Sir, I have the honour to report
that on Thursday, 27th August, at 5 a.m., I proceeded
with the First Battle Cruiser Squadron and First Light
Cruiser Squadron in company, to rendezvous with the
At 4 a.m., 28th August, the
movements of the Flotillas commenced as previously
arranged, the Battle Cruiser Squadron and Light
Cruiser Squadron supporting. The Rear Admiral,
"Invincible, "with "New Zealand" and four Destroyers
having joined my flag, the Squadron passed through the
At 8. 10 a.m. I received a signal
from the Commodore (T), informing me that the Flotilla
was in action with the enemy. This was presumably in
the vicinity of their pre-arranged rendezvous. From
this time until 11 a.m. I remained about the vicinity
ready to support as necessary, intercepting various
signals, which contained no information on which I
At 11 a.m. the Squadron was
attacked by three Submarines. The attack was
frustrated by rapid manoeuvring and the four
Destroyers were ordered to attack them. Shortly after
11 a.m., various signals having been received
indicating that the Commodore (T) and Commodore (S)
were both in need of assistance, I ordered the Light
Cruiser Squadron to support the Torpedo Flotillas.
Later I received a signal from the
Commodore (T), stating that he was being attacked by a
large Cruiser, and a further signal informing me that
he was being hard pressed and asking for assistance.
The Captain (D), First Flotilla, also signalled that
he was in need of help.
From the foregoing the situation
appeared to me critical. The Flotillas had advanced
only ten miles since 8 a.m., and were only about
twenty-five miles from two enemy bases on their flank
and rear respectively. Commodore Goodenough had
detached two of his Light Cruisers to assist some
Destroyers earlier in the day, and these had not yet
rejoined. (They rejoined at 2. 30 p.m.) As the reports
indicated the presence of many enemy ships - one a
large Cruiser - I considered that his force might not
be strong enough to deal with the situation
sufficiently rapidly, so at 11. 30 a.m. the Battle
Cruisers turned to E. S. E., and worked up to full
speed. It was evident that to be of any value the
support must be overwhelming and carried out at the
highest speed possible.
I had not lost sight of the risk
of Submarines, and possible sortie in force from the
enemy's base, especially in view of the mist to the
Our high speed, however, made
submarine attack difficult, and the smoothness of the
sea made their detection comparatively easy. I
considered that we were powerful enough to deal with
any sortie except by a Battle Squadron, which was
unlikely to come out in time, provided our stroke was
At 12. 15 p.m. "Fearless" and
First Flotilla were sighted retiring West. At the same
time the Light Cruiser Squadron was observed to be
engaging an enemy ship ahead. They appeared to have
I then steered N. E. to sounds of
firing ahead, and at 12. 30 p.m. sighted "Arethusa"
and Third Flotilla retiring to the Westward engaging a
Cruiser of the "Kolberg" class on our Port Bow. I
steered to cut her off from Heligoland, and at 12. 37
p.m. opened fire. At 12. 42 the enemy turned to N. E.,
and we chased at 27 knots.
At 12. 56 p.m. sighted and engaged
a two-funnelled Cruiser ahead. "Lion" fired two
salvoes at her, which took effect, aud she disappeared
into the mist, burning furiously and in a sinking
condition. In view of the mist and that she was
steering at high speed at right angles to "Lion, " who
was herself steaming at 28 knots, the "Lion's" firing
was very creditable.
Our Destroyers had reported the
presence of floating mines to the Eastward and I
considered it inadvisable to pursue her. It was also
essential that the Squadrons should remain
concentrated, and I accordingly ordered a withdrawal.
The Battle Cruisers turned North and circled to port
to complete the destruction of the vessel first
engaged. She was sighted again at 1. 25 p.m. steaming
S. E. with colours still flying. "Lion" opened fire
with two turrets, and at 1. 35 p.m., after receiving
two salvoes, she sank.
The four attached Destroyers were
sent to pick up survivors, but I deeply regret that
they subsequently reported that they searched the area
but found none.
At 1. 40 p.m. the Battle Cruisers
turned to. the Northward, and "Queen Mary" was again
attacked by a Submarine. The attack was avoided by the
use of the helm. "Lowestoft" was also unsuccessfully
attacked. The Battle Cruisers covered the retirement
until nightfall. By 6 p.m., the retirement having been
well executed and all Destroyers accounted for, I
altered course, spread the Light Cruisers, and swept
northwards in accordance with the Commander-in-Chief's
orders. At 7. 45 p.m. I detached "Liverpool" to Rosyth
with German prisoners, 7 officers and 79 men,
survivors from "Mainz. " No further incident occurred.
I have the honour to be, Sir, your
(Signed) DAVID BEATTY,
the Secretary of the Admiralty.
Sir, I have the honour to report
that in accordance with your orders a reconnaissance
in force was carried out in the Heligoland Bight on
the 28th August, with the object of attacking the
enemy's Light Cruisers and Destroyers.
The forces under my orders (viz.,
the Cruiser Force, under Rear-Admiral H. H. Campbell,
C. V. O., "Euryalus," "Amethyst," First and Third
Destroyer Flotillas and the Submarines) took up the
positions assigned to them on the evening of the 27th
August, and, in accordance with directions given,
proceeded during the night to approach the Heligoland
The Cruiser Force under
Rear-Admiral Campbell, with "Euryalus "(my Flagship)
and "Amethyst," was stationed to intercept any enemy
vessels chased to the westward. At 4. 30 p.m. on the
28th August these Cruisers, having proceeded to the
eastward, fell in with "Lurcher" and three other
Destroyers, and the wounded and prisoners in these
vessels were transferred in boats to "Bacchante" and
"Cressy," which left for the Nore. "Amethyst" took
"Laurel" in tow, and at 9. 30 p.m. "Hogue" was
detached to take "Arethusa" in tow. This latter is
referred to in Commodore R. Y. Tyrwhitt's report, and
I quite concur in his remarks as to the skill and
rapidity with which this was done in the dark with no
Commodore Reginald Y. Tyrwhitt was
in command of the Destroyer Flotillas, and his report
is enclosed herewith. His attack was delivered with
great skill and gallantry, and he was most ably
seconded by Captain William F. Blunt, in "Fearless,"
and the Officers in command of the Destroyers, who
handled their vessels in a manner worthy of the best
traditions of the British Navy.
Commodore Roger J. B. Keyes, in
"Lurcher," had on the 27th August, escorted some
Submarines into positions allotted to them in the
immediate vicinity of the enemy's coast. On the
morning of the 28th August, in company with
"Firedrake, " he searched the area to the southward of
the Battle Cruisers for the enemy's Submarines, and
subsequently, having been detached, was present at the
sinking of the German Cruiser "Mainz," when he
gallantly proceeded alongside her and rescued 220 of
her crew, many of whom were wounded. Subsequently he
escorted "Laurel" and "Liberty " out of action, and
kept them, company till Rear-Admiral Campbell's
Cruisers were sighted.
As regards the Submarine Officers,
I would specially mention the names of:
(a) Lieutenant-Commander Ernest W.
Leir. His coolness and resource in rescuing the
crews of the "Goshawk's" and "Defender's" boats at a
critical time of the action were admirable.
(b) Lieutenant-Commander Cecil P.
Talbot. In my opinion, the bravery and resource of
the Officers in command of Submarines since the war
commenced are worthy of the highest commendation.
I have the honour to be, Sir, Your
A. H. CHRISTIAN, Rear-Admiral.
M. S. "Lowestoft,
Sir, I have the honour to report
that at 5 a.m. on Thursday, 27th August, in accordance
with orders received from Their Lordships, I sailed in
"Arethusa," in company with the First and Third
Flotillas, except "Hornet," "Tigress," "Hydra," and
"Loyal," to carry out the prearranged operations, H.
M. S. "Fearless" joined the Flotillas at sea that
At 6. 53 a.m. on Friday, 28th
August, an enemy's Destroyer was sighted, and was
chased by the 4th Division of the Third Flotilla.
From 7. 20 to 7. 57 a.m.
"Arethusa" and the Third Flotilla were engaged with
numerous Destroyers and Torpedo Boats which were
making for Heligoland; course was altered to port to
cut them off.
Two Cruisers, with 4 and 2 funnels
respectively, were sighted on the port bow at 7. 57
a.m., the nearest of which was engaged. "Arethusa"
received a heavy fire from both Cruisers and several
Destroyers until 8. 15 a.m., when the four-funnelled
Cruiser transferred her fire to "Fearless."
Close action was continued with
the two-funnelled Cruiser on converging courses until
8. 25 a.m., when a 6-inch projectile from "Arethusa"
wrecked the fore bridge of the enemy, who at once
turned away in the direction of Heligoland, which was
sighted slightly on the starboard bow at about the
All ships were at once ordered to
turn to the westward, and shortly afterwards speed was
reduced to 20 knots.
During this action "Arethusa" had
been hit many times, and was considerably damaged;
only one 6-inch gun remained in action, all other guns
and torpedo tubes having been temporarily disabled.
Lieutenant Eric W. P. Westmacott
(Signal Officer) was killed at my side during this
action. I cannot refrain from adding that he carried
out his duties calmly and collectedly, and was of the
greatest assistance to me.
A fire occurred opposite No. 2 gun
port side caused by a shell exploding some ammunition,
resulting in a terrific blaze for a short period and
leaving the deck burning. This was very promptly dealt
with and extinguished by Chief Petty Officer Frederick
W. Wrench, O.N. 158630.
The Flotillas were reformed in
Divisions and proceeded at 20 knots. It was now
noticed that "Arethusa's" speed had been reduced,
"Fearless" reported that the 3rd and 5th Divisions of
the First Flotilla had sunk the German Commodore's
Destroyer and that two boats' crews belonging to
"Defender" had been left behind, as our Destroyers had
been fired upon, by a German Cruiser during their act
of mercy in saving the survivors of the German
At 10 a.m., hearing that Commodore
(S) in "Lurcher" and "Firedrake" were being chased by
Light Cruisers, I proceeded to his assistance with
"Fearless" and the First Flotilla until 10. 37 a.m.,
when, having received no news and being in the
vicinity of Heligoland, I ordered the ships in company
to turn to the westward.
All guns except two 4-inch were
again in working order, and the upper deck supply of
ammunition was replenished.
At 10. 55 a.m. a four-funnelled
German Cruiser was sighted, and opened a very heavy
fire at about 11 o'clock.
Our position being somewhat
critical, I ordered "Fearless" to attack, and the
First Flotilla to attack with torpedoes, which they
proceeded to do with great spirit. The Cruiser at once
turned away, disappeared in the haze and evaded the
About 10 minutes later the same
Cruiser appeared on our starboard quarter. Opened fire
on her with both 6-inch guns; "Fearless" also engaged
her, and one Division of Destroyers attacked her with
torpedoes without success.
The state of affairs and our
position was then reported to the Admiral Commanding
Battle Cruiser Squadron.
We received a very severe and
almost accurate fire from this Cruiser; salvo after
salvo was falling between 10 and 30 yards short, but
not a single shell struck; two torpedoes were also
fired at us, being well directed, but short.
The Cruiser was badly. damaged by
"Arethusa's" 6-inch guns and a splendidly directed
fire from "Fearless," and she shortly afterwards
turned away in the direction of Heligoland.
Proceeded, and four minutes later
sighted the three-funnelled Cruiser "Mainz." She
endured a heavy fire from "Arethusa" and "Fearless"
and many Destroyers. After an action of approximately
25 minutes she was seen to be sinking by the head, her
engines stopped, besides being on fire.
At this moment the Light Cruiser
Squadron appeared, and they very speedily reduced the
to a condition which must have been indescribable.
I then recalled "Fearless" and the
Destroyers, and ordered cease fire.
We then exchanged broadsides with
a large, four-funnelled Cruiser on the starboard
quarter at long range, without visible effect.
The Battle Cruiser Squadron now
arrived, and I pointed out this Cruiser to the Admiral
Commanding, and was shortly afterwards informed by him
that the Cruiser in question had been sunk and another
set on fire.
The weather during the day was
fine, sea calm, but visibility poor, not more than 3
miles at any time when the various actions were taking
place, and was such that ranging and spotting were
I then proceeded with 14
Destroyers of the Third Flotilla and 9 of the First
"Arethusa's" speed was about 6
knots until 7 p.m., when it was impossible to proceed
any further, and fires were drawn in all boilers
except two, and assistance called for.
At 9. 30 p.m. Captain Wilmot S.
Nicholson, of the "Hogue, " took my ship in tow in a
most seamanlike manner, and, observing that the night
was pitch dark and the only lights showing were two
small hand lanterns, I consider his action was one
which deserves special notice from Their Lordships.
I would also specially recommend
Lieutenant-Commander Arthur P. N. T'horowgood, of
''Arethusa," for the able manner he prepared the ship
for being towed in the dark.
H. M. Ship under my command was
then towed. to the Nore, arriving at 5 p.m. on the
29th August. Steam was then available for slow speed,
and the ship was able to proceed to Chatham under her
I beg again to call attention to
the services rendered by Captain W. F. Blunt, of H. M.
S. "Fearless," and the Commanding Officers of the
Destroyers of the First and Third Flotillas, whose
gallant attacks on the German Cruisers at critical
moments undoubtedly saved "Arethusa" from more severe
punishment and possible capture.
I cannot adequately express my
satisfaction and pride at the spirit and ardour of my
Officers and Ship's Company, who carried out their
orders with the greatest alacrity under the most
trying conditions, especially in view of the fact that
the ship, newly built, had not been 48 hours out of
the Dockyard before she was in action.
It is difficult to specially pick
out individuals. but the following came under my special
M. S. "Arethusa"
Lieutenant-Commander Arthur P. N.
T'horowgood, First Lieutenant, and in charge of the
Lieutenant-Commander Ernest K.
Arbuthnot (G.), in charge of the Fore Control.
Sub-Lieutenant Clive A. Robinson,
who worked the range-finder throughout the entire
action with extraordinary coolness.
Assistant Paymaster Kenneth E.
Badcock, my Secretary, who attended me on the bridge
throughout the entire action.
Mr. James D. Godfrey, Gunner (T.),
who was in charge of the torpedo tubes.
The following men were specially noted:
Armourer Arthur F. Hayes, O.N.
Second Sick Berth Steward George
Trolley, O.N. M. 296 (Ch.).
Chief Yeoman of Signals Albert
Fox, O.N. 194656 (Po.), on fore bridge during entire
Chief Petty Officer Frederick W.
Wrench, O.N. 158630 (Ch.) (for ready resource in
extinguishing fire caused by explosion of cordite).
Private Thomas Millington,
R.M.L.I., No. Ch. 17417.
Private William J. Beirne,
R.M.L.I., No. Ch. 13540.
First Writer Albert W. Stone, O.N.
I also beg to record the services
rendered by the following Officers and Men of H.
M. Ships under my orders:
M. S. "Fearless."
Mr. Robert M. Taylor, Gunner, for
coolness in action under heavy fire.
The following Officers also
displayed great resource and energy in effecting
repairs to "Fearless" after her return to harbour,
and they were ably seconded by the whole of their
Charles de F. Messervy.
Mr. William Morrissey, Carpenter.
M. S. "Goshawk"
Commander The Hon. Herbert Meade,
who took his Division into action with great
coolness and nerve, and was instrumental in sinking
the German Destroyer "V. 187," and, with the boats
of his Division, saved the survivors in a most
M. S. "Ferret."
Commander Geoffrey Mackworth, who,
with his Division, most gallantly seconded Commander
Meade, of "Goshawk. "
M. S. "Laertes."
Lieutenant-Commander Malcolm L.
Goldsmith, whose ship was seriously damaged, taken
in tow, and towed out of action by "Fearless. "
Alexander Hill, for repairing steering gear and
engines under fire.
Sub-Lieutenant George H. Faulkner,
who continued to fight his gun after being wounded.
Mr. Charles Powell, Acting
Boatswain, O.N. 209388, who was gunlayer of the
centre gun, which made many hits. He behaved very
coolly, and set a good example when getting in tow
and clearing away the wreckage after the action.
Edward Naylor, Petty Officer,
Torpedo Gunner's Mate, O.N. 189136, who fired a
torpedo which the Commanding Officer of "Laertes"
reports undoubtedly hit the "Mainz, "and so helped
materially to put her out of action.
Stephen Pritchard, Stoker Petty
Officer, O.N. 285152, who very gallantly dived into
the cabin flat immediately after a shell had
exploded there, and worked a fire hose.
Frederick Pierce, Stoker Petty
Officer, O.N. 307943, who was on watch in the engine
room and behaved with conspicuous coolness and
resource when a shell exploded in No. 2 boiler.
M. S. "Laurel."
Commander Frank F. Rose, who most
ably commanded his vessel throughout the early part
of the action, and after having been wounded in both
legs, remained on the bridge until 6 p.m.,
displaying great devotion to duty.
Lieutenant. Charles R. Peploe,
First Lieutenant, who took command after Commander
Rose was wounded, and continued the action till its
close, bringing his Destroyer out in an able and
gallant manner under most trying conditions.
Edward H. T. Meeson, who behaved with great coolness
during the action, and steamed the ship out of
action, although she had been very severely damaged
by explosion of her own lyddite, by which the after
funnel was nearly demolished. He subsequently
assisted to carry out repairs to the vessel.
Sam Palmer, Leading Seaman (G.L.2)
O.N. 179529, who continued to fight his gun until
the end of the action, although severely wounded in
Albert Edmund Sellens, Able Seaman
(L.T.O.), O.N. 217245, who was stationed at the fore
torpedo tubes; he remained at his post throughout
the entire action, although wounded in the arm, and
then rendered first aid in a very able manner before
being attended to himself.
George H. Sturdy, Chief Stoker,
O.N. 285547, and
Alfred Britton, Stoker Petty
Officer, O.N. 289893, who both showed great coolness
in putting out a fire near the centre gun after an
explosion had occurred there; several lyddite shells
were lying in the immediate vicinity.
William R. Boiston, Engine Room
Artificer, 3rd class, O.N. M. 1369, who showed great
ability and coolness in taking charge of the after
boiler room during the action, when an explosion
blew in the after funnel and a shell carried away
pipes and seriously damaged the main steam pipe.
William H. Gorst, Stoker Petty
Officer, O.N. 305616.
Edward Crane, Stoker Petty
Officer, O.N. 307275.
Harry Wilfred Hawkes, Stoker 1st
class, O.N. K. 12086.
John W. Bateman, Stoker 1st class,
O.N. K. 12100.
These men were stationed in the
after boiler room and conducted themselves with
great coolness during the action, when an explosion
blew in the after funnel, and shell carried away
pipes and seriously damaged the main steam pipe.
M. S. "Liberty."
The late Lieutenant-Commander
Nigel K. W. Barttelot commanded the "Liberty " with
great skill and gallantry throughout the action. He
was a most promising and able Officer, and I
consider his death is a great loss to the Navy.
Frank A. Butler, who showed much resource in
effecting repairs during the action.
Lieutenant Henry E. Horan, First
Lieutenant, who took command after the death of
Lieutenant-Commander Barttelot, and brought his ship
out of action in an extremely able and gallant
manner under most trying conditions.
Mr. Harry Morgan, Gunner (T), who
carried out his duties with exceptional coolness
Chief Petty Officer James Samuel
Beadle, O.N. 171735, who remained at his post at the
wheel for over an hour after being wounded in the
John Galvin, Stoker, Petty
Officer, O.N. 279946, who took entire charge, under
the Engineer Officer, of the party who stopped
leaks, and accomplished his task although working up
to his chest in water.
M. S. "Laforey."
Mr. Ernest Roper, Chief Gunner,
who carried out his duties with exceptional coolness
I have the honour to be, Sir, Your
R. Y. TYRWHITT, Commodore (T).
performed by Submarines since the Commencement of
M. S. "Maidstone,",
11th. October, 1914.
Sir, In compliance with Their
Lordships' directions, I have the honour to report as
follows upon the services performed by Submarines
since the commencement of hostilities: