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Ordinary Seaman J/28623 George Bernard Farrell

Royal Navy, aboard HMS Queen Mary
Killed in Action, Battle of Jutland, The North Sea, 31st May 1916 aged 18

  • Commemorated: Plymouth Naval Memorial, Plymouth, Devon. Panel 13
  • Awarded: Not yet established
  • Son of the Jophias and Ann Farrell
  • NNWFHS Memorial: Nuneaton WW1 Other Regiments

Links to Relevant Information

Military, Census and Family History Information

  • Born 7 Mar 1898 at Leicester
  • Lived at 67 Church Street, Tamworth [1901]
  • Enlisted 4 Nov 1913

The Sinking of HMS Queen Mary
On 31 May 1916 Queen Mary put to sea with the rest of the Battlecruiser Fleet to intercept a sortie by the High Seas Fleet into the North Sea. The British were able to decode the German radio messages and left their bases before the Germans put to sea. This began what was to be called the "Run to the South" as Beatty changed course to steer east-southeast at 15:45, paralleling Hipper's course, now that the range closed to under 18,000 yards.

The range had grown too far for accurate shooting, so Beatty altered course four points to port to close the range again between 16:12 and 16:15. This manoeuvre exposed HMS Lion to the fire of the German battlecruisers, and she was hit several times. The smoke and fumes from these hits caused Derfflinger to lose sight of Lion, which had sheered out of line to starboard, and to switch her fire to HMS Queen Mary, now visible to Derfflinger's gunnery officer as the second ship in the British line and therefore assumed to be HMS Princess Royal, at 16:16. Queen Mary hit Seydlitz again at 16:17 and knocked out one gun of her secondary armament. In return, Queen Mary had been hit twice by Seydlitz before 16:21 with unknown effects, but the German battlecruiser hit the turret face of 'Q' turret at that time and knocked out the right-hand gun in the turret. By 16:25 the range was down to 14,400 yards (13,200 m), and Beatty turned two points to starboard to open the range again. This move came too late, however, for Queen Mary, as Derfflinger's fire began to take effect, hitting her twice before 16:26. Cordite in the working chamber caught fire and produced poisonous fumes that asphyxiated some of the turret's crew. It is doubtful that an explosion forward could have done this, so 'Q' turret may have been struck by the second shell. A further explosion, possibly from shells breaking loose, shook the aft end of the ship as it began to roll over and sink. 1,266 crewmen were lost; eighteen survivors were picked up.

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