midshipman Burke also both wounded. The enemy's fire throughout the
day was also terrific, and for the most part fairly well aimed."

He pays a high compliment to Captain Jellicoe, for he says that it was
owing to the splendid way in which the British troops were handled
that the casualties were no heavier than they were.

The response of the men was splendid, and their behaviour under a
terrific fire excellent.

But Mr. Whittall acknowledges that "it was a shocking business."



In a recent issue of the _Pall Mall Gazette_ Mr. Whittall paints a
very good pen portrait of Captain Jellicoe at this time.

"It was to him that I was referred for permission to accompany the
relieving force, and I can see him now as he put a few terse, direct
questions to me before granting the required permit. A man below
middle height, alert, with that in the calm, grey eyes which spoke of
decision and a serene confidence in himself, not the confidence of the
over-sure, but that of the real leader of men. A man whose features
would have been unpleasantly hard but for the lurking humour of the
eyes and for certain humorous lines about a mouth that on occasion
could take the likeness of a steel trap. A man to trust instinctively
and one to like from the beginning. Those were my first impressions of
him as he stood that June morning watching the troop trains discharge
their freights on to a dusty North China platform. Later when I came
to know him he inspired me with the same feeling of affection with
which he was regarded by every one with whom he had occasion to come
into close contact. There was, and is, the magnetism about the man
which stamps the personality of him who is indeed a commander rather
than one who commands."

Mr. Whittall was with him after he was wounded and while the allied
forces were retiring on Tientsin. What Jellicoe must have suffered
then no one will ever know. He was first of all placed for safety in a
native house and later on moved into a small native boat. His wound
must have pained him terribly. His case was considered hopeless, as
the bullet had reached one of his lungs and recovery seemed
impossible. Moreover, he knew that now Pekin would not be relieved;
the mission had failed.

But his superb vitality pulled him through. He would not go under.

Mr. Whittall describes how he sent for him and asked to be told how
things were progressing. "Foolishly perhaps," says Mr. Whittall, "I
tried to make the best of affairs and said that I thought we should
cut our way back to Tientsin or even to the coast if the foreign
settlements had fallen.

"I don't think I shall ever forget the contemptuous flash of the eyes
he turned on me, or the impatient remark:

"'Tell me the truth. Don't lie.'

"I had thought to lessen the anxiety I knew he must have been feeling,
but if I had known him as I learnt to do later on, I should have told
him the plain truth straight out. He thanked me and, indicating his
wounded shoulder with his eyes, remarked:

"'Hard luck just now!'"

Captain Jellicoe, as all the world knows, completely recovered and
has, we believe, lived to fight the battle of his life, the battle of
the world. Nevertheless the doctors told him at the time that he would
never regain the use of his left arm.

It would have been rather remarkable if this false prophecy had come
true; it could scarcely have made any difference to his career--for
Jellicoe was _the_ man and he was bound to reach his present position
no matter the obstacles in his way--but the loss of his arm would have
added yet another remarkable point of resemblance to the hero of

And it may not be out of place here to give a story, which is almost a
creed with many sailors and their folk in the South of England: the
story so beautifully told by Alfred Noyes in his poem "The Admiral's

This is what the simple Devonshire sea folk will tell you when
Jellicoe's name is mentioned--if you have gained their confidence.
They do not talk about it to strangers; it has become a faith with
them and is sacred.

When Drake was dying on board his ship in Nombre Dios Bay his thoughts
turned of course to England, the country he loved, had fought and died
for. He yearned to be back on the red cliffs of Devon; he wanted to
sail once again through Plymouth Sound and to be laid at rest in the
dear home waters that washed his native shores.

He was dying far from the beloved land. There were battles yet to be
fought, victories to be won for England. She might want him again and
he would not be there to answer her call.

So he told his men to take back his drum and to hang it upon the sea
wall, and if ever England was in danger and called, the sailors were
to strike upon his drum and he would rise from the far seas and come
back and fight for her.

When England was threatened two hundred years after Drake's death his
drum was heard one stormy night by the fisher folk. And there are
those who will swear that a strange shadow shape was seen hovering
about the old sea wall for many a night.

Then Nelson came to England's rescue and saved her in her hour of
need. But let Alfred Noyes tell the tale in his inspiring verse:

    "D'you guess who Nelson was?
      You may laugh, but it's true as true!
    There was more in that pore little chawed-up chap
      Than ever his best friend knew.

    "The foe was creepin' close,
      In the dark, to our white-cliffed isle;
    They were ready to leap at England's throat,
      When--O, you may smile, you may smile;

    "But--ask of the Devonshire men;
      For they heard in the dead of night
    The roll of a drum, and they saw him pass
      On a ship all shining white.

    "He stretched out his dead cold face
      And he sailed in the grand old way!
    The fishes had taken an eye and an arm,
      But he swept Trafalgar's Bay.

    "Nelson--was Francis Drake!
      O, what matters the uniform,
    Or the patch on your eye or your pinned-up sleeve,
    If your soul's like a North Sea storm?"


When the author was in Devonshire a little while after the outbreak of
the world-war he was talking to an old sailor who had seen service,
now retired at the age of nearly eighty years. He stood on the red
cliffs beyond Brixham close to the doors of his cottage straining his
eyes, still clear and bright, seaward, watching for the ships he

The author referred to this story and the sailor's face grew grave and
he was silent for a long time.

"The drum was beat," he whispered at last. "Drake's drum was heered to
beat a while back; our lads heered 'er, one night when they was
puttin' out from Plymouth Sound."

He nodded his head to and fro as he took off his cap: "But I knawed
long back when I stood afore Jacky Jellicoe, close as I be standin' to
yew; I caught his eye--and I knawed it was Drake come back.... Yes,
sir; the old drum beat and he come back as he said he would----"

    "If England needs me, dead
      Or living, I'll rise that day!
    I'll rise from the darkness under the sea
      Ten thousand miles away."

That's what he said; and he died.

    "They lowered him down in the deep,
      And there in the sunset light
    They boomed a broadside over his grave,
      As meanin' to say 'Good Night'

    "They sailed away in the dark
      To the dear little isle they knew;
    And they hung his drum by the old sea-wall
      The same as he told them to."

And now once again the drum has beaten and the spirit of Drake has
returned to England. The materialists may laugh; the superstitious may
speculate. But the sea folk on the red cliffs of Devonshire, _they

       *       *       *       *       *

It was some months after Pekin had been relieved by the Allied forces
of twenty thousand men--the British, under Lieutenant-General Sir A.
Gaselee, being the first to enter the Legations--that Mr. Whittall met
Jellicoe on board the _Centurion_. The latter told him that he had
played cricket for the flagship on the way down and had made 124--not

His lung had healed and his left arm was as strong as his right.

A cheeky midshipman on hearing of Captain Jellicoe's third and most
marvellous escape from death said that obviously he was born to be
hanged--or to be Commander-in-Chief of the whole British Navy.

On his return to England Jellicoe received the C.B. for his services,
and the German Emperor decorated him with the Order of the Red Eagle
of the Second Class with crossed swords.

Jellicoe learnt something about the fighting qualities of the German
sailor during the attempt to relieve Pekin: later on he became a
personal friend of the Emperor's, and his portrait appears in the
great picture which the Kaiser ordered to be painted of the Allied
Naval Brigades in action in China and which now hangs on the walls of
the Imperial Palace at Potsdam.

A few months after his return from China, Captain Jellicoe married
Gwendoline Cayzer, the daughter of Sir Charles Cayzer, Bart., of
Gartmore, N.B., the chief of the Clan Steamship line. Curiously enough
one of his best friends, Rear-Admiral Madden, married Sir Charles'
other daughter. Admiral Madden is now Jellicoe's Chief-of-Staff.

Captain Jellicoe's next appointment was to superintend the building of
war-ships. At this task his success was phenomenal. A little later he
was serving as assistant to the Controller of the Navy, and in 1903 he
was given command of the _Drake_, then one of the latest additions to
our fleet.

She was completed in 1902; her tonnage is 14,100; she has a Krupp
armoured belt of six inches; she carries two 9·2 guns, sixteen 6-inch,
twelve 12-pounders, and three 2-pounders, besides six machine guns and
two torpedo tubes. The _Drake_ is still in commission and heads the
Drake Class of armoured cruisers. She is at present attached to the
Sixth Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet.

Under Jellicoe's command the _Drake_ became famous for her gunnery,
and when he left her she had obtained the highest efficiency in
shooting and was "top-dog" in the Navy.



In 1905 Captain Jellicoe went to the Admiralty as Director of Naval
Ordnance. Having been Fisher's assistant late in the 'eighties he knew
his department and the men connected with it. He knew better than any
other man of his age what the Navy wanted, and he evidently made up
his mind that she should have it.

He was heart and soul a "Fisher man" and a great admirer of the
splendid work Sir Percy Scott had performed. Indeed, much of Scott's
genius might have been lost or wasted without Jellicoe's help and

He took the part of Director of Naval Ordnance just at the right time.
One of the most important reforms for which the Service has to thank
him was fitting all guns mounted in ships of the first line with new
day and night sights, and the installation of fire-control instruments
for "spotting" and controlling at long range firing. He was also
instrumental in getting rid of all gunnery lumber, and he put his
foot down on many little tricks and dodges which had been practised in
shooting competitions.

It was almost entirely due to him that in a period of eighteen months
the percentage of "hits" was raised from forty-two out of a hundred
rounds to an average of seventy.

In recognition of this a knighthood was conferred upon him in 1909;
though previous to this honour he was made Controller of the Navy.

Here, again, his knowledge of _matériel_ necessary to the Service and
his great technical ability were invaluable; his quickness, firmness
and quiet manner had a great effect on the celerity with which work
was done in private as well as in the royal dockyards. There had been
a great deal of trouble in the past with contractors owing to the
difficulty in getting plans and estimates passed quickly.

Jellicoe soon changed this, and inspired the men under him to be
decisive and swift and thorough. Describing the work he accomplished
during his Controllership of the Navy a critic in _Engineering_ paid
Sir John high and deserved tribute, on the occasion of his leaving
the Admiralty and hoisting his flag as Vice-Admiral of the Atlantic
Fleet; this was in December, 1910.

After pointing out that Jellicoe's tenure of office was marked by a
period of unusual naval shipbuilding activity, the author of the
article in _Engineering_ gave the number of new vessels of all classes
added to the Navy between 1907 and 1910 as ninety, including twelve
battleships and armoured cruisers, eight protected and unarmoured
cruisers, and seventy destroyers, torpedo boats and submarines.

In addition to the numbers given, there were then about sixty ships
building, including eight battleships and armoured cruisers, seven
protected and unarmoured cruisers, and forty-five destroyers and
submarines, whilst the preliminaries to laying down were well advanced
in the case of a further twenty-two ships; these, as enumerated in the
current year's naval estimates, included five battleships and armoured
cruisers, three protected and unarmoured cruisers, and fourteen
destroyers, submarines and fleet auxiliaries. The sea-going and
fighting efficiency of all these warships was in advance of their
prototype in many important respects in _matériel_.

Shipbuilding output has thus been well maintained in the dockyards,
and there, as in the private yards doing Admiralty work, the delay in
beginning new vessels is now at a minimum. The whole machinery of
administration in this respect has been accelerated. The period of
construction of large armoured warships remained at two years,
notwithstanding the great increase in the size and displacement of the
latest types. Admiral Jellicoe was a frequent visitor at the works of
contractors, and by this means was enabled to assist and encourage
those responsible in realizing the best results and to infuse them
with his characteristic enthusiasm for the efficiency of the Service.

"The repairs and maintenance of the Fleet have been well looked after
by Sir John Jellicoe," wrote the critic of _Engineering_, "who has
realized throughout the importance of liberal financial provision to
enable the prompt and proper execution of repairs. The total number of
men employed (shipbuilding and repairs, etc.) in the home dockyards
has considerably increased during his period of office. Sir John,
having at one time been associated with the building of warships in
private yards, has devoted much attention to improving and extending
the resources of the dockyards for shipbuilding and repair work. A
recent important innovation in dockyard and port equipment is the
adoption of large floating-docks for Dreadnoughts and floating-cranes
to serve them, a policy which recognizes _inter alia_ the importance
of the quality of mobility in docks and cranes. The equipment of
temporary bases in time of war becomes easy of arrangement when
floating-docks and floating-cranes lie fully equipped and ready for
use and transfer. Two such docks, capable of lifting 32,000 tons--one
for Portsmouth and one for the Medway--are now under construction,
whilst contracts for two large floating-cranes, capable of lifting 100
tons at a radius of 125 feet, and 150 tons at about 90 feet, will very
shortly be placed.

"Sir John Jellicoe has been a strong Controller and his severance from
the Admiralty is a matter of personal regret, which is not by any
means confined to the members of the Board and the heads of
departments. No Controller has been more popular; none has commanded
greater respect as an administrator."

It has been stated that during this period Sir John Jellicoe would
sometimes work for fifteen or sixteen hours a day, when business
pressed. He never "fussed" or gave the impression of "rush," and he
neither worried nor drove his subordinates.

His words were few, but to the point. And he has never been known to
make a request or give an order twice.

It was during the period Jellicoe began to carry on the good work
Fisher had started at the Admiralty that the Emperor of Germany wrote
a remarkable letter to the late Lord Tweedmouth, First Lord in 1908.
At the time it was declared by Tweedmouth to be confidential and
purely personal, but the contents have at last become more or less

This letter, in the light of latter-day events, is particularly
interesting. It was quoted for the first time by _The Morning Post_,
and it throws a strong light on the Kaiser's real character. One can
imagine the First Sea Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Fisher--whom the
German Naval Party feared so keenly--describing it in his frank
fashion as an infernal piece of bluff.

"During my last pleasant visit to your hospitable shores," the Emperor
wrote, "I tried to make your authorities understand what the drift of
the German Naval policy is. But I am afraid that my explanations have
been misunderstood or not believed, because I see the 'German Danger'
and the 'German Challenge to British Naval Supremacy' constantly
quoted in the different articles. This phrase, if not repudiated or
corrected, sown broadcast over the country and daily dinned into
British ears, might in the end create most deplorable results.

"It is absolutely nonsensical and untrue that the German Naval Bill is
to provide a Navy meant as a 'challenge to British Naval Supremacy.'
The German Fleet is built against nobody at all. It is solely built
for Germany's needs in relation with that country's rapidly growing

"There is nothing surprising, secret or underhand in it, and every
reader may study the whole course mapped out for the development of
the German Navy with the greatest ease."

After a long preamble on the subject of what England might do (from
the Kaiser's point of view) with regard to her shipbuilding programme,
the letter refers to a letter written and published by Lord Esher, in
which the Emperor accuses him of misinterpreting Germany's feelings by
alleging that "every German from the Emperor down to the last man
wished for the downfall of Sir John Fisher":

"As far as regards German Affairs Naval," the letter continues, "the
phrase is a piece of unmitigated balderdash, and has created an
immense merriment in the circles of those 'who know' here. But I
venture to think that such things ought not to be written by people
who are high placed, as they are liable to hurt public feelings over
here. Of course, I need not assure you that nobody here dreams of
wishing to influence Britain in the choice of those to whom she means
to give the direction of her Navy, or to disturb them in the
fulfilment of their noble task....

"I hope your Lordship will read these lines with kind consideration.
They are written by one who is an ardent admirer of your splendid
Navy, who wishes it all success, and who hopes that its ensign may
ever wave on the same side as the German Navy, and by one who is proud
to wear the British Naval Uniform of an Admiral of the Fleet, which
was conferred on him by the late Great Queen of blessed memory.

"Once more. The German Naval Bill is not aimed at England, and is not
a challenge to British supremacy of the sea, which will remain
unchallenged for generations to come."

The German Emperor's "generations to come" has resolved itself into
less than six years.



Sir John Jellicoe hoisted his flag as Vice-Admiral commanding the
Atlantic Fleet, in succession to His Serene Highness, Prince Louis of
Battenberg, on December 27th, 1911, and on the tenth of January, 1912,
the Fleet assembled at Dover for the first time under its new

There was a suggestion about this time that the Atlantic Fleet and the
Home Fleet were to be amalgamated. The change that had already been
made in the Atlantic Fleet in linking it to the Home Fleet for
purposes of combined training did not mean that either command was to
be absorbed in the other. The Atlantic Fleet was henceforth to be
under the command of a Junior instead of a Senior Admiral, and it
would cruise in Home waters.

Both Fleets would have their war training together and the policy of
concentration in Home waters was thus carried out.

How fully this policy was justified events have fully proved. The
Atlantic Fleet continued to use Gibraltar as its repairing base.

Admiral Jellicoe's first cruise with the Fleets was to Vigo, on the
Spanish coast, where manoeuvres were carried out in conjunction with
a portion of the Mediterranean Fleet.

These manoeuvres were carried out on a large scale. There was a
Naval Review of the Fleets, at which King Alfonso was present.
Afterwards a mimic warfare was waged, the Home Fleet, under Admiral
Sir W. H. May, representing the "Red," the Mediterranean and Atlantic
Fleets under Admiral Sir E. S. Poe and Vice-Admiral Jellicoe,
respectively, being the "Blue."

The principal "action" took place at night, and Jellicoe manoeuvred
his ships so cleverly that they almost escaped a vastly superior

After the "battle" was over Admiral May signalled to Jellicoe that he
had put up a fine fight, and given the superior forces against him a
very hard job.

Just at this time Sir John Jellicoe suffered a sad bereavement, losing
his little daughter, Betty, at the age of five and a half years. She
was the second child, and was born on May 21st, 1905.

Sir John and Lady Jellicoe have four daughters, the eldest in her
ninth year. They are delightful children, and all bear a strong family
likeness to the "Little Admiral"; they possess many of their father's
characteristics, too: overwhelming good spirits and a keen sense of

The author's first introduction to them was when he was waiting in the
hall of Sir John's town house.

They were just going out for their morning constitutional, but as they
were about to start, the eldest suddenly discovered that "some one"
was missing who should have been present. A hurried search was
instituted. Upstairs and downstairs the young Jellicoes raced, peering
here and peering there, and continually calling for "Nanna!"

Believing that the nurse was the object of their search, the author
told Miss Jellicoe that he had just seen her go upstairs. She shook
her head:

"Oh, no she hasn't. She came down with me just now and I _know_ she
hasn't gone back. She does run away sometimes."

It seemed a strange thing for a nurse to do, and while the author was
debating in his mind whether he ought not to inform Lady Jellicoe, one
of the little girls gave a cry of triumph and pointed to the sideboard
standing against the wall in a dark corner of the hall.

"There she is. Isn't she naughty!"

A sideboard did not seem the right place for the nurse--even the nurse
of a Naval family--to choose as a hiding place; but though the author
searched he could not see the culprit.

Little Miss Jellicoe grew impatient: "Oh, do try and get her out!" she
begged. "Don't you see, she's crawled underneath!"

Down on his hands and knees went the author of this book--and there,
tucked away under the sideboard, crouched the missing nurse.

"Please pull her out, we can't go for our walk without her."

Obediently the author seized the nurse by the scruff of the neck and
dragged her from her hiding place.

"Nanna,"--on this occasion--was a Scotch terrier!

Undoubtedly the Admiral's daughters have their father's sense of

[Illustration: H.M.S. "IRON DUKE."]

     Dear little Freda

     I must write and thank you for your kind thought of the
     sailors. The one seaman to whom I gave your muffler was so much

     Thank you dear

     John Jellicoe

Admiral Jellicoe's affection and consideration for children is shown
in a variety of ways. The letter to a schoolgirl, reproduced on page
83, thanking her for a gift of a muffler for one of the sailors on the
flagship, is a striking example of his thoughtfulness and the personal
interest he takes in everything, and everyone, connected with the
welfare of his men and with his fleet.

Another letter to his wife, which Lady Jellicoe kindly allowed the
author to read and reproduce, was written on board the _Iron Duke_
early in November. Though it was sent to Lady Jellicoe it was intended
for all the wives, mothers, sisters, sweethearts and children of the
British sailors at sea throughout the Empire, for Sir John wished them
to know how gallantly his men (which are _their_ men) were behaving
and how proud he was to command them.

It is a brave letter, containing a brave message for the women and

                                            _H.M.S. "Iron Duke."_

     _I know you will be meeting the wives and families of the men,
     and I hope you will tell them of the magnificent spirit which
     prevails. Our troops have covered themselves with glory during
     this war. The Navy has not yet, as a whole, had the opportunity
     of showing that the old spirit which carried us to victory in
     the past is with us now, but when our men have had the
     opportunity of fighting a foe above the water, they have shown
     that they possess the same pluck and endurance as our comrades
     ashore. Nothing can ever have been finer than the coolness and
     courage shown in every case where ships have been sunk by mines
     or torpedoes. The discipline has been perfect, and men have
     gone to their death not only most gallantly, but most
     unselfishly. One hears on all sides of numerous instances of
     men giving up, on these occasions, the plank that has supported
     them, to some more feeble comrade, and I feel prouder with
     every day that passes that I command such men._

     _And during the period of waiting and watching they are
     cheerful and contented in spite of the grey dulness of their
     lives. I am sure you will tell the wives and children, and the
     sisters and mothers, of our men, of the spirit that prevails,
     and I know that it will make them too desire to show in their
     own lives that they are animated by the same desire to do the
     best they can for their country, so that they will be worthy of
     their men-kind, of whom it is difficult to say too much._
                                                     _JN. JELLICOE._

When the Atlantic Fleet visited Gibraltar, Lady Jellicoe and her
family joined Sir John at the Rock, staying at the Villa Victoria.

Jellicoe's flagship was the _Prince of Wales_, and while she was in
dock, many delightful entertainments were given on board, the
Admiral's daughters doing their share--even Miss Norah, "the baby of
the fleet," inviting equally small craft (of the human kind) to tea on
the flagship with the request that they would "bring their own

The Rock benefited considerably by the three months' visit of the
Fleet, under Vice-Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, and by the presence of
Lady Jellicoe and her family.

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy, but Lady Jellicoe saw to it
that Jack got his fair share of amusement. At the Annual Rifle
Meeting, the Vice-Admiral's Cup, presented by Vice-Admiral Sir John
Jellicoe, was won by the Vice-Admiral's B Team from his flagship, with
A team, also from the flagship, second.

In the individual competitions the Five Hundred Yards was won by Sir
John himself with the Commander of his flagship--Commander
Dryer--second. The _Prince of Wales_ took many other firsts and
seconds, and to just show that he still kept hand and eye in practice,
Sir John Jellicoe and Naval Instructor Holt, representing the Navy,
won the Garrison Racquet Tournament against the Army, by four games to
one. Sir John also won the Racquet Handicap of the Atlantic Fleet,
defeating Mr. Wardlaw in the final by three games to love.

Sir John's handicap was minus eight.

These meetings took place during the first anniversary of King
George's accession; the celebrations lasted a week, and the Kaiser's
yacht, _Hohenzollern_, and the German cruisers _Konigsberg_ and
_Sleepner_ were both in port and took part in the festivities; the
Emperor's Imperial Band from the _Hohenzollern_ played at the Victoria
Villa before Sir John and Lady Jellicoe and their guests.

It is rather interesting to note that the _Musikfolge_ on this
occasion commenced with a selection from Wagner and ended with the
"British Grenadiers" March.

Vice-Admiral Sir John Jellicoe returned from Gibraltar to England in
time to take part in the great Naval Review at Spithead on June 24th.
H.M. King George, on board the Royal yacht, received a splendid
welcome from the hundred and sixty-seven British ships anchored off
Spithead and the eighteen foreign warships which were also present.
Our boats included twelve Dreadnoughts, thirty cruisers and
seventy-two destroyers.

Among the foreign ships present were the _Danton_ (France), _Rossiza_
(Russia), _Kurama_ (Japan), _Radetzky_ (Austria), _Von der Tann_
(German) and _Hamídich_ (Turkey), all of which afterwards became
involved in the world war.

After the Review the Naval Manoeuvres took place, in which Jellicoe
commanded the Atlantic Fleet. It was at the conclusion of these
manoeuvres that vague rumours of a crisis with Germany over the
Moroccan affair appeared in certain newspapers. The "scare" was
short-lived, and there was no real ground for the rumours of war
between England, France and Germany that were circulated.

At this time a German training ship, with several young officers on
board, was cruising in Home waters, doubtless picking up much valuable
information. The commander of this ship is reported to have said that
war between England and Germany was unthinkable.

Late in July the Atlantic Fleet went to Cromarty for general
exercises, and afterwards the Atlantic Fleet Regatta was held at
Berehaven. On this occasion Jellicoe's flagship, the _Prince of
Wales_, again distinguished herself in a remarkable manner.

Out of thirty events on the programme for the first two days' racing,
her boats were first, second or third in twenty-eight events, taking
fourteen "firsts." In the Veteran Officers' Skiffs Race Vice-Admiral
Jellicoe stroked the winning boat. Of course the _Prince of Wales_ was
first on the list of points in the regatta, getting fifty-and-a-half
to the _Argyll's_ forty, and won the silver trophy--a figure of a
giant cock.

One amusing incident occurred at the conclusion of the regatta, when
bands from the various ships went down the course in their big barges
playing a selection of tunes. When they passed the _London_, last but
one in the "race" for points, they played "When London Sleeps"--a sly
dig at that boat's poor performance.

On passing Jellicoe's flagship each band played "Cock of the Walk" to
the accompaniment of deafening cheers.

Sir John, as every man in the Senior Service knows, is a keen
temperance man; it was he who was credited with the phrase "the grog
curve." He believes that a sailor should have his glass of grog so
long as he never takes more than he can carry, and he does not "carry"
even that amount when on duty.

Jellicoe delivered an epoch-making speech on this very important
question at a great temperance meeting held at Gibraltar in November,
1911. On this occasion he said that everyone responsible must
recognize the value of temperance in fighting efficiency.

In the Navy there are three qualities upon which efficiency mainly
depends--discipline, shooting, and endurance, and temperance
unquestionably tends greatly to the promotion of these qualities. In
regard to discipline one has only to look at the punishment returns to
realize how many of the disciplinary offences are at the outset due to

As for endurance, medical research has amply proved the fact that
temperance is a great asset in improving the physical qualities, and
therefore the endurance, of the human race. As regards straight
shooting, which is so largely a question of eye, it is everyone's
experience that abstinence is necessary for the highest efficiency.
"If I am going to a rifle meeting in the afternoon," Vice-Admiral
Jellicoe said, "I don't take a whisky and soda after lunch. If I did,
I know I should have no chance of making a possible."

It was the late Captain Ogilvy who pointed out that efficiency in
shooting was thirty per cent. better before the issue of grog than

In the Honours' List at the time of the Coronation celebrations a
K.C.B. was bestowed on Vice-Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, and on November
28th he was given the command of the Second Division of the Home
Fleet. There were numerous changes now made at the Admiralty, Admiral
Sir Francis Bridgeman becoming First Sea Lord in place of Sir Arthur
Wilson. With him were H.S.H. Prince Louis of Battenberg and Captain
William Pakenham, all men of the new school.

At the time the changes made were considered to be startling. Mr.
Winston Churchill, the new broom, practically made a clean sweep of
the old Board. It was a case of putting youth (as youth is counted in
the Senior Service) at the helm--and youth had the courage to give
youth, allied with experience, a chance--for Mr. Churchill himself was
at the time only thirty-seven years of age. Sir Francis Bridgeman was
sixty-two, Prince Louis of Battenberg fifty-seven and Captain Pakenham
fifty. Jellicoe's age was fifty-two.

Mr. Churchill in his speech in the House of Commons explained that the
changes on the Board were necessary, and said it would lead to a more
effective working in the interest of administrative efficiency. All
former precedents had been observed. As to the question whether the
Sea Lords had resigned or been removed he had to say that when he
apprised them of the fact that His Majesty had given his assent to
certain changes on the Board they accepted those changes in the true
spirit of the Naval Service.



In December of 1911 Vice-Admiral Jellicoe was back in Gibraltar, which
thanks to the presence of the Fleet and its Commander's popularity
experienced quite the most successful season it had ever known. The
American cruiser _Chester_ was in port and did her share in the round
of balls, dinners and sports which were held. The Gibraltar Jockey
Club held its winter meeting on the picturesque North Front racecourse
and attracted a remarkable and cosmopolitan gathering.

It was on December 13th that the Peninsular and Oriental steamer
_Delhi_, conveying the Princess Royal and the Duke of Fife and their
family to Egypt, ran ashore on the Moroccan coast off Cape Spartel.

The _Delhi_ left London on December 8th, and just outside the Straits
of Gibraltar she encountered a terrific gale.

The Atlantic Fleet should have left the Rock on the thirteenth, but
when news was received of the disaster Jellicoe immediately sent
battleships and cruisers to the assistance of the _Delhi_.

Great anxiety had been felt at Gibraltar throughout the previous night
at the non-arrival of the _Delhi_, which was due the previous day, and
arrangements had been made by the Governor and Admiral Jellicoe to
visit the Princess.

The French cruiser _Friant_ was the first to learn of the wreck, by
wireless, and she was immediately sent to the scene: the sea was
running very high, but at ten o'clock in the morning a steam launch
put out from the _Friant_ and succeeded in taking off twenty women and
children and transferring them to the cruiser _Duke of Edinburgh_,
which had arrived.

The gale increased in violence, but once again the _Friant's_ launch
attempted to cross the boiling waters and rescue more of the _Delhi's_
passengers. The heavy seas, however, put out her fires and drove her
ashore; nevertheless her plucky French sailors re-lit the fires and
again launched their boat. But the breakers soon capsized her and
threw her crew into the water, three of whom were drowned.

Towards the afternoon the seas went down and the British cruisers
managed to establish communication between the _Delhi_ and the shore.

Admiral Cradock was able to reach the _Delhi_ in his pinnace and took
off the Princess Royal and the Duke of Fife and put them ashore. But
in landing they were nearly swept away and only reached the beach
after a desperate struggle.

Eventually, all the passengers were safely got off the _Delhi_, and
though part of her cargo was saved--including bullion to the extent of
£500,000 which she was bringing back from India--she became a total

Admiral Jellicoe reached England in time to meet the King and Queen on
their return from India, in the New Year; and in command of the Second
Division of the Home Fleet he had the honour of escorting their
Majesties--in the _Medina_--up the English Channel.

The ships under Jellicoe's command which performed this duty were the
_Agamemnon_, _Colossus_, _Hercules_, _Lord Nelson_, _Britannia_,
_Dominion_, _Hindustan_ and _Orion_, together with five cruisers.

Early in February Admiral Jellicoe had the honour of being received by
His Majesty at Buckingham Palace, when the King invested him with the
insignia of a Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the

At this time Mr. Arnold White wrote a very interesting appreciation of
Jellicoe which appeared in _The Throne_ and which in many respects was
almost prophetic. The article was headed "The Man and the Moment," and
in referring to the task which would confront Admiral Jellicoe--if war
ever broke out--as Commander of the British forces at sea, he wrote as

"Vice-Admiral Sir John Jellicoe is the Emir upon whom our rulers have
thrust the heaviest responsibility that rests on the shoulders of any
man born of a woman. He is the man who has been told off to the job of
commanding the British forces at sea when war breaks out.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Imagine what this means. Nelson's supreme task, heavy as it was, was
child's play compared to the work that lies ahead of the Admiral who
is now Second-in-Command of the Home Fleet. Nelson had hours to make
up his mind before attacking his foe at the Nile, at Copenhagen, off
the Spanish coast, and at the 'crowning mercy' of Trafalgar. Jellicoe
will have ten minutes from the time that the best look-out man in his
Fleet first sights the enemy's Fleet through a modern telescope.
Nelson could sleep o' nights, undisturbed by wireless messages,
torpedo attack, submarines, floating mines or aeroplanes.

       *       *       *       *       *

"The night before the great sea fight that will settle the future of
Europe and the British Empire for two centuries, it is improbable that
Jellicoe will lie down to sleep. Therefore it is obvious that he must
be a man of great vitality, physical fitness, and tranquil mind, or
the Government would never have placed eleven vice-admirals on the
shelf--or 'on the beach,' as they say in the Navy--in order that a
mere Second-in-Command of the Mediterranean Fleet should be lifted
over the heads of all the senior officers who stood between Jellicoe
and the command of England's Home Fleet."

       *       *       *       *       *

On May 8th, the King visited Portsmouth to inspect his Fleet and
witness certain technical exercises and manoeuvres carried out. By
far the most interesting event was Commander Samson's flight in a

It was a wonderful performance, Commander Samson making his machine
perform the most astounding evolutions. Other members of the Air
Squadron gave superb exhibitions. The following day further remarkable
evolutions were performed on, under and above water.

There followed a mimic naval battle between the "Red" Fleet under
Admiral Sir George Callaghan and the "Blue" under Vice-Admiral Sir
John Jellicoe, in which the "Blue" distinguished itself and "sank" and
captured a great number of "Reds."

In July a Royal Commission was appointed to investigate and report on
the supply of oil fuel for the Navy, and Jellicoe was chosen as one of
the members of the Commission. Lord Fisher was Chairman.

The significance of the appointment of this Commission was very great.
It meant that the Navy was again faced with a revolution. The result
of the investigations and the reports that were made we are now able
to learn and appreciate.

In the fall of the year there were further changes made by the
Admiralty. Prince Louis of Battenberg succeeded Sir Francis Bridgeman
as First Sea Lord and Jellicoe was appointed as Second Sea Lord, which
practically put him in complete control at Whitehall. The greatest
satisfaction was caused in Naval circles by these changes.

When Jellicoe gave up his command of the Second Squadron of the Home
Fleet he was given a great send-off by the ships assembled there and
the following signal was flown from the flagship:

"The Rear-Admiral, Captains, Officers, and Ships' Companies of the
Second-Squadron express regret at the departure of the Vice-Admiral
and wish him every success in his new appointment."

Jellicoe replied by signalling his thanks and wishing the Squadron all

One of the first important steps taken by the new Sea Lord in 1913 was
to adopt the "Director" firing apparatus invented by Sir Percy Scott.
It was decided to supply all ships of the Dreadnought type with this

It was with the _Thunderer_ and _Orion_ that trials were first of all
carried out, in the presence of Admiral Jellicoe and other naval

The _Thunderer_ was built at the Thames Ironworks and fitted with the
"Director"; the _Orion_, a sister ship, was equipped with the
"fire-control" apparatus.

The _Thunderer_ and _Orion_ are both of the same design and both cost
the same amount to build.

The _Thunderer_, fitted with the "Director," at a target 10,000 yards
distant made eighty per cent. of hits. Such shooting as this was a
revelation; nothing like it had ever been dreamed of. It was four or
five times better practice than the _Orion_ could make fitted with the
"fire-control" system. It was better than any record made at 2,000
yards in the gunlayer's tests.

In simple language Sir Percy Scott's invention increased the hitting
power of a ship, at long range and in a heavy sea, by four hundred per

With its aid a tremendous broadside can be fired from a Dreadnought.
The officer in charge of the "Director" has a special "cabin" or
"room" in the fore of the ship, from which he can control and fire
every gun. He can discover the exact range of the enemy, and the
precise elevation for the guns. Every operation is controlled by the
"Director"--excepting, of course, loading and cleaning the guns.

The _Thunderer_ in 1913 could fire ten shells, each weighing 1,250
lbs., in one broadside. Each shell has a penetrating power of 1 foot
at 10,000 yards.

The _Iron Duke_, Admiral Jellicoe's flagship in 1914, can do even
better than this.



Nineteen hundred and thirteen was a very busy year for Sir John
Jellicoe. On May 16th he left England for Germany to attend the
wedding festivities of the Emperor's only daughter, Princess Victoria
Louise, who was to be married to Prince Ernest of Cumberland.

Sir John and Lady Jellicoe were, curiously enough, the first English
guests to reach Berlin. The King and Queen of England left Sheerness
on the 20th on board the Royal Yacht _Victoria and Albert_, the
Duchess of Devonshire accompanying Her Majesty and Sir Frederick
Ponsonby and Sir Colin Keppel being Equerries in Waiting to the King.

Berlin was _en f'te_ for over a week, and among those present at
Princess Victoria's wedding, besides our own Royal Family, were the
Czar of Russia, the Grand Duchess of Baden, the Duke and Duchess of
Cumberland, the Grand Duke of Hesse and ambassadors from nearly every
country in the world.

Festivities commenced with a gala dinner given the day the Czar of
Russia arrived in Berlin. The following morning there was a luncheon
at the British Embassy in honour of King George and Queen Mary, at
which the Imperial Chancellor, the Ambassador in Berlin and Sir John
and Lady Jellicoe were among the principal guests. That same evening
there was a gala performance at the Opera. "Lohengrin" was performed
at the special request of Princess Victoria.

The Opera House presented a wonderful appearance; from foyer to
ceiling it was decorated with red and white carnations, the outsides
of all the loges being turned into great banks of these flowers. Sir
John and Lady Jellicoe occupied one of the loges near the stage, where
the ambassadors, ministers and distinguished officers were seated. The
royal party not only filled the vast court box but overflowed into the
boxes at the back of the dress circle. There was, of course, a
brilliant display of uniforms and decorations, and against the
background of red and white carnations the colour scheme was
extraordinarily effective.

Earlier in the day King George and Queen Mary entertained the English
Colony in Berlin, and the King made a short speech which is worth

     "We are exceedingly happy to be the guests of the Sovereign of
     this great nation in order to celebrate the marriage of two
     young people which we pray may be fraught with every blessing.
     Fostering and maintaining friendly relations between yourselves
     and the people of this your adopted home you will help to
     insure the peace of the world, the preservation of which is my
     ardent desire as it was the principal aim of my dear father's

Sir John Jellicoe spent some little time in Berlin, where he made
himself exceedingly popular, being entertained by all the great
officers of State, the Army and Navy, including Admiral Von
Tirpitz--fated just a year later to be his great rival. But the
meeting between these two great men must have been interesting as we
may rest assured it was friendly.

Jellicoe had the honour of dining with the Emperor at Potsdam, and on
May 20th he cruised for two hours in the Zeppelin airship _Hansa_
accompanied by Captain Watson, the British Naval Attaché in Berlin.

Jellicoe returned to England in time to prepare for the naval
manoeuvres which commenced early in July. No manoeuvres which the
British Fleet has undertaken attracted so much attention or were
fraught with such vital issues as those of 1913. At the same time
there has never been so much mystery attached to the movements of the
ships or to the result of the mimic warfare which took place.

There were six squadrons of battleships involved, two of them, the
Fourth and Sixth squadrons, being much below strength. There were ten
squadrons of cruisers and torpedo destroyers and submarine flotillas.
There were also mine layers and mine sweepers, and three aeroplanes
actively employed.

Tests of fuel and its conveyance to any point necessary and its quick
transference to ships in action were carried out.

By far the most important part of the manoeuvres was an attempt to
invade these shores and land a large force of men on them. For this
purpose the Fleet was divided into two parts. The Red or hostile Fleet
being under the command of Jellicoe and the Blue or defending Fleet
under Callaghan.

The Red Fleet had not only to contend against a superior force, but
supposing her ships were able to defeat or avoid the defenders, she
still had the battleships, cruisers, destroyers and submarines waiting
for her at Sheerness, Harwich, Rosyth, Dundee and Cromarty. And
supposing she escaped the attentions of all these forces, the East
Coast from the North to the South was guarded by forces of Infantry
and mounted troops with their machine gun sections. Large forces
drawn from the Territorials were also said to be held in reserve
further inland.

Criticising these manoeuvres before they took place, which is
obviously a dangerous thing to do, the critic in the _Evening
Standard_ of July 10th made the following announcement:

"If Sir John Jellicoe, heavily handicapped, fails, as no doubt he is
meant to fail, we shall be told that this only proves how safe we are
against a raid in force or an invasion. Of course all it will prove is
that if you are allowed to arrange the terms beforehand, load the dice
in your own favour, you can win the game--especially when it is only a
game and the elements of accident, luck and human personality are
rigorously excluded. It will show that a raid might fail in certain
conditions ... and then no doubt we shall be informed by Ministers
that Britain is invulnerable against all assault; that we can all
sleep quietly in our beds under the protection of a sham Territorial
Army and a Navy proved to be of overwhelming superiority to any
possible foe. It is not a game of strategy that is being played, but a
game of politics. The German Admiralty will not be deceived, but
perhaps the British Electorate may be."

Now what really happened when the manoeuvres commenced was a very
successful raid by the enemy on the Norfolk coast in which a portion
of the Blue Fleet was defeated. Jellicoe's next move was an attack on
the Humber and the capture of Grimsby and Immingham. Nearly 3,000 men
with their guns were landed. They seized the railway, and
commandeering trains they sent troops inland. The docks and wireless
stations were seized and Cleethorpes and New Holland were also taken.
This raid on the Humber was evidently a complete surprise to the

While this was taking place, the Red Fleet was scoring other successes
elsewhere. A cruiser and destroyers appeared off Sunderland with two
troopships from which over a thousand men were landed at the docks.
Blyth was also captured on the Northumberland coast, and a force of
infantry with a battery of 12-prs. was landed.

Now these raids by the Red Fleet under Jellicoe were not just ordinary
manoeuvres. He struck just where he knew our enemies would try to
strike. He landed men and guns, captured railways, docks and wireless
stations; held the position which he captured and, when discovered by
the defending fleet, he either eluded or kept their ships at bay.
Perhaps the landing at Blyth was the most important, and the transport
_Rohilla_ was congratulated for the excellent work she did.

Whatever those manoeuvres proved they undoubtedly proved that men
are greater than warships--and that Jellicoe is a very great man. It
was practically admitted that the defence had failed and had failed
through the brilliant strategy of Admiral Sir John Jellicoe.

The full history of the naval manoeuvres of 1913 was never written.
The Press of course indulged in a wordy warfare, and the battles of
the Red and Blue were--on paper--fought over and over again.

The men who knew most said nothing, and Jellicoe, a silent man, having
done his job, slipped out of the limelight, which he hates so keenly,
as quickly as possible.

But very probably his successful raid on the Humber was responsible
for the crisis which occurred in the Cabinet when the Naval Estimates
came up for discussion early in the New Year. Mr. Winston Churchill,
who had been accused of not spending enough money on the Navy, was now
accused of wanting to spend too much. As a matter of fact Mr.
Churchill did not on behalf of the Admiralty put forward any new
proposals, but simply wished to carry out the policy which had already
been adopted by the Cabinet. The Admiralty had long ago decided that
it was necessary to have 60 per cent. superiority in Dreadnoughts over
the next greatest naval power to ours in place of the former two-power

It was as early as February, 1914, that the name of Vice-Admiral Sir
John Jellicoe was mentioned as being the probable successor to Sir
George Callaghan as Commander-in-Chief of the Home Fleets. It was on
March 17th that Mr. Winston Churchill fought his battle in the Cabinet
on the Navy Estimates. The Board of Admiralty was with him, and he
received authority to ask Parliament to devote over £15,000,000 to new
naval construction--the largest sum that has ever been devoted to that

In July the test mobilization of our Fleets was carried out, the ships
passing His Majesty the King off the Nab lightship, seaplanes and
aeroplanes hovering high above them in the air, while submarines
slipped beneath the waters underneath. After the Review was over our
ships steamed up the Channel in order to carry out certain peace
exercises in manoeuvres, while a patrol flotilla was actively
employed in testing a scheme for sealing the exit which the Channel
makes to the North Sea. Less than a fortnight later the incredible
thing happened.

Rumours of war, sudden, by the majority unexpected.

Then war.

It could not have happened at a more auspicious moment as far as the
British Navy was concerned. Sir John Jellicoe was appointed supreme
Admiral of the Home Fleets. Two destroyers building for Chile were
compulsorily purchased by the Admiralty as well as two battleships
just completed for Turkey.

Drake's drums had rattled.

England in her hour of need had found two great leaders--Jellicoe and
French at the head of her Navy and Army. And behind them two brilliant
Statesmen--Asquith and Churchill at the head of her people.

What these four men have already done is history. What remains to be
done, and what they will do unflinchingly, no matter the cost, will,
we all know, make history.

But it is only natural that we, the sons and daughters of the greatest
Empire the world has ever seen, who are left in our little sea-girt
isle, and strain our eyes through the mist and foam to those seas
beyond the North toward one man in whose keeping more than that of any
other man lies the destiny of our race; the fate perhaps not only of
our great Empire but of the world.

Never before has silence spoken so eloquently as it spoke from the
North Sea when Jellicoe led our ships into her mists and storms.

                          "Not unto us,"
    Cried Drake, "not unto us--but unto Him
    Who made the sea, belongs our England now!
    Pray God that heart and mind and soul we prove
    Worthy among the nations of this hour."

    --_Alfred Noyes._

       *       *       *       *       *

That we shall prove worthy among the nations it is almost impossible
to doubt. With such leaders how could a people fail?

With an Empire on which the sun never sets, and which has given men,
gold and even food to the Mother Country with a lavish hand, will not
her rich merchants as well as her poorer sons of the Mother Country
make as great sacrifices and show as much heroism as the sons of
France, of Russia and Belgium?

We cannot doubt it. Though, after three months of the bloodiest
warfare the world has ever seen, several million young Englishmen were
still listening unmoved to the Drums of Drake--to the call of England,
their England, for men to defend her in her hour of danger yet we know
that, though slow to understand and hard to move, Englishmen, once
they have understood and once they have been moved, will be true to
themselves, their inheritance and their beloved little island. With
Henley they will cry with one voice and one soul:

    "England, My England--
        Take and break us: we are yours,
      England my own!
    Life is good, and joy runs high
      Between English earth and sky:
    Death is death; but we shall die
      To the song on your bugles blown."

And they will follow their devoted leaders into battle--French on the
land and Jellicoe on the wild North seas.

And those who are left at home to carry on "business as usual," will
not they make some sacrifices too?

_Miller, Son, & Compy., Ltd., Printers, Fakenham and London._

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

Archaic and inconsistent spelling and punctuation were retained.

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