Signal Boy Alexander Calder

Signal Boy Alexander Calder, Royal Navy. He was lost at sea aboard H.M.S “Invincible” on 31st May 1915, aged 17, during the Battle of Jutland. and is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial. He had lived in Walkergate, Berwick and had joined the Royal Navy in 1915.  ” Invincible ” was the first Battlecruiser to be built and was launched in 1907. She displaced 17,250 tons and her main armament consisted of eight 12 inch guns in four turrets. In Wartime her crew numbered 1,000. Before Jutland she had participated in the Battle of the Heligoland Bight and the Battle of the Falklands where Admiral Von Spee’s Asiatic Squadron had been destroyed. At Jutland the ship was part of the Grand Fleet coming down from Scapa Flow to support Admiral Beatty and his 5th battle Squadron which had sailed from Rosyth to intercept an incursion into the North Sea by the German High Seas Fleet. When the fleets clashed ” Invincible ” managed to hit the German Battlecruiser ” Lutzow ” below the waterline. These hits caused the German ship to later sink. However hits from another German battlecruiser ” Derfflinger ” struck  “Invincible ” on “Q” turret which caused the midships magazines to explode and blow the ship in two. 1026 Officers and Men perished. There were only 6 survivors all from the Fire Control top on the tripod foremast. These men were picked up by the destroyer ” Badger “. The remarkable and well known photograph shows the ship’s final moments with the fire control top clearly visible. The schematic gives a full drawing of the ship.

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