Stoker 1st Class Robert Ford

Stoker 1st Class Robert Ford, Royal Navy. He was lost at sea aboard H.M.S. “Queen Mary” on 31st May 1916, aged 18, during the Battle of Jutland and is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. “Queen Mary” was a battlecruiser and the only member of her Class although she shared many features of the “Lion” Class battlecruisers. She had been built by Palmers of Jarrow and was completed in August 1913. She displaced 26,770 tons and had a wartime crew of 1,275 Officers and men. Her main armament consisted of eight 13.5 inch rifles in four turrets. In May 1916 she was part of Admiral Beatty’s 5th Battle Squadron stationed at Rosyth and on 31st May 1916 she was ordered to sea to intercept a sortie into the North Sea by the German High Seas Fleet under Admiral Hipper. The main British Fleet  came South from its base at Scapa Flow to complete the interception but before this could happen the British and German battlecruisers clashed at about 3 p.m. “Queen Mary” hit “Seydlitz” twice and seriously damaged her before she herself was struck by a salvo from “Derflinger” which detonated a forward magazine and broke the ship in two before blowing up. There were only 18 survivors mostly from “X” turret at the rear of the ship. The second photograph shows the moment of her destruction.

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