Friday, 22 July 2016

George Greedus 1895-1916 J/23706 Killed in Action

 George Greedus born in August 1895 was shown in the 1911 census as the second son of (George) John and Alice Greedus of Chichester. He was working as a grocery assistant although clearly biding his time as later that year, as soon as he was old enough in August 1911, he signed up as a Boy Class II with the Royal Navy.

His first assignment was as on the “Impregnable”. Soon he was a Signal boy on the “Ganges”, “Victory” and the “Princess Royal”. During his time on the “Princess Royal” he was promoted to signalman and the war had begun. George had grown 2 1/2 inches and this brown haired, gray eyed, fresh faced boy had found that the Royal Navy and its protection of the seas was central to the war effort and the passage of food  and supplies to Britain and the troops.

Service on the “Invincible” was to see the end of his life for the “Invincible” was involved in the Battle of Jutland in May 1916. HMS “Invincible” was built in 1907, a battle cruiser and flagship of the Third Battle Cruiser Squadron.

HMS Invincible
On the night of 31/5/1916 in the third major loss of the night over 1000 officers and men from the “Invincible” died at sea when she was destroyed by magazine explosion during the battle. Two German ships sank the “Invincible” in 90 seconds after a 12 inch shell struck her mid-ship in the “Q” tower and penetrated the ammunition store. The ship was blown in half. There were 6 survivors.

In all that Battle saw 6000 men from the Royal Navy and 2500 Germans lose their lives in the battle of over 250 ships.

"clearly neither side was a winner"

The Battle of Jutland was the only major naval battle in World War I between the British and Germans. It occurred off the coast of Denmark. In all the British and Commonwealth Navies lost 14 ships and 6000 men while the Germans lost 2500 men and 9 ships. Although clearly neither side was a winner in this tragic event the RN retained command of the sea.

31 May 2016 was the Centenary of the Battle of Jutland and ceremonies to commemorate those without a real grave were held by the Commonwealth War Commission at several sites

George was awarded the Star, Victory and British War Medals and he is remembered at the Portsmouth Naval Memorial 196-G-N.

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