Able Seaman William Morrison

Able Seaman William Thomas Morrison, Royal Navy. He was lost at sea, aged 19, aboard H.M.S. “Queen Mary ” on 31st May 1916 during the Battle of Jutland. He was the son of Ralph and Mary Morrison of 19 Weatherly Square, Berwick and is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. ” Queen Mary ” was a battlecruiser and was the only member of her class although she shared many features with the ” Lion ” class battlecruisers. She was built by Palmers of Jarrow and was completed in August 1913.  She displaced 31,650 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. Before Jutland she had taken part in the Battle of Heligoland Bight in August 1914. In May 1916 the ship was part of Admiral Beatty’s 5th Battle Squadron stationed at Rosyth and on 31st May was ordered to sea to intercept a sortie into the North Sea by the German High Seas Fleet under Admiral Hipper. ( The British had already broken the German naval codes ). The main British force , the Grand Fleet, came South from its base at Scapa Flow to complete the interception but before this the British and German battlecruisers clashed at about 3pm.” Queen Mary” hit the ” Seydlitz ” twice and knocked out one of her turrets before she herself was struck by shells from the ” Derfflinger ” which detonated a forward magazine and broke the ship in two before blowing up. There were 18 survivors mostly from “X” turret at the rear of the ship. The artist’s impression shows the “Queen Mary” in action during the Battle and the photograph shows the moment of her destruction.

Scroll to Top