Gunner George Grant

Gunner George Donald Grant, Royal Marine Artillery. He was lost aboard H.M.S. “Defence” on 31st May 1916 , aged 17, during the Battle of Jutland. He was the son of Isabella and the late Lewis Grant of Galashiel and is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. H.M.S. “Defence” was a Minotaur Class Armoured Cruiser of 14,600 tons, commissioned in 1909 and was armed with twin 9.2 inch and 10 single 7.5 inch guns. At Jutland she was the flagship of Rear Admiral Sir Robert Arbuthnot and led the 1st Cruiser Squadron  on the starboard flank of the Grand Fleet. She was sruck by shells from one German Battlecuiser and four Dreadnoughts  which detonated the rear magazine. That explosion detonated the main magazine which destroyed the Cruiser. There were no survivors from the crew of 893. It was normal for Royal Navy heavy guns to be manned by the Royal Marine Artillery. The photograph is believed to be the last picture taken of the “Defence” before her destruction.

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