This year marks the centenary of two battles of national significance during the First World War; the Battle of Jutland and the Battle of the Somme.  

As the national custodian of Remembrance, The Royal British Legion is asking the sail and motor cruising community to take part in this year's events to commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice in these battles.  

Jutland 100

The Battle of Jutland (31 May to 1 June) was the principal naval battle of the First World War.  As such it provides an opportunity to commemorate the sacrifices and contributions made by all those from the Royal Navy, Merchant Navy, fishing fleets, shipbuilding towns and coastal communities who continue to guarantee our maritime nation's security in peace and war.  

Recreational boaters up and down the country are invited to take part in one of the following national or regional events to mark Jutland 100 on 31 May 2016, or perhaps run a commemorative event on your own local patch.

  • A national commemorative event, broadcast by the BBC, will take place on Orkney, including a morning service at St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall and an afternoon service at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery at Lyness on Hoy.  
  • The Royal Navy is hosting events at Portsmouth, Plymouth, Chatham, Belfast (including the opening of HMS Caroline and the Commemoration to the Irish Sailor) and Queensferry on the Firth of Forth.  
  • The National Memorial Arboretum is hosting a service at its Naval Memorial at 11am.  
  • The Royal British Legion is also supporting a Seafarers UK concert at the Barbican on 15 June.  More information can be found at www.seafarers-uk.org/get-involved/the-jutland-concert/

The Royal British Legion has made it as easy as possible for you to take part or build your own commemorative event.  Just download your toolkit for Jutland 100 from www.britishlegion.org.uk/Jutland100.

Remembrance  

The Battle of the Somme is synonymous with our memory of the First World War.  The infamous first day remains the bloodiest day in the British Army's history, involving sixty-thousand casualties, twenty-thousand of whom were killed.  

Commemorations will be taking place between 30 June and 18 November to mark the centenary of the 141 days of the battle's duration.  Activities taking place to Remember the Somme include:

  • 1 June - 18 July:  Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace, a Legion-sponsored photo exhibition showing the healed but still battle-scarred fields of France, at London's Guildhall
  • 30 June - 1 July:  Vigils and services at Westminster Abbey, Thiepval Memorial in France and the National Memorial Arboretum.  The Legion will play a role in the national event in Manchester, at the Welsh National War Memorial in Cardiff, and the Clandeboye Estate in Bangor, County Down
  • 2 July - 18 November:  The Legion will lead midday Acts of Remembrance at the Thiepval Memorial, while a calendar of Legion activities at the NMA will include daily services, a replica of the trenches and a participative art installation
  • 18 November:  Sunset services at Thiepval and the NMA will bring the Somme commemorations to a close

Best wishes for success in your commemorations. If you have any questions, please email The Royal British Legion Remembrance Team at remembrance@britishlegion.org.uk or visit http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/remembrance/