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Naval 1914-15 trio.- Raid on Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby

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Naval 1914-15 trio.- Raid on Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby

1914-15 Star J.26208 E. Jones, A.B. R.N.; British War and Victory,J.26208 E. Jones, A.B. R.N.

Ernest Jones was born o nhe7 October 1896 in Birkenhead, Cheshire. and enlisted into the Navy on the 13t2th August 1913. He served on HMS Carnavon 29th March 1914 to 24th June 1914; HMS Ajax 25th June 1914 to 28th July 1915; HMS Vivid I 29th July 1915 to 5th November 1915; HMS Attentive II 6th November 1915 to 29th August 1916.(The shore base for the Dover patrol )HMS Vivid I 30th August 1916 to 4th October 1916, when he was invalided due to defective sight.

His time on HMS Ajax:

Between 17 and 20 July 1914, Ajax took part in a test mobilisation and fleet review as part of the British response to the July Crisis. Arriving in Portland on 25 July, she was ordered to proceed with the rest of the Home Fleet to Scapa Flow four days later to safeguard the fleet from a possible surprise attack by the Imperial German Navy.

In August 1914, following the outbreak of World War I, the Home Fleet was reorganised as the Grand Fleet, and placed under the command of Admiral Sir John Jellicoe.

On the evening of 22 November 1914, the Grand Fleet conducted a fruitless sweep in the southern half of the North Sea; Ajax stood with the main body in support of Vice-Admiral David Beatty’s 1st Battlecruiser Squadron. The fleet was back in port in Scapa Flow by 27 November.

Bombardment of Scarborough, Hartlepool, and Whitby

Raid on Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby

The Royal Navy’s Room 40 had intercepted and decrypted German radio traffic containing plans for a German attack on Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby in mid-December using the four battlecruisers of Konteradmiral (Rear-Admiral) Franz von Hipper’s I Scouting Group. The radio messages did not mention that the High Seas Fleet with fourteen dreadnoughts and eight pre-dreadnoughts would reinforce Hipper. The ships of both sides departed their bases on 15 December, with the British intending to ambush the German ships on their return voyage. They mustered the six dreadnoughts of Vice-Admiral Sir George Warrender’s 2nd BS, including Ajax and her sisters King George V and Centurion, and stood with the main body in support of Beatty’s four battlecruisers. As the 2nd BS was departing Scapa Flow in the darkness, Ajax collided with a trawler, but suffered no significant damage.

The screening forces of each side blundered into each other during the early morning darkness of 16 December in heavy weather. The Germans got the better of the initial exchange of fire, severely damaging several British destroyers, but Admiral Friedrich von Ingenohl, commander of the High Seas Fleet, ordered his ships to turn away, concerned about the possibility of a massed attack by British destroyers in the dawn’s light.

Jellicoe’s ships, including Ajax, conducted gunnery drills on 10–13 January 1915 west of the Orkneys and the Shetland Islands. On the evening of 23 January, the bulk of the Grand Fleet sailed in support of Beatty’s battlecruisers, but Ajax and the rest of the fleet did not participate in the ensuing Battle of Dogger Bank the following day. On 7–10 March, the Grand Fleet conducted a sweep in the northern North Sea, during which it conducted training manoeuvres. Another such cruise took place on 16–19 March. On 11 April, the Grand Fleet conducted a patrol in the central North Sea and returned to port on 14 April; another patrol in the area took place on 17–19 April, followed by gunnery drills off Shetland on 20–21 April.

The Grand Fleet conducted sweeps into the central North Sea on 17–19 May and 29–31 May without encountering any German vessels. During 11–14 June, the fleet conducted gunnery practice and battle exercises west of Shetland and more training off Shetland beginning on 11 July.

Condition – NEF